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Old 2021-10-31, 17:51   #1
Till
 
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"Tilman Neumann"
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Default Advice on buying a telescope?

Hi all,
my son got a very cheap telescope a few years ago. Now he is getting more interested and complains that the planets are mostly a blur.

He suggested that there are telescopes now in the 300 euro range that could show the planets quite well. Bresser and Celestron seem to be the most common brands there. Lets take this one as an example: https://www.amazon.de/Bresser-parabo...XFF290QP9WW4HS

But investigating on myself, I found some reviews telling me that those telescope are still not very useful to see the planets in detail. Instead someone there suggested that a 200mm Dobson (costing around 500 euro) is much better:
https://www.amazon.de/Unbekannt-Skyw...XFF290QP9WW4HS

Anyone having some suggestions in these price ranges?
Manageability (ease of use, calibration, transport) should be a criterion, too.

Any advice appreciated
Till

Last fiddled with by Till on 2021-10-31 at 18:02 Reason: Manageability
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Old 2021-10-31, 18:27   #2
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You'll get a much better answer shortly from xilman, but in the mean time it may be worth reading this
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Old 2021-10-31, 19:41   #3
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Thanks Nick,
that looks like a great guide, and I'll read it carefully.

I'ld still like to see some particular products mentioned if possible.

Last fiddled with by Till on 2021-10-31 at 19:41
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Old 2021-11-01, 11:55   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
You'll get a much better answer shortly from xilman, but in the mean time it may be worth reading this
TBH, I doubt that I could do better than that article.

By far the most important things to consider are what you want to do with the kit and how much do you want to spend on the complete outfit, which is more than just the optics.

I learned the trade with 7x50 binoculars, an undriven equatorially mounted 200mm Newtonian and Norton's Star Atlas. That was before the availability of Dobsonian mounts. Starting over today I would probably go for a 150-250mm Dobsonian and a pair of eyepieces around 10mm and 25mm focal length but I am a VS not a planetary observer.
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Old 2021-11-01, 12:50   #5
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Quote:
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but I am a VS not a planetary observer.
Please forgive my ignorance; what's a VS in this context?
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Old 2021-11-01, 14:36   #6
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Well. After reading the guide and xilman's answer, the Skywatcher Dobson 200 I mentioned in the beginning looks like a pretty good choice, I think. It already comes with 10mm and 25mm oculars. In some review of that telescope someone said that an additional 7mm ocular would be particularly appropriate to observe planets.

But first I'll ask my son how he wants to use it. Although we are living in the country side, light pollution is quite high here. If he wants to take the telescope to the near Harz mountains, carrying 26 pounds might not be that much fun. And if he wants to watch birds or other terrestial objects as well it would have to be a refractor I'ld guess.

Last fiddled with by Till on 2021-11-01 at 14:36 Reason: whitespace
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Old 2021-11-01, 19:57   #7
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Quote:
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Please forgive my ignorance; what's a VS in this context?
Sorry for the jargon. Variable star.
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Old 2021-11-01, 20:01   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Till View Post
Well. After reading the guide and xilman's answer, the Skywatcher Dobson 200 I mentioned in the beginning looks like a pretty good choice, I think. It already comes with 10mm and 25mm oculars. In some review of that telescope someone said that an additional 7mm ocular would be particularly appropriate to observe planets.

But first I'll ask my son how he wants to use it. Although we are living in the country side, light pollution is quite high here. If he wants to take the telescope to the near Harz mountains, carrying 26 pounds might not be that much fun. And if he wants to watch birds or other terrestial objects as well it would have to be a refractor I'ld guess.
It very quickly becomes second nature to look at trees, mountains, birds, etc upside down so don't let that influence you too much. Anyway, an erecting eyepiece doesn't cost that much.

The weight issue is more important, IMAO, but I personally don't find 26lb much of a problem.
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Old 2021-11-01, 20:30   #9
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Quote:
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The weight issue is more important, IMAO, but I personally don't find 26lb much of a problem.
I *really* enjoy reading your writing. Seriously.

I was wondering something that might be considered profoundly stupid. I'm OK if it is actually stupid. Very happy to be corrected if I'm going down a rabbit hole.

Could our relatively inexpensive optical sensors get so good, working with *exact* time, that we could "crowdsource" a synthetic detector?

I understand the whole concept of rotating frames of reference, red-shift, etc.

Could volunteers provide meaningful measurements for the science being done nowadays?

I would truly welcome your feedback on this. I, and others, have very dark skies.

Money is just a number in a spreadsheet. If there is value, the money comes.

Last fiddled with by chalsall on 2021-11-01 at 20:32 Reason: s/to be correct/to be corrected/; # I'm actually really quite humble.
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Old 2021-11-01, 21:20   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
It very quickly becomes second nature to look at trees, mountains, birds, etc upside down so don't let that influence you too much. Anyway, an erecting eyepiece doesn't cost that much.

Oh, you mean one can use any telescope to look at "trees, mountains, birds, etc", even if it is called "Stargazer" or the like ? I did not understand that so far ;-)
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Old 2021-11-01, 21:50   #11
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Quote:
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Could our relatively inexpensive optical sensors get so good, working with *exact* time, that we could "crowdsource" a synthetic detector?
To my understanding not for interferometry, as one needs a fraction of a wavelength of the light. Optical is small radio is large. But, these have been used to determine the shape of 486958 Arrokoth and as community (or citizen) scientist contributing to the shape of the moon using transit/occultation timing data (along with exact locations on the earth.
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