Author Topic: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.  (Read 411 times)

settmagganen

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Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« on: December 27, 2017, 09:54:33 PM »
Hello, I would like to get some advice for a scope for my granddaughter. She is turning 12 in 3 weeks.  She is NOT new to telescopes. She currently has a celestron 102gt for the last 3 years.
She loves astronomy. Where none of my kids when they were younger were attracted to it. She loves it. She will get behind the eyepiece and just slowly scan the entire night sky. She does know how to use the hand control after I align it. But she always ends up just scanning the night sky.
I have the first time she saw M13 she discovered by scanning the night sky burnt into my head. I was inside getting coffee and she comes running in Grandpa I found something. She was so excited.
The only time I take cpc1100 out is when she is staying a weekend at our house. If she is not there I do not take the scope out.
i have $600 to spend. I was thinking of just a ota to go on her nexstar mount. I was thinking something with a wider field. I want it be a good quality ota. So many options out there that I bang my head against a wall. Please throw some options my way.
thanks



Tawakal Stahlberg

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Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2017, 05:14:52 AM »
A 6" F5 would be a good low power sweeper. Double the light grasp too. There are some higher quality but not super pricey premium options available from Europe, such as Telescope Service or Orion Optics (which is also sold by TS). Or the Celestron Omni series is available in US and has a 2" focuser.

if she is a star sweeper, she will probably be much happier with a manual alt az mount like Versago. No idea if Nexstar will handle a 6" OTA. Looks like Celestron sells it with a 5" but no more. From the looks of the tripod you just aren't going to get much more than that short tube 4" refractor on that mount.

Scott

moiquadachus

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Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2017, 11:40:56 PM »
I would go for aperture. A 6" or 8", but it will probably not fit (as the previous poster said). I star sweeped when I was young and found a couple things, but I would definitely keep with GOTO. But if you go manual, then you can easily afford an 8" dobsonian, or even a 10". She will definitely have to star hop with that, and if she enjoys that, then that is probably what I would get.

neukascome

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Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2017, 02:07:00 AM »
Terrific that you are considering doing this for her. I've been a science teacher for 12yr olds for decades and know how much they can love science and astronomy but can get stuck without the help of a parent or other family member. So kudos to you.

One obvious telescope to consider is an 8" dobsonian like the Orion XT 8". For $600, you can help her get the OTA as well as a couple of good eyepieces and perhaps a green laser finder. This would be a nice complement to her 4" refractor. A small hand truck might be needed since it may be too much weight for a 12 yr old to carry. Lucky kid!

Sean Schaefer

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Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2017, 08:46:12 AM »
Orion Optics:http://www.orionopti.../VX/vx6-6l.html
the TS model I see now has a carbon fiber tube and is a bit beyond your budget. Especially if you also need a mount.

Scott

alinvibee

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Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2018, 02:54:30 AM »
Quote
A 6" F5 would be a good low power sweeper. Double the light grasp too. There are some higher quality but not super pricey premium options available from Europe, such as Telescope Service or Orion Optics (which is also sold by TS). Or the Celestron Omni series is available in US and has a 2" focuser.

if she is a star sweeper, she will probably be much happier with a manual alt az mount like Versago. No idea if Nexstar will handle a 6" OTA. Looks like Celestron sells it with a 5" but no more. From the looks of the tripod you just aren't going to get much more than that short tube 4" refractor on that mount.

Scott

I do have a vixen porta mount 2 that I use with my solar scope. I think that might be able to handle more then the nexstar.

Jim Snyder

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Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 05:12:34 AM »
Quote
Terrific that you are considering doing this for her. I've been a science teacher for 12yr olds for decades and know how much they can love science and astronomy but can get stuck without the help of a parent or other family member. So kudos to you.

One obvious telescope to consider is an 8" dobsonian like the Orion XT 8". For $600, you can help her get the OTA as well as a couple of good eyepieces and perhaps a green laser finder. This would be a nice complement to her 4" refractor. A small hand truck might be needed since it may be too much weight for a 12 yr old to carry. Lucky kid!

Thanks, she is my girl!  You should hear her play the drums! Kid know 2 Led Zeppelin songs by heart lol and plays in rock bands they form at her music school. Wife and I pretty much raised her. She and my son moved in with us when she was 1. Her dad bought a house last year, but she still spends every other weekend with us.

I would like to keep the scope to a refractor so she does not have to mess with collimating. I want it to be something that will serve her well for many years to come. For now the scopes will stay at my house. When she is a little older she can take it to her house. My son shows no interest in astronomy and I am sure he will not go out and help her set it up.

Darren Hatch

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Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 10:50:44 PM »
Does she own binoculars? If not, then that's my recommendation. Not too heavy ones, maybe 8x40 or even 8x35. Easily handheld anyway.

If going for high end, light, really good looking, for example these: http://www.telescope...71/p/103507.uts

Multi purpose is a bonus. "Astronomical" binoculars have a tendency for being a bit too heavy.

longtichaten

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Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 12:41:12 AM »
She has a 4" refractor now. I can't think of anything that would improve on that, and still ride that mount reasonably well. Maybe a 6" F5 newt? From the way it looks though that scope might have clearance issues with the mount...

I believe if you want to improve the views the next logical step is a 6-8" dob. The 6" might not have much more light grasp than the frac (secondary considerations) but it would likely be F8 which would improve planetary views I'd think, and should be in the just manageable range. The 8" would definately improve the views all around, but might take some growing into.

Binoculars is a good idea too for a natural born sky sweeper.

William Mendoza

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Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2018, 03:30:29 AM »
Eyepieces? A zoom?
Variable polarizing 2 piece filter?

Jim Parker

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Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2018, 07:50:00 AM »
Heya,

Aperture will reveal more, so I too will lean towards a 6 inch reflector of some kind, like the F5 ones. There's also a 6 inch F6 that is nice, to avoid the cost of coma correction and it's easier on eyepieces. Or you could move into the 8 inch aperture range with a dob.

Nexstar mounts can only take a certain size/weight, so after something like 17~22 inches (have to read manual) it will not clear and the weight is limited. So if you want to enhance what's already on the Nexstar mount, maybe an SCT like the 6SE or a C6A, as that will fit on them for sure, and are nice, well within budget.

Very best,

plicoptorol

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Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2018, 08:24:17 AM »
Wow that sounds like a great kid.

I have the GT mount and over the next couple of days I will see if it can handle a 6" f/5 newt.
Dob is an excellent Idea for big light grasp. You could set both up, and she can use goto
to see where something is then see if she can find it in the DOB once she knows the general area.
Another thing to consider would be an orion st80.  Very wide field for sweeping.
It will definitely fit on your gt, if it has a standard dovetail.

You could also improve the gt performance. It will handle light weight 2" eyepieces.
You could get a 30 - 40 mm 2" eyepiece and a mirror diagonal. That would give her a wider view.
If you go this route keep the weight down Some 2" eyepieces are monsters.

Antares makes a 80mm f/6 telescope with a 2" focuser, that would be awesome.
This is mostly sold in canada. It is hard to find down here.

Good luck, and have fun.

monsresiwor

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Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2018, 08:32:48 AM »
Quote
Does she own binoculars? If not, then that's my recommendation. Not too heavy ones, maybe 8x40 or even 8x35. Easily handheld anyway.

If going for high end, light, really good looking, for example these: http://www.telescope...71/p/103507.uts

Multi purpose is a bonus. "Astronomical" binoculars have a tendency for being a bit too heavy.

I do have 2 pair of binoculars 10x60 mariner. Orion resolux 15x70. I want a scope mainly because she mentioned she would like a better scope last summer. I figure this would be a nice surprise.. especially since she has not mentioned it in so long.

suppsilzuning

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Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2018, 12:31:51 AM »
Quote
Wow that sounds like a great kid.

I have the GT mount and over the next couple of days I will see if it can handle a 6" f/5 newt.
Dob is an excellent Idea for big light grasp. You could set both up, and she can use goto
to see where something is then see if she can find it in the DOB once she knows the general area.
Another thing to consider would be an orion st80.  Very wide field for sweeping.
It will definitely fit on your gt, if it has a standard dovetail.

You could also improve the gt performance. It will handle light weight 2" eyepieces.
You could get a 30 - 40 mm 2" eyepiece and a mirror diagonal. That would give her a wider view.
If you go this route keep the weight down Some 2" eyepieces are monsters.

Antares makes a 80mm f/6 telescope with a 2" focuser, that would be awesome.
This is mostly sold in canada. It is hard to find down here.

Good luck, and have fun

An 80mm is definitely under consideration . And would be very nice to bring to fort wilderness at Disney. It's where we go on vacation every summer. We usually bring the GT and the binoculars there. Would like more aperture because I want it to be a scope she will use often for the next few years

seucamthepo

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Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2018, 03:19:58 AM »
Upside of a Dob - you can go up to 8" of aperture for as little as $400 or get a nicer, more accessorized model that is still in your budget. 4" to 8" is a huge difference.

Upside of a 6" F5 newt on an alt az mount - considerably wider FOV. Up to over a 3 deg FOV compared to the 8" Dob maxing out about 2 deg. Also the newt on the tripod is nicer ergonomically because it is adjustable height (which can adjust as she grows) and the tube is short, so the eyepiece position doesn't change as much when moving to different parts of the sky. And 6" is a big improvement over 4". Big, but not huge,

To me it comes down to getting better views of targets with a larger aperture instrument that is a bit less affected by coma and collimation, or getting a true low power sweeper because that is how she likes to observe, The 8" Dob has close to twice the focal length of the refractor she currently uses, so she will immediately be looking at a much smaller FOV unless you also get a wide field 2" eyepiece to go with it. Personally I feel like 8" of aperture is sort of a minimum for serious DSO observing, so I would lean that way. But what it really comes down to is this, is her joy in the destination or the journey? If her joy is in the destination, the 8" Dob will show better views of the targets. If the joy is in the journey, the 6" newt on alt az will be more pleasurable to use and help her find more targets more quickly. So does she mostly get excited about having found something, or is she more excited about how it looks?

Scott