Does anybody know telescopes?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Preservation Acres, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. Preservation Acres

    Preservation Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 31, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    I want to get my son a good quality telescope for Christmas, but I don't know how to determine what a good one might be.

    Can anybody help?
  2. PineappleMama

    PineappleMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Someone asked this question on Yahoo... here was the "winning" answer...

    The best aperature for your buck is a dobsonian (open truss 8" for around $600). You can get a quality scope from Meade or Celestron. - for pics and a desript'n

    Choose a good quality scope with at least 70mm (2.8in) of aperature to reveal some surface features on Mars. Realistically, you'll want 4-6 inches of aperture.The cheapest models (cost, not potential quality) are dobsonians (as above) and newtonians.

    If you can afford it, step up to an 8" schmidt-cassegrain (about $1400 - $2500 US, depending on options). These are slick machines!

    Beware of the department store small junk refractor scope! These are typically sold with "600 x" magnification all over the package. A small scope (less than 4") has a highest usable magnification of 120x to 200x under good atmospheric conditions.

    Here's some quality manufacturer's websites:

    If you're looking for books on the subject, I would recommend
    "The Backyard Astronomer's Guide" by Terence Dickinson and Alan Dyer. It gets into telescopes, observing, how and what to buy (telescopes, eyepieces, photography etc) rather than just fancy Hubble pictures.

    Good luck

    and here's another person's thoughts...

    Best telescope is impossible.

    If you want large aperture and price you should look at dobsonians.

    Reflectors are the best in terms of price and quality but refractors are better but cost a lot more for equivalent apertures.

    For mars and the like, a good 4.5"-6" telescope could see and resolve mostly anything in the Messier catalog including most planets.

    For mars, buy a set of color filters. You should get red to enhance the Mares and yellor or green to see dust storms and polar ice caps.

    You must buy Edmund Scientific's Astronomy books.

    That seems insanely priced to me, but it does have some helpful info...
  3. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    What PineappleMamma wrote is pretty correct, but I'm guessing you may not want to spend big bucks, things are tight for a lot of people. Here's a website with some info that may help:

    Looks like the ones they mentioned (from last year) ranged from $79 for a semi decent refractor (NOT the ones Wal-mart sells) to $349 for an 8" Dobsonian.

    About 12 years ago DH and I bought ourselves an 8 inch Dobsonian made by Meade, at that time I think it cost around $600.

    If you're sure your kid is really interested and will stick with it and you can afford it, I'd go with the 8 inch Dobsonian, it's amazing what you can see with one.

    I hope this helps.
  4. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Hubby asked me how old your son is because you do not want to have "too much" telescope for him.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by