Notices

Anyone into telescopes?

Old 10-23-2020, 05:29 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,167
Likes: 0
Received 110 Likes on 63 Posts
Default Anyone into telescopes?

Got a hot new neighbor with big t... Just kidding.

Went to Moab, UT this past weekend and the sky was incredible, close to the best I've seen. Made me want to look into telescopes for camping. I see that there are refracting and reflecting scopes. What is best? Any suggestions for a portable unit? Not looking to spend a ton, but want something decent.

Thanks
Old 10-23-2020, 05:34 PM
  #2  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Somewhere in the middle of Michigan
Posts: 10,567
Likes: 0
Received 1,332 Likes on 713 Posts
Default

If you want portable and quality, buy a 6" or 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector from Celestron or Meade.
Old 10-23-2020, 05:34 PM
  #3  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 6,649
Received 316 Likes on 194 Posts
Default

Start by looking at table top DOBs or small DOBs, (newtonian reflectors). You can get a good 4 inch scope with a tiny footprint. I have an 8 inch DOB and a small refractor. The DOBs are easy to use and you don't get dissapointed day one.... and cheap.

Old 10-23-2020, 05:43 PM
  #4  
mbb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Posts: 3,177
Received 1,005 Likes on 539 Posts
Default

I'm not into them
But I used to take my kids to the observatory sometimes

The amateur club people would show up and set up their telescopes and let you look through them. Most were homemade dobsonians

I did a little research and it was pretty clear that was the way to go. you can truly build a better telescope than you can buy for way less money, and dobsonians are fairly simple. I was very impressed looking through these homemade scopes at saturn. Telescopes need to be set up and allowed to come to equilibrium temperature wise with the air for 45 min or such before you use them. Big cardboard tube, buy a reflector and an eyepiece and make a wooden stand.... Slap a little paint on it to make it purty.

I was blown away one time that you can see nebulas just with binoculars......

Simple thing like cheap computer web cameras can take amazing deep space pics. It works by taking hundreds of thousands of pictures over time and then you use software to align them and overlay them all. Pictures taken over weeks, or months. People take the most amazing pictures from their backyards not from observatories. Google deep sky image stacking. I saw a presentation on this at the observatory probably 15 years ago ish..... Images somebody in Dallas at the forefront of this technique took from their backyard over a couple of weeks....200,000 pics stacked.......the photos look like they belonged in national geographic and were taken at observatories. But taken with a $50 webcam. But you can get good results with just 20 pictures... Every picture improves the signal to noise ratio though and detail

You can also see satellites and space junk without anything just with the naked eye....look for what looks like a plane but is moving across the sky way faster than a plane could horizon to horizon in just a couple of minutes it's a satellite or a piece of space junk. You can get a list of items that are visible to you at any place date and time to spot.

Once you know what you're looking at, it's pretty damn incredible what you can see without anything expensive


Last edited by mbb; 10-23-2020 at 06:19 PM.
Old 10-23-2020, 05:50 PM
  #5  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Out west
Posts: 3,347
Likes: 0
Received 586 Likes on 291 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by yarcraft91 View Post
If you want portable and quality, buy a 6" or 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector from Celestron or Meade.
That's what I have. It's all you need. 8" better.
Old 10-23-2020, 05:50 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 204
Received 36 Likes on 28 Posts
Default

Stay away from a refractor, for it to be even decent it has to be big, and that will make it expensive and cumbersome. A 6-8 inch DOB is easy to use, give great viewing and is relatively affordable. The Celestron mentioned in the first post is a great scope, but they tend to be pricey for some people for a first telescope purchase. Look on Facebook market place for one before buying a new scope. Sometimes you can find them for reasonable prices(I find they do not hold their value at all). A good website is optics planet they have some of the best prices on the internet, and usually have free shipping. Good luck and have fun, just don't expect to see through a scope what you see in books and on TV those pictures are colorized most of the time, and it takes the right set of filters to be able to see that with a small telescope. Oh and BTW winter time makes for the best viewing. The hotter months come with high humidity, that means you are looking through water which is exactly what it sounds like. It's can be an addictive hobby, I've been star gazing since the last time Haley's comet passed which was it's worst viewing in recorded history and I'm embarrassed to say how much I've spent over the years. But I can't help but look up every time I walk outside at night ☺️
Old 10-23-2020, 05:58 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,167
Likes: 0
Received 110 Likes on 63 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by mbb View Post
I'm not into them
But I used to take my kids to the observatory sometimes

The amateur club people would show up and set up their telescopes and let you look through them. Most were homemade dobsonians

I did a little research and it was pretty clear that was the way to go. you can truly build a better telescope than you can buy for way less money, and dobsonians are fairly simple. I was very impressed looking through these homemade scopes at saturn. Telescopes need to be set up and allowed to come to equilibrium temperature wise with the air for 45 min or such before you use them. Big cardboard tube, buy a reflector and an eyepiece and make a wooden stand.... Slap a little paint on it to make it purty.

I was blown away one time that you can see nebulas just with binoculars......

Simple thing like cheap computer web cameras can take amazing deep space pics. It works by taking hundreds of thousands of pictures over time and then you use software to align them and overlay them all. People take the most amazing pictures from their backyards not from observatories.

You can also see satellites and space junk without anything just with the naked eye....look for what looks like a plane but is moving across the sky way faster than a plane could horizon to horizon in just a couple of minutes it's a satellite or a piece of space junk.

Once you know what you're looking at, it's pretty damn incredible what you can see without anything expensive
We camp a lot and when it is clear, we always spot the satellites. My son is a pro at spotting them. Very cool. This past weekend we also saw a bunch of shooting stars including 2 that were big and went a 1/4 or so across the sky.
Old 10-23-2020, 06:01 PM
  #8  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsyltucky
Posts: 7,420
Received 1,587 Likes on 741 Posts
Default

Cool topic.

I know zero about telescopes though.
Old 10-23-2020, 06:09 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,167
Likes: 0
Received 110 Likes on 63 Posts
Default

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...46246516215735

found this on marketplace...thoughts?
Old 10-23-2020, 06:12 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,167
Likes: 0
Received 110 Likes on 63 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by yarcraft91 View Post
If you want portable and quality, buy a 6" or 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain reflector from Celestron or Meade.
After a quick look, might need to state my budget...probably not more than $300!
Old 10-23-2020, 06:15 PM
  #11  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Out west
Posts: 3,347
Likes: 0
Received 586 Likes on 291 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by cparkerc View Post
https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...46246516215735

found this on marketplace...thoughts?
That's a newtonian reflector. It's a good cheap starter scope that you will see lots of things with. Simple and easy to operate.
$200 will let you know if you like it. Start out with a partial moon. Full moon will just about blind you. You can also start out by looking at terresterial things during the day but expect things to be upside down. You will need a porro prism adapter to invert things back..
Old 10-23-2020, 06:18 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 204
Received 36 Likes on 28 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by cparkerc View Post
https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...46246516215735

found this on marketplace...thoughts?
I'd buy that for $200, you need to read up on how to clean the mirror and align the 2 mirrors for the best viewing it's really a simple operation and there are plenty of youtube videos.
Old 10-23-2020, 06:21 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 5,042
Received 1,296 Likes on 629 Posts
Default

One of my girlfriends husband and their jr like the telescope thing. They go camping allot giving me much needed quality time... we get in the spirit by using astrological jargon as much as possible.
Old 10-23-2020, 06:22 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: The Middle of the Midwest
Posts: 146
Received 8 Likes on 5 Posts
Default

A good source for information is cloudynights.com you can find more information on that sight then you'll be able to digest. I started out with a couple reflectors and a Russian Mak but sold them all for a high quality 4 and 5 in refractors. Big scopes are nice but you have to move them and store them and moving a scope that is the size of a water heater gets really old.
Old 10-23-2020, 06:33 PM
  #15  
mbb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Posts: 3,177
Received 1,005 Likes on 539 Posts
Default

If you find a local astronomy club
You you can probably find someone selling a 6 or 8 in dob because they are building a bigger one.

when what you can see depends on light gathering there is no substitute for size.

8 in is popular beginning size because that's what it required to let you see galaxies.......if all you want to see is the moon and Saturn yeah you can get by with a smaller scope.... eventually likely be disappointed that you can't see anything and lose interest.


Old 10-23-2020, 07:20 PM
  #16  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Somewhere in the middle of Michigan
Posts: 10,567
Likes: 0
Received 1,332 Likes on 713 Posts
Default

A completely different approach is to buy a good pair of 7x50 binoculars. You can see many things in the night sky with these, including craters on the moon, star clusters, nebulae, the Andromeda galaxy, the planets (no details, though), etc. These are also useful for daylight use on land.,
Old 10-23-2020, 07:32 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 4,969
Received 2,458 Likes on 1,124 Posts
Default

When I was in college at UCSB drove from New York to California and back twice a year always stopped to camp in Moab never seen so many stars. Can't help with the telescope but thanks for tge reminder of good times
Old 10-23-2020, 08:16 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,167
Likes: 0
Received 110 Likes on 63 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by DotRotten View Post
When I was in college at UCSB drove from New York to California and back twice a year always stopped to camp in Moab never seen so many stars. Can't help with the telescope but thanks for tge reminder of good times
Moab is one of my favorite places. Been going multiple times a year for the 26 years I've lived in Colorado. When you can see the milky way from horizon to horizon, you know it's dark!
Old 10-23-2020, 08:19 PM
  #19  
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 40
Received 28 Likes on 15 Posts
Default

For a starter, portable and camping friendly starter scope in your budget, I would suggest something like this.

https://www.telescope.com/Orion/Orio...PriceAscending

It is at the upper end of your range, but is sealed and small, while still capable of decent planetary and deep space views. Should also be excellent for the moon and terrestrial use as well.
Old 10-23-2020, 08:43 PM
  #20  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsyltucky
Posts: 7,420
Received 1,587 Likes on 741 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by dssmith View Post
That's a newtonian reflector. It's a good cheap starter scope that you will see lots of things with. Simple and easy to operate.
$200 will let you know if you like it. Start out with a partial moon. Full moon will just about blind you. You can also start out by looking at terresterial things during the day but expect things to be upside down. You will need a porro prism adapter to invert things back..
Don't listen to this guy. I'll shoot you a full moon for just $20.

And you won't need no porno prison adaptor thingy.

But afterward, you may wish you were blind.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.