Author Topic: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.  (Read 404 times)

exjeraca

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 127
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2018, 06:12:35 AM »
Quote
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

I ruled out reflectors mainly because of collimating.

laucongsnagal

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 122
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2018, 07:16:02 AM »
maybe a small camera bag to carry her own eyepieces in too.
Then in time let her select the type of scope she wants.

brentioscaraph

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 109
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2018, 12:36:58 PM »
What do you guys think of a explore scientific 127 f6.5. On a vixen porta mount 2 ?

exmartata

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 115
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2018, 03:00:46 AM »
Hello, and welcome,

"I would like to keep the scope to a refractor so she does not have to mess with collimating."

I would think that the Nexstar mount is already maxed out with the 4" refractor.

What would not seem to be a worthwhile jump from a 4" aperture to a 5" aperture among other telescope designs, among refractors the jump to an extra inch is a bit more worthwhile...

http://explorescient...-ar1271200maz01

However, given the length and bulk of that 5" f/9.4 refractor, the mount that comes with it would struggle a bit. The refractor is really under-mounted with the manual Twilight I alt-azimuth mount. Also, the refractor is of a long focal-length(1200mm), and would not be that conducive to wide-field views. It would, however, exhibit much less false colour when viewing brighter objects, and when compared to this shorter 5" f/5...

http://www.telescope.../346/p/9836.uts

That one may mount on the NexStar, but only if its weight would not prematurely wear out the motors and gears of the mount. But that fast 5" f/5 refractor is bare-bones; no tube-rings, dovetail, finderscope or diagonal; and fitting it out may end up costing the same as this one...

https://www.bhphotov...2,&A=details&Q=

That one is also offered on the manual Twilight I...

https://www.bhphotov...2,&A=details&Q=

It, too, however, may also be under-mounted on the Twilight I. The telescope/mount pairings decided upon by the manufacturers are what they are. Owners of these kits sometimes employ do-it-yourself mods and such to make the Twilight I stronger, the mounting-arm that holds the telescope in particular; bracings of metal, plates and bars, for example.

In addition, those two shorter refractors are achromats, and would only be suitable for the dimmer deep-space objects primarily if not exclusively. When aimed at brighter objects, the objects would be surrounded by a halo of false colour, and the image would be less sharp as a result...

https://i.ytimg.com/...Q/hqdefault.jpgI have a 4" refractor myself...
However, for a brighter and somewhat wider view, I really had no other recourse but to choose a 6" f/5 Newtonian...
I've had a blast with it; so much so that I'm in the process of enhancing the telescope further to make it the best that it can be. Newtonians are the handyman's, or tinkerer's, telescope. In so doing, I've found it to be quite rewarding, especially there at the eyepiece. The powers range from a low and wide 19x, to 250x and beyond with the aid of 2x and 3x barlows, and for observing practically everything in the night sky. The manual alt-azimuth mount has slow-motion controls and allows for ease in pointing the telescope to any area of the sky; straight up even is possible, towards the zenith...

http://agenaastro.co...ltaz-mount.html
http://www.highpoint...CFQQMaQody80B2A

Collimating a Newtonian is not to be dreaded that much...

http://www.forumskyl...Collimation.pdf

Once the telescope is collimated properly, it then only needs a minor and occasional adjustment now and then.This is the manual for the refractor kit that you have now...

http://www.celestron...T_Manual_sm.pdf

The NexStar mount looks to have a Vixen-style dovetail clamp. The following wide-field telescopes could be removed from their kit-mounts and transferred over to the NexStar in seconds...

I have this one...https://www.telescop...ector-telescope

http://agenaastro.co...CFVm4wAod0bYFHw

The 100mm f/4 would not be brighter than the refractor, but it would offer wider fields-of-view. The 114mm f/4 Newtonians might be somewhat brighter, and also with wider views. Also, f/4 Newtonians are fond of better-quality and corrective eyepieces.

These 5" f/5 Newtonians might be doable on the NexStar, but I'd be careful when balancing and motioning them on the NexStar...

http://agenaastro.co...CFQe1wAodd1wEMQ
https://www.telescop...ector-telescope

The two would be somewhat brighter than the refractor, and still with wider views. The Zhumell Z130 has tube-rings, which would allow for rotation of the tube for more comfortable eye placement.

larterpchaka

  • Jr. Astronomer
  • **
  • Posts: 99
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2018, 03:14:34 AM »
Quote
What do you guys think of a explore scientific 127 f6.5. On a vixen porta mount 2 ?

For improved stability...

http://agenaastro.co...ltaz-mount.html

pafunsirep

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2018, 03:56:59 AM »
If she already has a 4" refractor I'd recommend getting a 10" Dobsonian.

anficonco

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 135
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2018, 11:36:50 PM »
Even under a really dark sky, I seldom recommend scopes that are smaller than 4" .. so I think your grand daughter is well catered for. As others have commented, an 8" Dobsonian would be the next logical step in terms of ight gathering. However, even with 45 years' experience, I still find Dobsonians unintuitive to use. Others take to them...

As an alternative - I really enjoy scanning through the sky at low power and have found that binoviewers make this an even more rewarding practice. Of course, binoviewers require pairs of eyepieces, they're heavy and they can demand a lot of back-focus. The Black Night model has a large clear aperture and can be configured to work on most scopes.

On reflection, this may run a bit outside your budget but I found using two eyes relaxed my brain and changed my observing enormously.

Jaimeylos Chiessa

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 120
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2018, 08:53:57 AM »
Quote
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.

Think you have the answer right here! It's her's

Incredible scope.

Bobby Javier

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 115
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2018, 07:36:05 PM »
Disney World has pretty horrible light pollution. My wife and I go there every year and besides the Moon and planets I've only noticed a handful of stars.
That said, if you have decided against reflectors then a high quality short tube refractor in the 80/85mm range on a simple Alt/Az mount seems to be the key. It is much easier to sweep the heavens that way. My 70mm Televue Pronto cradled in an upswing mount and camera tripod is extreemly convenient,
requires no power, alignment or use of altitude or azimuth cables. Rigs like this can be had from time to time cheaply.
Cliff

dogswargersdurch

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 104
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2018, 04:25:20 PM »
"I would like to keep the scope to a refractor so she does not have to mess with collimating."

Orion sells their AstroView 120ST for $600. It can be upgraded to a 2" dual speed Crayford and seems quite portable. I'm thinking of getting one myself.

Lamont Cox

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 123
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #25 on: January 25, 2018, 06:38:14 PM »
Quote
Quote

What do you guys think of a explore scientific 127 f6.5. On a vixen porta mount 2 ?

For improved stability...

http://agenaastro.co...ltaz-mount.html
I like that, and I can afford it. Thanks

Matt Gibson

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2018, 04:41:47 AM »
Quote
Quote

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.

Think you have the answer right here! It's her's

Incredible scope.
LOL. I was selling it last fall. She said hey! I thought I was getting that when I am older. Took it off of Craigslist immediately

Brandon Garrido

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 103
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2018, 05:55:51 AM »
Quote
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

Wow.
A great scope for her would be a 6" f/8 dob.
That's WAY under budget, so spend the extra $ on a set of 60° eyepieces to cover 50-200x and maybe a UHC-type nebula filter, and you have the perfect gift.
Ideal for scanning the skies. Plenty of aperture to see deeper than the 4". Easy to set up and use.
Easy for a 12 year old to transport. Maximum field with 1.25"--1.27°, with 2"--2.16°, nice wide fields.
Collimation is very uncritical. Eyepiece height ideal for sitting by a young person.
I started at 12 with a 4.25" equatorial reflector on a heavy pier mount and I could only have dreamed about an easy-to-use 6" scope.

Darkz Tousa

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2018, 08:35:59 AM »
Quote
What do you guys think of a explore scientific 127 f6.5. On a vixen porta mount 2 ?

I think that is spending a lot of money for not a dramatic difference. Porta II for her 4" maybe and call it good? If reflectors are out then you aren't going to get a much better wide field scope than what she has. At least the AR127 is higher quality than her Celestron.

I need to collimate my OO F4.8 newt 2-3 times a year. You could check the collimation when she visits. If she is a low power sweeper type than collimation is less critical. Bottom line is you are not going to get a dramatic upgrade unless you go newt. The OO comes with hand figured 1/10th (or so) optics, better focuser, cooling fan, probably shorter and lighter. Personally I wouldn't put an AR 127 on a Porta II. I know some people do it, and maybe it's ok for low power. But the OO 6" F5 newt would be better on that mount. And probably about the same price as the AR127. I would either just get her a Porta II or get the OO or similar 6" F5 newt with the Porta II. I wouldn't get an AR127 with a porta II. Not stable enough, and not that different than what she already has.

Scott

Jeremy Swaine

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 124
  • Activity:
    0%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Some advice please on a scope for my granddaughters birthday.
« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2018, 12:33:46 PM »
Thinking again...

She's ready using a GoTo tracking mount, the Nexstar.

Suggesting moving to a total manual setup and new scope means she has to re-learn everything and fuss with "finding" stuff. This may matter a lot in terms of getting something new.

Do you want to get a new scope that compliments the current refractor and remains on the Nexstar mount?
Or are you looking to add a new system to compliment the Nexstar mount that is simply bigger/more aperture/etc?

Very best,