Author Topic: My first Telescope.  (Read 1152 times)

nijambaci

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My first Telescope.
« on: December 29, 2017, 02:10:35 AM »
Hi guys,
I am new here,but have been searching for my telescope for about 4-5 months.I know almost everything abut astronomy except for my actual telescope.My budget is from around 800-900$.So far I have narrowed it down to 4 choices.I want to observe DSO's with some occasional planets and moon thrown in.I live in the suburbs,but can see all the major constellations,and some DSO's with my 10x25 binoculars.
Here it is:
A Orion XT10 plus- http://www.telescope...s?keyword=XT10#

A Zhumell Z12-https://www.telescop...CFQYyaQodnmULawA Orion 8" reflector with a EQ mount-http://www.telescope...CFRmewAod1N4Pcg

And finally a 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain OTA-http://www.highpoint...4idgD6YhvUvRoCR(with a mount of course)

Portability and weight is not a problem since I am a teenager,and my parents have a car.My main questions are-
1.Further on when I buy OTA's I will need a mount,so is buying one now worth it?
2.How major of a difference is it between a 10" and a 12"?And why is the jump up way costlier?
3.How big is a 12" reflector if you have one?
4.How reliable is Zhumell?I heard a lot of good things about this brand but It is hands down It comes with accessories that don't come unless you pay more.Sorry,but I kind of want this coming from a Zhumell owner.

That's is mostly all my questions and concernes. Thanks!



toughhalrechal

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Re: My first Telescope.
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2017, 01:51:38 AM »
The one I would eliminate is the 8 inch reflector on an EQ mount. That makes for some very awkward eyepiece positions.

Bottom line is do you want/need go to and tracking? Then the SCT on either an alt=az mount like the CPC or Evolution from Celestron, or the SCT on a go to EQ mount like the AVX makes sense. If not then the Zhumell 12 inch would give you maximum aperture and some good starter accessories.

You seem to have researched options pretty well. Have you had an opportunity to test drive any of them? If not, if you are within range of an astronomy club, attend some of their viewing events. You will surely find members with examples of all the options you have listed who would be glad to let you see how they perform.

szenawahle

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Re: My first Telescope.
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2018, 04:48:53 PM »
Hi Master and welcome to CN.

I have the Orion XT10i and love it. I chose it over a larger model simply for portability. The larger 12" mirror will allow you to see fainter DSO and allow greater detail in the brighter DSO.

To answer some of your questions:
1. I wouldn't fret over getting a universal mount. The dobsonian base for a 10" is different than the base for any other size OTA. Some scopes want or require a specific mount. The 8" SCT you are looking at begs for is goto mount. Yes you can mount it to an Alt Az or Equatorial mount, but Celestron makes a mount specifically for this scope. Unless all of your future OTAs are going to be very similar, you will likely need multiple mounts. I have 3 scopes and 3 mounts. However, when I purchase a refractor I will likely share the Alt Az mount between my solar scope and the refractor.
2. Aperture rules. The larger the mirror the more you will see. Significantly more light gathering ability with the larger mirror. The larger the mirror, the heavier it is too.
3. I'll skip this, you can do simple research about the size, weight etc.
4. Go with the major brands. Each brand offers various accessory packages that will influence your decision. The brands you are looking into are good.

Best of luck with the decision. Any of these will be good scopes for you.

Mike Brown

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Re: My first Telescope.
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2018, 05:22:38 AM »
A 10in solid tube dob is a great scope. It's going to show you a lot for a long time. It's also still portable enough to fit in a car. Yes a 12in will show more but a 12in solid tube dob is about the size of a water heater.

James Runninger

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Re: My first Telescope.
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2018, 11:25:40 AM »
Your budget is the final determining factor here, above all other things. You say $8-900? I recommend the Orion XT10i. It's is at the top end of your range and will help you as you move around the sky. While the Z12 is a fine scope, once you get into mirrors this big, a truss style dob is the only way to go. The logistics of trying to move a dob this big around are daunting. A 10" will satisfy your needs and, frankly, give you something to shoot for later. If that's too rich for your blood, the Z10 Deluxe is also the answer you want to look into. This and an Atlas and you're on your way.
One more thing: Never come in here saying you know everything about astronomy. You don't. Heck, I don't and I'm the first to admit it! Perhaps you were trying to be humorous and I missed it. But that's not a wise statement to put out there. Good luck on your search and tell us how you do! STARKID2U

llammenkudi

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Re: My first Telescope.
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 07:11:51 AM »
Lots of good advice for you above Master of the Sky's. One thing not mentioned is whether you will want to eventually take some pictures. If that is the case, then the dobs would hold you back. A good package for starting out with photography is: https://www.amazon.c...elestron mounts . Camera not included.

Jaimeylos Chiessa

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Re: My first Telescope.
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2018, 03:58:04 PM »
The 12" is a monster. I loved mine. This is a picture of me and my old 12" Orion which is the same size as the Z12.Attached Thumbnails


Theodore Inlaw

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Re: My first Telescope.
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2018, 07:36:05 AM »
The choices you list are all reasonable, normal scopes, but I am hesitant to 'jump on board' with any of them. There is something great about getting something you want, but I think you are Very understandably missing something.
 There can be all sorts of discussions about 'best telescope' (I am a 'refractor nut'), but part of the discussion not mentioned is good use of our time and resources. You say you are in high school. I don't know how 'busy' you are, but I will assume you have some time to yourself. That is a Tremendous asset. You can really stretch your savings and learn a variety of things by building.
 For example.....
http://agenaastro.co...set-10-f-5.html
 I am not promoting this particular thing, just trying to use this as an example of a different approach. It is still springtime. Weather is often turbulent, and nights are short. You could buy these mirrors to build a decent scope of your own, in a way that would fit your circumstances. You could build a very simple 'skeleton' or 'backbone' 'tube assembly', something that can 'fold up' or pack into a very small package to Easily be transported. You could build a Dob mount, or an old fashioned 'pipe mount' for a simple alt az mount, get the scope going. Then, build your own Poncet mount for an equatorial. The basic optics could have more than one tube assembly for different circumstances, say a truss tube with shroud for light polluted areas. It could be very adaptable. A real 'reach', you could have the basic Newtonian scope going, and in your spare time, grind a 3 1/2" convex to use as a secondary for a 'Naysmith Cassegrain', take as long as you want to finish it right without putting your basic scope at 'risk'.
https://en.wikipedia...smyth_telescope
Keeping it cheap, save your resources, learn, have variety. Your resources could go to various accessories, cameras, computers, tools?
With a little planning, you could soon have a scope and still get to see the Virgo galaxies.
?

senbevekek

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Re: My first Telescope.
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2018, 06:46:57 PM »
Master--

Two questions you don't answer in your original post:

1. What end of the teen spectrum are you? In other words will you be driving this scope yourself or counting on your parents to be doing it for a few years? They may have some say in the matter.

2. How far are you from darker skies and what quality are those skies? Some prefer GOTO because light pollution makes it all but impossible to find much of anything. If your close-by sites aren't that satisfactory GOTO might be beneficial otherwise a push-to system is usually plenty capable and unnecessary at a darker site or when one has a lot of experience.

Remember, whatever scope you get, that will only be the beginning...you'll certainly need collimation tools a chair additional eyepieces, etc, but not all at once. Leaving yourself some cash cushion might help. Dr. Who just made an excellent well argued post to another beginner recently on similar thread you might reference. Anyone able to provide the exact link?

Chesterguy

acbacema

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Re: My first Telescope.
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2018, 06:09:14 AM »
Whoa,I was not expecting responses that fast!

I'll answer some questions that I know.
1.I am under 16,so no I will not be able to drive until 2-3 yrs later.
2.I don't want go-to or tracking,but that being said I live in the "red" zone in light pollution maps,so I might need it.I don't like the extra money being spent on computers when it can be spent on aperture and/or accessories.
3.I live from "dark" skies about 1-2 hours.
4.I don't want to take photographs( for now)
5.And I do have a sky chart,red flashlight,and a Cheshire collimater early on when I had some money.

Thanks a Lot to all of you,but especiallygitane71 andStarkid2u.

Starkid2u I'll keep in mind what you said,I could have worded it a bit differently!

I have ONE more question.

What would you guys recommend as a good beginning scope?These are my personal choices,but i'm always open to new ideas,and I want to hear from more experienced astronomers about what they recommend.I don't want something TOO small though!

And finally a BIG thanks to the guys/girls who responded!

nisatourpo

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Re: My first Telescope.
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2018, 03:30:05 PM »
For knowing 'almost everything about astronomy' you sure seem to be leaving a lot of information out here for us to deal with.

So, let's go through this, okay? What do you want to do with your telescope? Do you want to do just visual observation, do you want to maybe do some photography, the more specific the better the answers we can give you.

You've chosen four different focal lengths, from 1000mm on the 8" Newt to 2032mm on the SCT. DSOs aren't necessarily about long focal length and high magnification. Because many of them are so big, you'll actually need a smaller, fast scope to see them. Planets, on the other hand will show up the best in the SCT, but you don't have a mount for it. Chesterguy makes a huge point here, if you are spending $700-900 on the scope, do you have a 50% reserve set aside for everything else?

What kind of car do your parents have that will haul you and your gear around? A 75 pound 12" Dob is going to be huge! The scope itself will be over 5' tall, so I hope your parents have a pick up truck to drive you around in. You'll also need a way to secure the telescope so that it doesn't move during transport. The 10" scope isn't much smaller, the OTA is about 4 feet long. Both telescopes are heavy, and I don't care how old you are, or what kind of condition you're in, it gets real old real fast having to load up a telescope into a vehicle, drive whatever distance, unload it, wait for it to cool (you DO know about a temperature stabilization, right). Then, after you get done, you have to pack it all up and drive it home. The heavier the telescope, the longer the cool down time. Don't discount that time, either, since the larger the telescope, the more time it will take to cool down to ambient. Only then will you get good views. Other than that, it's going to be like looking through water that someone just tossed a pebble into. Are you parents willing to stay out until 2 a.m. or so, or come pick you up?

Are you going to stand all the time? With a Push To telescope like the Dobs, unless you have a viewing chair.

https://www.optcorp....hair-black.html

These are especially useful for DSOs, where it will take your eye a while to sort out the details of the object. By the way, what kind of DSOs are you planning on looking at? You do realize that even with the higher 'power' of the Dobs and the SCT, you're still not going to see too much other than faint fuzzies. Heck, I was looking at M31 through a 16" Dob with a very wide field eyepiece, and it was very difficult to make out anything but the central core. If your expectation of looking through any of these telescopes and seeing vibrant, colorful objects, save your money and buy a new game console, because it's not happening.

Next, go to this website and select 'Detailed Simulation.'

http://www.stelvisio...cope-simulator/

Put in the specifics for your telescopes, you'll need to do one at a time. Check the Suggest Eyepieces and then run the simulation. Follow the instructions on the page, and then look at what you'll probably see. I'm not a visual observer, but the few times I've put an eyepiece to a telescope, and I've tested with my setup, it's pretty darned accurate, if not a bit on the 'brighter' side. Of course, seeing conditions, light pollution and a variety of other factors have to be taken into account. Since you live in a Red Zone, that's going to substantially decrease your viewing options, as you should be aware.

As to the 8" Newt, you have 16.5 pounds of telescope riding on a mount that can support a max of 20 pounds. Not exactly what I would call the best idea. Sure, Orion bundles it that way, but it's primarily for beginners who don't know any better. The problem is, that this is CG-4 class, and there are a few mounts in this class, but they really are the heaviest duty mounts before you get into motorized/GoTo mounts. Someone else mentioned that as you follow something across the sky, the actual position of the telescope eyepiece is going to change in relationship to you, so you'll have to adjust the telescope by rotating it in it's rings to keep the eyepiece and focuser in a comfortable position.

Personally, I think the Celestron SCT is a great lunar and planetary scope, and will function pretty well on smaller, brighter DSOs. But, it's far from a wide field scope. It's relatively lightweight, smaller and easy to carry, and with the addition of a f/6.3 flattener/reducer, it will brighten up the sky and reduce the focal length down to a length between the 12" and 10" Dobs, at 1280mm.

But, you need a mount for it. Now, you COULD use any of the CG-4 class mounts for it. You'll need to add a Polar Alignment scope to the package as well, not to mention your eyepieces, the reducer/flattener and you're still dealing with the cool down times. Furthermore finding and tracking objects manually in that scope is not going to be easy, which is why a motorized, go to mount is recommended for that.

You've asked for recommendations, and here are my two for you.

First, a Celestron 6SE. This is a Celestron 6" SCT on an Alt/Az goto mount. It's very easy to use for visual observation and once aligned, it will go to your object and keep it in the eyepiece. Once aligned, you can also manually slew the telescope to whatever object in the sky, without using the GoTo feature, and it will track that object and keep it in view.

http://www.highpoint...-bundle-package

It comes with a set of Celestron Plossl eyepieces to get you started, an AC adapter, and a 'PowerTank' portable battery for powering the mount away from household power. It's $900, and has free shipping. It breaks down into three parts, the telescope, the tripod and the mount head. Makes it much easier to travel to your viewing location in smaller vehicles, and doesn't take that much to set up.

You can also get the aforementioned f/6.3 flattener/reducer for the 6SE.

http://www.highpoint...corrector-94175

Next us is the Celestron XLT150 Newtonian reflector on a CG-4 mount. At 12 pounds, this telescope should ride much better on the CG-4 mount than the Orion 8" will on what amounts to the same mount.
This also includes a Polar Alignment scope, which with an Equatorial Mount you will need to have and to learn how to use. It also comes with a two axis motor drive. The drive is NOT a GoTo system, it simply is a drive motor to keep the telescope on target. Once you find and center your target, you engage the motor system, turn it on, and it will track in R.A., while, if necessary, you can bump the Dec axis once in a while. You will need to purchase some eyepieces to go with it. Personally, I prefer Meade over Celestron in the entry level Eyepiece market, but that's just me.

http://www.highpoint...lter-set-607001

You could also get a Zoom eyepiece. Again, I like Meade over Celestron, but neither compares the Baader Mk IV

http://www.highpoint...yepiece-07199-2

http://www.highpoint...epiece-hyp-zoom

Really, truly and honestly, for what you want to do, get the Celestron 6SE, you'll be happy with that bundle, it will get you started, and you won't have nearly as much to worry about down the road. Later on, when you get your own vehicle and can travel the one to two hours to get to a dark site, then you can consider moving up to a larger Dob.

Rick Reiter

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Re: My first Telescope.
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2018, 12:46:00 PM »
Have you considered the Skywatcher collapsible dobsonians? I just purchased one, and am wait for it in the mail. I was impressed how it is supposedly only 36 inches high when collapsed. This would allow me to place the tube vertically in a single back seat in my car. Try to really think about this long term I think.

Also I am assuming $800-900 what your saying you want to spend, is only for the scope and not including many accessories???

I reviewed choices of dobs, and for me, and from what I was wanting, and for my price range this was the best choice. I think the Skywatcher brand has a good reputation, and there are many positive reviews of this scope I found.

It should arrive in a few days, and im willing to answer any questions that I can, about it when it arrives.

I would look into it. Im sure whatever you end up spending youll love
Dont sit on the fence for too long like I did. I could have realistically bought earlier than I did.

nontpremlapi

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Re: My first Telescope.
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2018, 02:05:19 PM »
GaryCurran[/url],Thanks a lot for the information!

As I said i my last post, regarding about the phrase that I used,I could have worded it a bit differently.I am implying that I know the basics of astronomy,and I figured that in the "beginner's" Forum,most of the thread starters DON'T know much about astronomy, for why else would they be starting a thread.Sorry for the confusion.

I do know that the images won't be "Hubble-like" images, but that simulation website really helped me out!

I have mentioned what I wanted to observe,but i'll clarify it further:
Galaxies
nebulae
binary systems
Planets
And mabye later on the Sun,but not right now.

My parents are willing to support my ambitions,even if It means to drive and pick me up.They are the best.

I will check if I have space for the scope's I mentioned, because so far nobody has mentioned the length of a 12" or a 10",but I think I have the space.Thanks to you of course!

I like the telescope choices,except there really is one problem.I've been saving money for something this big,and I very likley won't have 8-900$ until my job in the future.So that is the reason I want the biggest aperture possible, so it will keep me busy.I was actually saving money to buy the Celestron Nextstar 6se,But once I reached the goal,I realized I might as well keep on saving for a couple more months(5 exactly).

Thanks a lot!

Edward Johnston

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Re: My first Telescope.
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2018, 06:46:49 PM »
Quote
The 12" is a monster. I loved mine. This is a picture of me and my old 12" Orion which is the same size as the Z12.

Now not to bash you or your Orion, but pictures of 12 inch solid tubes like this, are definitely the reason I steered clear from buying one. I just could not transport it, Id need a van or truck. Many people do, and its not issue, but that looks insanely big, like a serious water heater. I could never see my self taking it on like a road trip or something, or a longer distance multi day trip.
Was it a real hassle? Im sure it threw up great images

snowcadere

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Re: My first Telescope.
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2018, 02:16:23 AM »
ThanksSpockk[/url]for your opinion!

,Good Rack-and-pinion focusers are amazing,But I would take any focuser that comes with a beginner telescope with a grain of salt.If that answere's your question.

Thank's a lot!