Author Topic: New telescope  (Read 1211 times)

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Sergio

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New telescope
« on: Feb 21, 2012, 11:15:55 »
Hi,

I am not sure this is the right section for this question but will give it a go. I am new to astronomy and I am trying to choose my first telescope. Initially will be for visual use mainly but I think that at some point I would like to try some AP.

Even knowing that there is no scope that does both very well, I want to try at least to maximise my investment. So at the moment the list that I've got is:

- Celestron Nexstar 8SE. Only for visual ( maybe a bit of planetary imaging). It is portable and easy to set up what it is very atractive as having a young family and work commitments makes the time that I've got for observing very limited. Downside it is, no future proof for DSO imaging.
- EQ mount with a SCT ( and if later when I have some more experience I want to go down the DSO AP will probably need a SW ED). I have been offered a Celestron Edge HD 8'' 2nd hand at what it seems a good price. Downside of this set up is that EQ mounts take much longer to set up ( a bit scary to do polar alligment when you are starting).

Apologies for the long post but any suggestions, comments that help to make the decision will be very welcomed.

Thanks
S.

Mike

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Re: New telescope
« Reply #1 on: Feb 21, 2012, 11:39:53 »
Sergio,

The mount is by far the most important part of your kit and far more important than optics for both visual and especially for imaging. A good scope on top of a mediocre mount is a worthless setup.

The 8" edge will be a great imaging kit and can also be used for visual.

Either the H-EQ5 or the EQ6 with the GoTo electronics, and either the handset or the cheaper EQ-MOD will give you full GoTo capability. The Nexstar might be OK for visual but would be pretty useless for imaging as it is not a EQ mount. Setup of the EQ mount is also pretty straightforward once you've got used to it and doesn't take long.

Polar alignment is a lot easier and quicker than you think. I use a technique known as "Kochab's Clock" and polar alignment can be done is seconds using this. You can also get nice apps for your laptop or smartphone to do it for you too with ease.

Mike
We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology. Carl Sagan

RobertM

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Re: New telescope
« Reply #2 on: Feb 21, 2012, 12:14:36 »
The only thing about the Edge HD OTA's smaller than 11" is that Celestron haven't produced a reducer for them yet (though there is the Optec Lupus).  Of course you could always Hyperstar it but then that is a bit of a steep learning curve.  You should also be aware that imaging at the native 2000mm focal length will require good guiding, probably with an off axis guider.

As far as mounts go the two that Mike has mentioned have a good track record and are well supported.  The main difference between them is load capacity and stability though I think either would do for imaging with an 8" SCT (especially out of the wind).

Robert

Sergio

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Re: New telescope
« Reply #3 on: Feb 21, 2012, 16:50:57 »
thanks very much guys for you suggestions,

decisions, decisions,...

so will be either HEQ5 or NEQ6. It will be good if any, specially the HEQ5 comes up in the 2nd hand market

thx
S.