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 Post subject: Possibly a telescope for christmas
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:41 pm 
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My 14 year old son has been watching a series about astronomy on tv and told me that he would like a telescope for christmas. This wish could change at any time, upto and including christmas eve :roll:

What I wanted to know is can I buy anything worth having for around 100 euros and if so, what?

Thank you :)

clare


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 Post subject: Re: Possibly a telescope for christmas
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:54 am 
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clarelouise wrote:
My 14 year old son has been watching a series about astronomy on tv and told me that he would like a telescope for christmas. This wish could change at any time, upto and including christmas eve :roll:

What I wanted to know is can I buy anything worth having for around 100 euros and if so, what?

Thank you :)

clare


If the 2011 Calendar is anything to go by, then you need to ask Starless !

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 Post subject: Re: Possibly a telescope for christmas
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:37 am 
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I have a scope I bought from Aldi I only use it for bird spotting only cost about £25 but is more than adequate for what I need 20-60 x 60 I have no idea whether suitable for space though and do not forget you need a tripod too, we use 1 from an old video camera


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 Post subject: Re: Possibly a telescope for christmas
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:37 am 
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Lidl and Aldi sometimes have scopes for sale, just avoid ones with zoom eyepieces, such as the one mentioned GillyC. They are fine for bird watching, but totally useless when it comes to astronomy. A pair of binoculars can provide wonderful views of the skies, you coulld look for a pair rated at 10 X 50. Again avoiding ones with zoom and and high magnifications, the first number, the second number is the size of the front lens, and can be as big as you can afford. Again avoid ones with ruby / red finish to the front lens. Unfortunately telescopes for astronomy are very expensive in France, though they are sold in many opticians. The UK has many specialist dealers and more reasonably priced scopes.

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 Post subject: Re: Possibly a telescope for christmas
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:45 am 
I wouldn't touch a very cheap telescope with a bargepole. Utterly useless. Instead, why not send him along to a club meeting so he can look through a telescope and see if he actually wants one. A lot of people are disappointed by what they can see through a telescope - often just a faint smudge of a galaxy, for example.

If he likes it then I would recommend a starter scope - around the £120 mark. From the UK. Skywatcher are probably the one to go for at the cheap end. Or for more for your money go for a second hand one. Buying through an astronomy club should ensure it's been well looked after.


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 Post subject: Re: Possibly a telescope for christmas
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:22 pm 
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I agree with Dr O....I had a telescope for a birthday several years ago and was very unhappy with what I couldn't see!

By the time we got it lined up on the moon, the moon had moved. I much prefer what I can see with decent binoculars. My telescope sits gathering dust sadly.


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 Post subject: Re: Possibly a telescope for christmas
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:50 pm 
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Hi clare,

I've got to agree with the dr, too. A cheap telescope could put someone off for life. But you can get something reasonable, but not for that price.

Incidentally, my telescope cost a lot, lot, lot, more than that, and even that was 2nd hand. Had to sell lots of LPs to afford that one.


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 Post subject: Re: Possibly a telescope for christmas
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:04 pm 
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In total agreement with the above comments, a word to the wise, avoid a certain auction site, some of the scopes advertised on there, make unrealistic claims. Makes to look out for, are Skywatcher and Celestron. Some scopes from other makes are Ok, if you spot any you are interested in, let us know and I am sure the collective minds on here will advise.

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 Post subject: Re: Possibly a telescope for christmas
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:09 pm 
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Thanks everyone :-bd

I did have a feeling that given the amount I want to spend it probably wouldn't be worth bothering. It's not something I know anything about so thanks for the names, I'll have a look later.

clare


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 Post subject: Re: Possibly a telescope for christmas
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:55 pm 
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As an ancillary present I'd thoroughly recommend Turn Left at Orion: A Hundred Night Sky Objects to See in a Small Telescope - and How to Find Them by Guy Consolmagno and Dan M Davis, it's cracking book for beginners of all ages, very easy to follow.

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 Post subject: Re: Possibly a telescope for christmas
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:55 pm 
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A year later and he's still interested, he wants to study astrophysics now ;) Thank you Brian Cox

I've found this second hand telescope for sale http://www.leboncoin.fr/image_son/244680171.htm?ca=6_s. If someone in the know could tell me if it's worth considering I would be very grateful.

clare


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 Post subject: Re: Possibly a telescope for christmas
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:18 pm 
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Not with a barge pole, they are very poor optically and will disappoint.
Also the mount, although ideal in principle, takes a bit of getting used to.
As said by others and myself, look for known brands, such as Skywatcher, (sold by most opticians in France) or Celestion.
http://www.firstlightoptics.com/startra ... y-705.html
http://www.firstlightoptics.com/startra ... 2-az3.html
http://www.firstlightoptics.com/evostar ... 0-az3.html
All above are good first scopes, and have good second hand value if he looses interest.
It is a nightmare for parents to buy something like this, if they have no knowledge of the subject. Also the prices should give you guide that you may expect in France, which will be slightly higher than the UK.

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 Post subject: Re: Possibly a telescope for christmas
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:15 pm 
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OK Santa. This Christmas:

I want a telescope that I can control from my PC and be able to avoid standing outside hot or freezing.


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 Post subject: Re: Possibly a telescope for christmas
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:42 pm 
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Thanks for that Lensman. It is really tricky when you haven't got a clue :(

clare


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 Post subject: Re: Possibly a telescope for christmas
PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:44 pm 
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DaveW wrote:
OK Santa. This Christmas:

I want a telescope that I can control from my PC and be able to avoid standing outside hot or freezing.



There are plenty available of options available that can be remotely controlled, just get an EQ6 or HQ6 mount, they have input ports for control from software such as Stellarium or Carte de Ciels, both free downloads, then you need a camera to replace the eyepiece. It's also recommended to get a power tank for the mount drives. Oh and don't forget the scope, here you would be looking anywhere between £500 and what's your bank balance? :-? I think you could be looking at £2000 + as starters $-)

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