Unconfigured Ad Widget

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Do we have any amateur astronomers here?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Do we have any amateur astronomers here?

    That's a joke, I know we do...

    What's the cheapest telescope that's worth buying?

    My seven year old is actually excited about looking at the stars. We were using Google Sky to figure out which were stars and which were planets last night. I figured I might as well look into a telescope for Christmas.

    Better than buying him another DS game...

    Thanks,

  • #2
    Yup.

    Try here...Orion Telescopes

    I have an Orion XT6 and it's wonderful. My son and I both enjoy it. It was pricey but we knew we'd get a lot of use out of it, and we have. It all depends on time and money...how much money you want to spend and how much time you think you'll devote to it.

    There's several choices you could go with in this catagory. You can't go wrong with most of the scopes listed, though for durability and ease of setup the FunScope, the StarBlast, and the XT4.5 reflectors offer the most bang for the buck. If you think you'll spend as much time with it as your child, consider the Xt4.5, XT6, or XT8. More money on each one, yes, but more light gathering ability too, and thus better views.

    I would consider starting, though, with a pair of binoculars and a copy of "Turn Left at Orion". Chances are you already have the former, and the book is excellent and written for everyone.
    You've worked so hard on the kidney. Very special -- the kidney has a very special place in the heart. It's an incredible thing. Donald John Trump

    Brian's Wish * Jason Foundation

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Jamski View Post
      I would consider starting, though, with a pair of binoculars ...
      Agreed 100%! They're so much affordable and easier to use than a telescope, and if the hobby quickly uses its luster you can still use the binoculars for other earthbound purposes. People are amazed how much more they can see in the sky with binoculars than with the naked eye.

      Everybody should stay completely away from the department-store telescopes. The pictures on the box are always completely unrealistic, and they trumpet their "power," which is essentially useless in a telescope.

      For a decent scope, you're probably going to lay down close to $1000 (including a recommended motor drive), and that's a pretty big investment for a child's hobby. And if you're near an urban center, you're going to be hazed out of a lot of the objects a telescope is useful for.
      No weather forecasts are ever guaranteed, even if confidence level is high. Even a 99% probability will miss 1% of the time. That's the best anybody can do when predicting highly complex events.

      Comment


      • #4
        One thing you have to remember, even though the sky is full of stuff, the number of items that are worth looking at is fairly limited. The closer planets, the moon, the sun and a few nebulas is just about it. Still, I never get tired of looking the same stuff over & over again. The real leap is when you get into photography . Thats something I would love to try.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by greg b View Post
          One thing you have to remember, even though the sky is full of stuff, the number of items that are worth looking at is fairly limited. The closer planets, the moon, the sun and a few nebulas is just about it. Still, I never get tired of looking the same stuff over & over again.
          That's why I've always been more interested in planets and transient phenomena like comets and meteors instead of the deep-space stuff. They're always changing and can really surprise you.
          No weather forecasts are ever guaranteed, even if confidence level is high. Even a 99% probability will miss 1% of the time. That's the best anybody can do when predicting highly complex events.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jamski View Post
            Yup.

            Try here...Orion Telescopes

            I have an Orion XT6 and it's wonderful. My son and I both enjoy it. It was pricey but we knew we'd get a lot of use out of it, and we have. It all depends on time and money...how much money you want to spend and how much time you think you'll devote to it.

            There's several choices you could go with in this catagory. You can't go wrong with most of the scopes listed, though for durability and ease of setup the FunScope, the StarBlast, and the XT4.5 reflectors offer the most bang for the buck. If you think you'll spend as much time with it as your child, consider the Xt4.5, XT6, or XT8. More money on each one, yes, but more light gathering ability too, and thus better views.

            I would consider starting, though, with a pair of binoculars and a copy of "Turn Left at Orion". Chances are you already have the former, and the book is excellent and written for everyone.

            Thanks to both of you. He's young and even $50 for the FunScope might be a throwaway, but I'll start there.

            Costco has this talking one for $200 by Meade?. Didn't know if that was even a known brand?

            Comment


            • #7
              I enjoy looking at the Messier objects. Some of them are pretty fine sights. That's where a good book is a lot of help. David Levy's "Skywatching" is another excellent resource.

              My favorite skywatching book is no longer in print...too bad..."A Dipper Full of Stars" taught me how to navigate the skies, and gave me my first lessons in mythology as well, telling the stories behind all of the constellations. That was as interesting to me as anything else back then.

              You'd be surprised how well even a small scope will perform even under suburban conditions. I had a dinky Sears 2.5" reflector and still got great views of the moon, Jupiter, and the Orion Nebula among others, in thoroughly light-polluted Griffith, Indiana. I would've killed for the skies I have now.
              You've worked so hard on the kidney. Very special -- the kidney has a very special place in the heart. It's an incredible thing. Donald John Trump

              Brian's Wish * Jason Foundation

              Comment


              • #8
                Another question. Google Sky MAP says that Uranus and Jupiter are almost of top of each other. Is that really the case right now?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ren Butler View Post
                  Agreed 100%! They're so much affordable and easier to use than a telescope, and if the hobby quickly uses its luster you can still use the binoculars for other earthbound purposes.
                  You can spy on your neighbors with a telescope too!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by stnkypete View Post
                    You can spy on your neighbors with a telescope too!
                    Nah, binocs are better for that too.
                    No weather forecasts are ever guaranteed, even if confidence level is high. Even a 99% probability will miss 1% of the time. That's the best anybody can do when predicting highly complex events.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by crispy View Post
                      Another question. Google Sky MAP says that Uranus and Jupiter are almost of top of each other. Is that really the case right now?
                      From Sky & Telescope:

                      "Uranus (magnitude 5.7) is only 1آ° to 1آ½آ° from Jupiter this week."

                      Astronomically, that's practically "on top of each other." It's close enough to fit in a typical binocular view.
                      No weather forecasts are ever guaranteed, even if confidence level is high. Even a 99% probability will miss 1% of the time. That's the best anybody can do when predicting highly complex events.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I lied, another question.

                        Other than the moon, the planets and stars that look like a point of light, what other celestial objects can you see?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Any of the Messier "Deep Sky" objects. Nebulas, star clusters...the Pleiades (looks great in binoculars, looks even better under low power in a scope) galaxies...Andromeda looks great right now, the Double Cluster is very close by and is very worth a close look. Winter brings terrific views of the Orion nebula and the objects around Leo and Sagitarius.

                          I recommended Stellarium last week...I strongly urge you have a look at it! It'll show you what's in the sky at any given time.
                          You've worked so hard on the kidney. Very special -- the kidney has a very special place in the heart. It's an incredible thing. Donald John Trump

                          Brian's Wish * Jason Foundation

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by crispy View Post
                            I lied, another question.

                            Other than the moon, the planets and stars that look like a point of light, what other celestial objects can you see?
                            The Ring Nebula in Lyra is pretty cool, as is the Orion Nebula. The Globular Cluster M13 in Hercules is easily viewed.
                            "Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate."

                            2018 Indianapolis 500 photo gallery

                            2018 Long Beach Grand Prix photo gallery

                            2017 Indianapolis 500 photo gallery

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MichaelP View Post
                              The Ring Nebula in Lyra is pretty cool, as is the Orion Nebula. The Globular Cluster M13 in Hercules is easily viewed.
                              Fine things all. But none of them will look nearly as good in a small/average scope, especially to a child, as the moon and planets. The deep-space objects will appear fairly faint and mostly colorless.
                              No weather forecasts are ever guaranteed, even if confidence level is high. Even a 99% probability will miss 1% of the time. That's the best anybody can do when predicting highly complex events.

                              Comment

                              Unconfigured Ad Widget

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X