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Started by davi1228, 08/14/2009 05:50PM
Posted 08/14/2009 05:50PM Opening Post
Howdy Everyone! OK I am so totaly new to Astronomy, and I feel TOTALLY lost! Im lost cause I have no idea what kind of telescope I need to buy. I can spend as much as 500-700 dollars for one. But we have relectors and refractors, etc etc.among other choices I have to make. Im confused. I want to buy a telescope Im going to be happy with. I dont want to spend a bunch of money and realize....THIS is NOT what I wanted! I like the idea of a telescope that has an automated device that will send you to the right spot in the sky to see what you are looking for. I also have heard that sometimes some telescopes have a tinge to the light coming in and it distorts things you want to see. From what I gather, Meade seems to produce a lot of telescopes and sounds like they are of excellent quality. Oh, I will not so much need to be packing it up and taking it to different places with me. Because there is so many trees in my yard making the sky about 80% covered up, There is a park about 2 miles from my house that has about 80% of the sky clear for viewing. I will probably take it there at night to use.
I have no idea what else to say. Maybe you can help by asking questions to help determine what would be a good choice for me. Thank you! David
Posted 08/14/2009 08:56PM #1
Hi David,

That's a good budget. You will be able to find a quality telescope in that price range. My first recommendation is to look through other people's telescopes at a public star party. Since you are in Savannah, try:

Ask the owners what they like or dislike about their scope, and you will learn a lot. You will also see the advantages of the various designs.

Now for some random advice: Meade makes some state-of-the-art telescopes, and a lot of crap. To avoid the latter, don't buy from a department store. Instead, I would recommend starting your search by looking at the telescopes offered by Orion Telescopes and Binoculars

If you have some basic knowledge of the sky (i.e., know where Orion and the Big Dipper are), have some patience, and want to learn your way around the sky, I'd put your money into the optics rather than the computer locating devices, but that is just me. A nice compromise is a push-to Dobsonian reflector (specifically, Orion's SkyQuest Dobsonians with an "IntelliScope" Computerized Object-Locating Device).

Aperture rules, so go with as big a one as you can manage transporting to your observing site. An 8"-10" Dob would enable you to see a lot of detail in those faint fuzzies we chase after, as well as allow you to see details on the planets.

Buying used here on Astromart will save you some big bucks, but is too risky for a beginner buying their first telescope. However, you will soon want a lot of extras (eyepieces, charts, better finder scope, etc.) and you can get great deals on that stuff in excellent condition here. Ninety to ninety-five percent of Astromarters take excellent care oftheir equipment, and are honest, intelligent and really nice people to deal with.

"Praise the Lord for the expanding grandeur of creation, worlds known and unknown, galaxies beyond galaxies, filling us with awe and challenging our imaginations." 2007 Reform Siddur
Posted 08/15/2009 09:09AM #2
As someone already stated.....find thee a local club and a star party and goist thou there. You can read all you like, ask all the questions you like here and look at pictures on the internet but NONE of this will truely give you the information you need to make an informed decision regarding your purchase like getting some eyepiece time on a variety of equipment. I really cant stress this enough...... You are starting out with the right mindset ie dont want to experience buyers remorse.

Most clubs have monthly or bi-monthly group observing sessions and attending one or two will go a LONG way towards reducing the odds of making the wrong decision.

20" MidnighTelescopes f/5
8" f/16 Muffoletto Achro
Meade 6" AR6 f/8.0 Achro
Celestron C11
Parallax PI250 10" F/5 Newt
Vixen FL102S,NA140SS,R200SS
80mm Stellarvue Nighthawk with WO APOupgrade lens, 90mm f/16.67 Parallax Achro
LXD75/LX200, Mini-tower, GP-DX, CG5 ASGT, LXD650, GM-8, G11, GM-100, GM-150EX, GM-200 and a Gemini G40
4" portable AP convertable 44" or 70" pier
Stellarvue M7 Alt-Az, TSL7 Pier/Tripod
12.5" f/5 MidnighTelescopes DOB Swayze optics
Statham GA
Posted 08/15/2009 09:45AM #3
I also wanted to add to my original post that if it makes a difference I am not interested in using my telescope for taking pictures. I dont know if that narrows anything down as far as choices go.
All of you who have been so kind to reply to my initial post have given me some great ideas. For one, I will be trying to get to a star party very soon to observe and ask questions of the good folks who I am sure were in the same position as i am in now................thanks to everyone! David
Posted 08/26/2009 02:45PM #4
Hello All,
I as well am a newbie to this interest. My wife was wanting to help by purchasing a scope for my birthday.
She got me an AstroVenture 114 Reflector. I've been trying to find a reputable opinion on this scope but the quest has not been easy.
I know this is made by Baytronix which is a cheap mfg. So the question is - do I return this and spend the $200 on something else or just go with this as a starter scope and grow from here?

Steve Ferguson
Phoenix, AZ