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First Scope/Beginner-Will this frustrate me to the

Started by toomanytoes, 06/22/2004 08:43PM
Posted 06/22/2004 08:43PM Opening Post
Ok, let me first start off by apologizing if someone has posted this before, I scrolled through, and didn't see anyone asking my question, so here goes:

Basically, I'm interested in buying this telescope (http://store.yahoo.com/hardin-optical/dsh6.html ) because it appears it's a completely adequate telescope, and really maybe more than adequate for a beginner. I also like the price of the telescope, and from what I understand Hardin-Optics is a very good company. What concerns me is, it doesn't have any kind of 'go to' computerized feature, and with being a new user, I'm concerned that this will frustrate me because I won't be able to "see anything cool." The last thing I want is for something to acquire "gadget" status and end up being sold at a garage sale in the future. So far, I very much enjoy what I'm going to call amateur astronomy (going to star paries, and looking at really cool stuff @ slooh.com), and am really excited about making a purchase on a telescope I can use at home.

Hope this makes sense. Thanks so much for any input you might have for me, in advance.
Posted 06/22/2004 09:04PM #1
It's a great scope, similar to what I've been using for several years now, and I'm still quite happy with mine.

I'm not a "go to" person. I *like* the hunt. For 99% of the history of astronomy, there's been no "go to" for amateurs. Many objects are easy to find via star-hopping, and the harder ones are fun for me, and present the opportunity to get lost, and maybe find something else.

But that's me. I really think one should skip "go to", and use the savings for a better scope or some new accessories (which, if you stick with this, you WILL want).
You will undoubtedly find people who say that "go to" is the best investment you can make. They aren't "wrong", although I disagree. This is a personal thing.

A decent star atlas (I recommend Cambridge Star Atlas by Wil Tirion - detailed enough to be useful, not so detailed as to be overwhelming), a pair of binoculars (nothing too fancy needed, good for scanning an area before a hunt), and a beginner's book that explains how to find various objects (Turn Left at Orion by Consolmagno and Davis is superb and highly recommended) are all good things to get, even if you do have "go to".