Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Wahoo

Astronomy Telescopes

Recommended Posts

Hi Folks,

Anyone here know about / involved in astronomy?

I'm thinking of buying a reflector scope. They seem pretty good value to me.

Does anyone have any advice? What makes a good scope, price, power, motor controlled, SATNAV controlled etc.

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Folks,

Anyone here know about / involved in astronomy?

I'm thinking of buying a reflector scope. They seem pretty good value to me.

Does anyone have any advice? What makes a good scope, price, power, motor controlled, SATNAV controlled etc.

Thanks.

If you are considering going for some serious hardware you may consider buying a book, there is one called "Starware".

Worth spending a few quid on a book before you dive in.

On the other hand the book is pretty complex. You could just go for a cheapo and see how it works out. Some points :

Do you intend to view from your back garden or somewhere else ? If so portability is an issue.

If you intend to view from your garden how bad is the light pollution ?

Remember viewing is best done on cold clear nights. So involves spending some time in the cold unless you do something a bit more clever than the usual set up. And in case you are thinking of doing it from the roof of your house, consider that the rising heat will degrade the quality of the images considerably.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive seen some good spirals in the direction of neighbours bedroom, just between Venus and Uranus....I use a nice pair of mini binoculars and a warm black Mac.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd start with a pair of binoculars, so you get to know your way around the sky and work out what you want to look at in more detail. They're also good for wider-angle views that your average home telescope and eyepiece won't be able to encompass - the Pleiades are a great sight through binoculars at this time of year.

Once you want a telescope then a simple reflector is a good start. I'd certainly not go for a fancy computer-controlled thing straight away unless you're intending to try to take lots of photographs through it. Having to do everything manually is a very good way of knowing what's what, and will probably help when you eventually get the computer-controlled wizardry (I suppose; I've never used one).

Although I've been happy-ish with a fairly bulky simple Newtonian reflector a more compact design is probably worth paying a little bit more for, particularly if you're going to want to put it in the car and drive off to somewhere with dark skies.

I suppose about 6" is a good aperture to start with.

Another suggestion is to find a local astronomy club who'll have equipment, so you can get to know what's what without having to spend a lot of money.

Bear in mind you're never going to see anything that looks like NASA pictures. The most you'll see of any galaxy visually is a fuzzy blob, although even a small scope will show up the rings of Saturn and cloud bands on Jupiter. Jupiter's moons can be seen with binoculars; I've also picked them up with the zoom lens that came with my low-end digital SLR camera.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd start with a pair of binoculars, so you get to know your way around the sky and work out what you want to look at in more detail. They're also good for wider-angle views that your average home telescope and eyepiece won't be able to encompass - the Pleiades are a great sight through binoculars at this time of year.

Once you want a telescope then a simple reflector is a good start. I'd certainly not go for a fancy computer-controlled thing straight away unless you're intending to try to take lots of photographs through it. Having to do everything manually is a very good way of knowing what's what, and will probably help when you eventually get the computer-controlled wizardry (I suppose; I've never used one).

Although I've been happy-ish with a fairly bulky simple Newtonian reflector a more compact design is probably worth paying a little bit more for, particularly if you're going to want to put it in the car and drive off to somewhere with dark skies.

I suppose about 6" is a good aperture to start with.

Another suggestion is to find a local astronomy club who'll have equipment, so you can get to know what's what without having to spend a lot of money.

Bear in mind you're never going to see anything that looks like NASA pictures. The most you'll see of any galaxy visually is a fuzzy blob, although even a small scope will show up the rings of Saturn and cloud bands on Jupiter. Jupiter's moons can be seen with binoculars; I've also picked them up with the zoom lens that came with my low-end digital SLR camera.

+1 to the advice on bins. Although it's worth adding that you need a good support mechanism.

One more thing about telescopes which often confuses the amateur, it's the light gathering area of the primary optic that is the key issue, not the magnification.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One more thing about telescopes which often confuses the amateur, it's the light gathering area of the primary optic that is the key issue, not the magnification.

Lots of magnification is great for making people feel unsteady. Point at something near the equator, show them how quickly it moves across the field of view, then point out to them that that's the Earth spinning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

good support or tripod is esential..even with binoculars.

You can just about make out the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, but the shake makes it very hard to enjoy the view.

levering on a window and yuo soon fog everything up...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

good support or tripod is esential..even with binoculars.

You can just about make out the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, but the shake makes it very hard to enjoy the view.

levering on a window and yuo soon fog everything up...

If the wife is smaller than you she can make an ideal low cost tripod. Elbows on the shoulders, bins on the head. Make sure you yell at her every couple of minutes to keep still.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the wife is smaller than you she can make an ideal low cost tripod. Elbows on the shoulders, bins on the head. Make sure you yell at her every couple of minutes to keep still.

where would I put my beer?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd start with a pair of binoculars, so you get to know your way around the sky and work out what you want to look at in more detail. They're also good for wider-angle views that your average home telescope and eyepiece won't be able to encompass - the Pleiades are a great sight through binoculars at this time of year.

Once you want a telescope then a simple reflector is a good start. I'd certainly not go for a fancy computer-controlled thing straight away unless you're intending to try to take lots of photographs through it. Having to do everything manually is a very good way of knowing what's what, and will probably help when you eventually get the computer-controlled wizardry (I suppose; I've never used one).

Although I've been happy-ish with a fairly bulky simple Newtonian reflector a more compact design is probably worth paying a little bit more for, particularly if you're going to want to put it in the car and drive off to somewhere with dark skies.

I suppose about 6" is a good aperture to start with.

Another suggestion is to find a local astronomy club who'll have equipment, so you can get to know what's what without having to spend a lot of money.

Bear in mind you're never going to see anything that looks like NASA pictures. The most you'll see of any galaxy visually is a fuzzy blob, although even a small scope will show up the rings of Saturn and cloud bands on Jupiter. Jupiter's moons can be seen with binoculars; I've also picked them up with the zoom lens that came with my low-end digital SLR camera.

Yup. Binoculars and a sturdy tripod. You'll always find a usefor the binoculars afterwards. even if you get a nice telescope Also I wouldn't get a higher magnification than 15. for the binoculars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for this. I've been using a pair of binoculars and can pretty well get around the constellations. Time to get more into it - I feel. I live in the rural south, so not too much light pollution.

What do you think of this one?

TELESCOPE

Basically, you punch in your exact coordinates from Google Earth. Add the exact date and time, then tell it which star to find. Amazingly, it will point straight at it. The focal length is 1500mm, which is pretty impressive.

Here's a vid of it locating a star:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive seen some good spirals in the direction of neighbours bedroom, just between Venus and Uranus....I use a nice pair of mini binoculars and a warm black Mac.

:lol::lol::lol:

Yes - thanks for this Bloo too.

(I wondered how long it would take for someone to cum up with uranus and black hole jokes!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

depends what you want to look at really

a refractor is best for planets and moons

a good tracking system is essential if you want to take

long exposure photos of galaxies and gas clouds etc

which is the only way to see the magnificent colours out there

use high speed film as well , high speed absorbs more light

but the higher you go the grainier the image

asa 800 is a good balance

I bought a 6 inch reflector ,but given the choice again

I would probably choose a refractor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

depends what you want to look at really

a refractor is best for planets and moons

a good tracking system is essential if you want to take

long exposure photos of galaxies and gas clouds etc

which is the only way to see the magnificent colours out there

use high speed film as well , high speed absorbs more light

but the higher you go the grainier the image

asa 800 is a good balance

I bought a 6 inch reflector ,but given the choice again

I would probably choose a refractor

+1

That Skywatcher MCT is a gorgeous scope and a much better scope than I'd start with. Goto's (motorised and computerised catalogues) are great and save so much time when finding objects.

You won't be disappointed with that scope and it will do everything well, especially imaging i reckon. But if you fell in love with solar system objects, you would probably then want that posh refracter too!

FTR, I'm still finding my way too and am leaning in the direction of a refractor. (a sod, as they're relatively expensive.)

There's great guides on http://stargazerslounge.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally speaking I'm not too keen on the idea of a refractor. Much more expensive, heavier and bulkier. Worth looking at if your main interest is in solar system objects and you're not going to want to move it around much, but not if you're after a more general use instrument. If you're interested in deep sky objects the extra cost is better spent on more aperture. All very much in my opinion.

There was a very interesting telescope when I was at university. Bits of it were various peoples' projects, it could be reconfigured into three or four different optical arrangements, and one of the finders was a naval gun sight. I never found out who thought that the turning should be based on two plates with oil forced between them to provide lubrication, that eventually ran out and dripped into an open tank to be pumped around again :/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Folks,

Anyone here know about / involved in astronomy?

I'm thinking of buying a reflector scope. They seem pretty good value to me.

Does anyone have any advice? What makes a good scope, price, power, motor controlled, SATNAV controlled etc.

Thanks.

I had a 4 inch and it was just not good enough to be anything other than...." Oh so they're the moons of jupiter". Great novelty factor but even with children only worth 5 minutes. If I'm ever in a position to own one again I shall be looking at 6 inch minimum but probably ten inches. The stars are and will ever always be just dots of light. Planets and moons though capture the child's imagination and interest

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A decent pair of binoculars will cost about £100. Very good way to start! And they have other uses!

A magnification of more than 10 will be a pain to hold still!

Should you need a 6 inch reflector, a £100 one will be a disappointment! I know because I had one!

The SkyWatcher range are reckoned to be very good! Well I have one, and I like it! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saw this thread and thought - "thats the one for me"!!!

turns out that there are a lot more amateur astronomers here than I had imagined.

All good advice so far.

As for myself - I don't like to brag, but I have a 14" dobsonian.

Its very heavy, very awkward, and doesn't get out much! I planned, of course, to have it housed in a run-off shed at the bottom of a sizeable garden by now, but thanks to Gordon C**t that's just not happened.

TBH my best advice would be to consider how/when you are going to use it. Car needed? It's usually cold when the sky is clear and most nights, most of us have to be at work the next morning, so you want to spend as little time as poss setting up. Join a club - it makes it way more fun. Personally - I pretty soon really wanted to do photography beyond the solar system - not easily done with my scope, but then again, I would have to spend 5 X the dosh to get the light gathering power on a portable computerised scope.

Basically I hardly ever use it now because I spend time with the kids rather than going out with the club, but thats also the same reason I keep it - because of the kids - one day they'll take an interest in the moon - and THEN..... dads gonna wheel the old lady out!.

As an interesting aside, I have been considering optics as a possible alternative store of wealth......

You cant counterfeit good optics.

relatively easily "assayed" - tested for quality

The market is limited - but always there - also not easily identified and coveted by the plebs.

Relatively portable and easily stored - when compared to classic cars/artwork etc

Little degradation if stored with care

No massive tech advances about to render it worthless. - unlike gold/diamonds, they are not going to discover a massive "seam" somewhere.

No speculative interest in it - no danger of a bubble forming.

Basically I'm considering a **** off 24" mirror packed with exceptional care!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As for myself - I don't like to brag, but I have a 14" dobsonian.

That's why I like HPC! :huh:

Nobody likes to brag here! :blink:

I recently read an article recommending smaller instruments, as they are less of an **** to set up, and you will be more likely to

get them out and see someting! :huh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saw this thread and thought - "thats the one for me"!!!

turns out that there are a lot more amateur astronomers here than I had imagined.

All good advice so far.

As for myself - I don't like to brag, but I have a 14" dobsonian.

Its very heavy, very awkward, and doesn't get out much! I planned, of course, to have it housed in a run-off shed at the bottom of a sizeable garden by now, but thanks to Gordon C**t that's just not happened.

TBH my best advice would be to consider how/when you are going to use it. Car needed? It's usually cold when the sky is clear and most nights, most of us have to be at work the next morning, so you want to spend as little time as poss setting up. Join a club - it makes it way more fun. Personally - I pretty soon really wanted to do photography beyond the solar system - not easily done with my scope, but then again, I would have to spend 5 X the dosh to get the light gathering power on a portable computerised scope.

Basically I hardly ever use it now because I spend time with the kids rather than going out with the club, but thats also the same reason I keep it - because of the kids - one day they'll take an interest in the moon - and THEN..... dads gonna wheel the old lady out!.

As an interesting aside, I have been considering optics as a possible alternative store of wealth......

You cant counterfeit good optics.

relatively easily "assayed" - tested for quality

The market is limited - but always there - also not easily identified and coveted by the plebs.

Relatively portable and easily stored - when compared to classic cars/artwork etc

Little degradation if stored with care

No massive tech advances about to render it worthless. - unlike gold/diamonds, they are not going to discover a massive "seam" somewhere.

No speculative interest in it - no danger of a bubble forming.

Basically I'm considering a **** off 24" mirror packed with exceptional care!!!

A 14 incher - wow I'm impressed. Those Dobsonians have a good name, but they need a flat, solid base, such as concrete.

I've just placed my order for the Maksutov-Cassegrain skymax 127. I tend go for modern gadgets; really like the idea of it finding deep space objects at the push of a button. The only thing against it is, no red dot finder.

It won't be long before we set up the scope and control it from our living rooms, with everything in HD. - imho.

Did anyone look at Jupiter last night? Looking south. It's amazing at the moment. Some pretty good stars last night - until the moon made it's appearance. Also, Orion is starting to put in a good show. If it keeps clear like this, it might be possible to see the holy grail - Horse Head Nebula ! Always living in hope!!

Thanks for all the replies folks. Some great advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

depends what you want to look at really

a refractor is best for planets and moons

a good tracking system is essential if you want to take

long exposure photos of galaxies and gas clouds etc

which is the only way to see the magnificent colours out there

use high speed film as well , high speed absorbs more light

but the higher you go the grainier the image

asa 800 is a good balance

I bought a 6 inch reflector ,but given the choice again

I would probably choose a refractor

Nikon D700 and you won't see much noise at 4x that sensitivity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A 14 incher - wow I'm impressed. Those Dobsonians have a good name, but they need a flat, solid base, such as concrete.

I've just placed my order for the Maksutov-Cassegrain skymax 127.

You won't be dissapointed with one of those! I got the next size up (nobody here likes to brag!), but I didn't

bother with all the electronic navigation stuff!

I reckon the stars go round once a day, and they are in in pretty much the same place they were yesterday! :huh:

Trouble is with a Dobsonian is they don't follow the rotation of the Earth, so you are twiddling two knobs, to keep the object in view!

Only have to twiddle one knob with an Equatorial mount!

I'm sure those electronic ones do it all for you! But you will need a 12 volt source to power it!

It's common to use those car "charge boosters" from Halfords or similar!

Enjoy! They can't tax you for this yet! :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • 259 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.