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Discussion Starter #1
I've been getting back into astronomy recently due to me taking an astronomy course this semester. I used to have a cheapo Meade refractor telescope from Costco a while back but that thing was terrible and only frustrated me. I want to get serious this time and invest in a quality beginner telescope that will last me a while until I want to upgrade to something with a big Aperture. The thing is, I live in a densely lit up city with a serious case of light pollution preventing me from enjoying the night sky. Just so you get the picture, I can barely make out constellation like Pegasus and Scorpius with Cygnus being the only one most identifiable. So what I'm asking is if its worth to invest in a 300-400 dollar telescope with these conditions? Right now I'm looking at a 6 or 8 inch Dobsonian Reflector by Orion. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.
 

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Dobsonian telescopes are simple to move around provided that you have a vehicle that it can fit in or a friend with a mini-van / subaru wagon.

Is there some place that you can go, within a reasonable distance from where you live, that has less light pollution? Also, if the price is affordable, go with the 8"; significant improvement in light collection.

When I was a senior in highschool i got a 10" dobsonian from my parents but when i graduated I couldn't take it with me to college. Since then i've been living in tiny apartments and have only used it once. I keep hoping to get a place with enough room to store it somewhere and then have them ship it to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Pretty much the only dark areas are about 50 miles away from me in the desert or the same distance in the mountains. Really the big issue is a annoying streetlight washing everything out. I just need to be able to make out pegasus and andromeda to find the andromeda galaxy and i'll be happy.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by PRloaded View Post
Pretty much the only dark areas are about 50 miles away from me in the desert or the same distance in the mountains. Really the big issue is a annoying streetlight washing everything out. I just need to be able to make out pegasus and andromeda to find the andromeda galaxy and i'll be happy.
Just buy a good set of filters it will remove the artificial light so viewing will be better.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by MintMouse
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Microscopes crap all over telescopes.

Unless you want to look at the sky.
 

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Absolutely! Dobs are a great type of scope, and really allow you to get a bunch of aperture for the price. The downside is that they are bigger, and usually don't have tracking drives so you have to move them manually as the earth turns. An alternative you might consider is getting a smaller scope (Celestron C4, Meade ETX-90 (my first scope
), etc), as these come with tracking drive and goto (automatically finds the object for you). Usually I say dobs are great beginner scopes, but without experience it can be a little frustrating to find objects by star hopping across light polluted skies. Sure, you can get motors on dobs, but it will cost more.

No doubt, more aperture will gather more light and thus let you see more objects with better clarity. You just need to decide how much you wish to work for those objects. A good trade off would be a dob with digital setting circles (Orion sells several great dobs with these). It doesn't have a motor, so you still have to track/move manually, but it will tell you which way to push the telescope to get to the object you want to see. I have a friend with one of these, and it is very easy to use.

The best advice I can give is visit your local astronomy club. Check out the SDAA, and maybe go to some of their outings. You can read all you want online, but nothing beats talking to astronomers and looking through their scopes. They should be able to get you on the right track, and can teach you how to deal with light polluted skies.

Good luck! Just be warned, as a friend of mine once said "astronomy is a hobby where you look at a tiny hole in the sky that you pour all your money into", so start saving up
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the advice!
I'm going to start saving up for the 6" orion Dob or "maybe" the 8".
Might go ahead and buy a Moon filter.
Which would be a better buy?
A better eye piece or Barlow?

I think I can navigate the skies easier now...
I can make out most major stars and constellation with a bit of reference.
 
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