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Old 12-22-2017, 09:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glass_of_merlot View Post
We live 9 miles from the city center, and yes we do have City Lights. But we are planning on going out in the country where there are no city lights. But I was told that you can get good views of the Moon. Anyways, my son turns 12 in May and this hobby is new to him so I didn't want to spend too much money on a telescope. But if he loves it I would be happy to invest in it further.
You may find this interesting -

ClearDarkSky Light Pollution Map

To get a really dark sky you'll need to go a lot further. I would suggest the moon, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and Venus as starting points - they are all bright, easy to spot, and even the simplest telescope will show something.

Take a look here -

What Can You See With a Telescope - Deep Sky Watch

If you're looking at planets, any type of scope will do the trick. Finding them are pretty easy. My son is only a month younger than yours and he's interested, but it's fleeting - looking at Jupiter and Saturn are "cool", but then after 10 minutes he's bored. If you can't find what you're looking for quickly it gets frustrating.
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Old 12-22-2017, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Near Luxembourg
1,914 posts, read 997,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glass_of_merlot View Post
We live 9 miles from the city center, and yes we do have City Lights. But we are planning on going out in the country where there are no city lights. But I was told that you can get good views of the Moon. Anyways, my son turns 12 in May and this hobby is new to him so I didn't want to spend too much money on a telescope. But if he loves it I would be happy to invest in it further.
It ll be extremely hard to beat this little Dobson if you don't plan to spend 'a lot' for the moment.
If you live 9miles (15km) from the center of Chicago, the sky must be absolutely awful lol. You ll have to go really far away if you want to touch faint objects... .
Technically this 130mm Newton is a very good deal BUT to observe the solar system objects, its ratio focal/diameter equal to 5 makes it harder to zoom than a telescope with a longer focal...
OTH if you want to watch Andromeda or the Double cluster in Perseus, it's great.


Do you live in a flat or a house with a little garden?
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Old 12-22-2017, 10:01 AM
 
40,172 posts, read 41,782,366 times
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Having done the same thing years ago and having no knowledge of telescopes what I can tell you is that it was very difficult with that type of telescope. "Oooh look I found it" and it would gone by the the time the kid looked. If I had to do it again:

Quote:
Originally Posted by markjames68 View Post

https://www.amazon.com/Celestron-114...king+telescope

A tracking telescope, more than you're looking at for the other ($250 deal right now), but no complex alignment is needed, and he can track to whatever he wants to see. If you can see the moon you can apparently align this telescope, which will be much less frustrating to a 12 year old.

Just my thoughts. Good luck!
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Old 12-22-2017, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,624 posts, read 4,426,953 times
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One of the nicest things about the OneSky is that it collapses into a very portable package, so it makes a great travel scope (which matters when you live under heavily light-polluted skies). The scope when collapsed can fit into a carryon-sized bag for plane travel; you'd just need to check the mount. And it will fit into any car (even a Smart Car) with ample room to spare, so it won't need to be left behind for lack of space.

I'm not a beginner, and I picked up one to use as a travel scope that can live in my car and which I can take with me when I travel by air. I'm planning to use a camera tripod plus the Universal Astronomics DwarfStar alt-az mount as my main mounting, and am considering picking up an Orion Telescopes Star-Seeker lV Go-To mount at a later date. That's the virtue of the Vixen dovetail: you can easily use this telescope on many different mountings.

The Cloudy Nights thread I posted shows tons of easy-to-do modifications that owners have done to the scope to make it an even better performer than it is out of the box. It's truly a scope that your son will never outgrow; even if he becomes a real enthusiast and goes on to larger, more expensive telescopes, the little OneSky will still serve a purpose as an easy travel scope or grab-and-go scope.
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Old 12-22-2017, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Near Luxembourg
1,914 posts, read 997,302 times
Reputation: 1336
Quote:
Originally Posted by markjames68 View Post
You may find this interesting -

ClearDarkSky Light Pollution Map

To get a really dark sky you'll need to go a lot further. I would suggest the moon, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and Venus as starting points - they are all bright, easy to spot, and even the simplest telescope will show something.

Take a look here -

What Can You See With a Telescope - Deep Sky Watch

If you're looking at planets, any type of scope will do the trick. Finding them are pretty easy. My son is only a month younger than yours and he's interested, but it's fleeting - looking at Jupiter and Saturn are "cool", but then after 10 minutes he's bored. If you can't find what you're looking for quickly it gets frustrating.
Your deep sky watch website gives a good idea indeed.
My 305mm telescope gives what a 'medium telescope' gives in the website... Because my sky isn't really really dark

I ll add that for the majority of deep sky objects, even if you are in a perfect sky, it's black and white... Good to know
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Old 12-22-2017, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Gray Court, SC
3,242 posts, read 2,404,422 times
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I am somewhat of a space buff, but havent really been out much in the last 2 - 3 years. If I may suggest, take a look on your local Craigslist, youd be surprised at how much you can save on a lightly used telescope, and a good one at that. Many times parents buy one for their kids and use it once or twice and its been stuck in a closet for a while.
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Old 12-22-2017, 10:02 PM
 
Location: 60630
12,412 posts, read 18,365,946 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pokitobounto View Post
It ll be extremely hard to beat this little Dobson if you don't plan to spend 'a lot' for the moment.
If you live 9miles (15km) from the center of Chicago, the sky must be absolutely awful lol. You ll have to go really far away if you want to touch faint objects... .
Technically this 130mm Newton is a very good deal BUT to observe the solar system objects, its ratio focal/diameter equal to 5 makes it harder to zoom than a telescope with a longer focal...
OTH if you want to watch Andromeda or the Double cluster in Perseus, it's great.


Do you live in a flat or a house with a little garden?
We live in a 3 flat, top floor. But we have a shared back yard.
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Old 12-24-2017, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Near Luxembourg
1,914 posts, read 997,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glass_of_merlot View Post
We live in a 3 flat, top floor. But we have a shared back yard.
Okay, so terrible... Forget the idea to watch from the window, it's like watching through the heat right over a barbecue
Garden will be 10 times better..... If you don't look above buildings (they shine the heat they accumulated during the day and again it's like watching above a bbq) and, very important, if you let your telescope be on temperature outside (i d say 45min minimum for a 130mm) = the mirrors must be at the same temperature than the atmosphere, else it's bbq effect again.

Since you ll move -quite often- with your telescope, it has to be light, so this compact dobson is great.
Considering the stability of the atmosphere in a city garden, the low capacity of zoom of this telescope with a short focal will be fine. Because you won't be able to zoom extremely strongly (you ll see nothing, probably very blurry) the extreme majority of the time.

Buy this 130mm dobson. That's great for a beginner, moon, venus, mars, saturn and jupiter will be great already
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Old 12-26-2017, 12:58 AM
 
Location: 60630
12,412 posts, read 18,365,946 times
Reputation: 11880
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pokitobounto View Post
Okay, so terrible... Forget the idea to watch from the window, it's like watching through the heat right over a barbecue
Garden will be 10 times better..... If you don't look above buildings (they shine the heat they accumulated during the day and again it's like watching above a bbq) and, very important, if you let your telescope be on temperature outside (i d say 45min minimum for a 130mm) = the mirrors must be at the same temperature than the atmosphere, else it's bbq effect again.


Since you ll move -quite often- with your telescope, it has to be light, so this compact dobson is great.
Considering the stability of the atmosphere in a city garden, the low capacity of zoom of this telescope with a short focal will be fine. Because you won't be able to zoom extremely strongly (you ll see nothing, probably very blurry) the extreme majority of the time.

Buy this 130mm dobson. That's great for a beginner, moon, venus, mars, saturn and jupiter will be great already
Omg..im lost..lol
I appreciate you trying to help but to me it's like reading french.

I bought him the telescope I posted in my OP. We have a local science store here close to my apartment and I bought it from them. Is this telescope in your opinion a good telescope for an an almost 12 year old?
Also, what " dobson" are you talking about?

I'm sorry Im clueless.
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Old 12-26-2017, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Near Luxembourg
1,914 posts, read 997,302 times
Reputation: 1336
Quote:
Originally Posted by glass_of_merlot View Post
Omg..im lost..lol
I appreciate you trying to help but to me it's like reading french.

I bought him the telescope I posted in my OP. We have a local science store here close to my apartment and I bought it from them. Is this telescope in your opinion a good telescope for an an almost 12 year old?
Also, what " dobson" are you talking about?

I'm sorry Im clueless.
Damn I thought my English was better than this

Well my answer is 'no'. I read too many bad reviews about catadioptric telescopes and the impossibility to collimate it transforms it into a lottery ticket.
But a beginner will not be able to know if the image is pretty or has a default. If he does, it usually means that the scope is pretty catastrophic lol. Back to the store in this case!
Then, if I remember, you bought a catadioptric telescope from a good brand, which is a good point in your favor ... I trust Meade.
Yet a rule of thumb I heard many times is: 'avoid newtonians telescopes that are 114/1000 and 127/1000'. They have a spherical mirror that is not as good as parabolic one. And they have this lense that increase the focal length and usually not with a great great quality. The sum of this reduce the sharpness of the image and the collimation... Well, I don't know how to collimate this kind of scope...

Few infos to see a little bit clearer about the object you bought and you ll have to use with your son:

The telescope you bought is a Newton with an aperture of 127mm /5inches (diameter of the primary mirror -the big one, you ll see it easily-).

There are multiple types of reflectors - they use mirrors- and refractors - they use lenses-.
You bought a Newton, the simplest one and very common because extremely efficient for a good price! Other type of construction for reflectors include Cassegrains, Schmidt-Cassegrain, Maksutov, Maksutov-Newton, Ritchey-Chretien.... In each case, the mirrors are in a different position, sometimes spherical, sometimes parabolic, sometimes closed by a meniscus corrector.. sometimes simply open like your Newton... It's an entire world of optic formulas that have advantages and defaults... I love this brave Newton telescope!

Then Diameter of the primary mirror tells you how much light the scope will gather (for the diameter, the larger the better, simple rule!). Once you leave the Moon, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, you will understand how important it is. Deep sky objects are very discrete, hard to see specially with a polluted sky
Few variables in the scope will also impact the luminosity of the image, the reflectivity of the primary mirror and the secondary (here you don't really care, only when the mirror will have 5years of dust on itself, and you are not a pro of deep sky objects drawing... ^^) and also the width of the cross that supports the secondary mirror and makes shadow on the primary mirror. I noticed that this scope has thick ones... At least it ll be very solid lol. I don't understand why they don't make thin ones in 2017

Then comes what we call, the focal length. It's the distance from the primary mirror where the image is 'created'. Wiki is obviously more rigorous than me lol: 'For an optical system in air, it is the distance over which initially collimated (parallel) rays are brought to a focus.' (here with the primary mirror).
Literally, what a telescope does is gather the maximum quantity of light in a specific spot located at a specific distance from the primary mirror - the focal length - and then you zoom with an eyepiece on this spot (that's not a rigorous explanation lol, but it's roughly what happens) . The capacity of zoom depends on the focal length. The more it is long, the more you ll be able to zoom.
But there's an other phenomenon, the more you have a long focal length, the more you have a high ratio diameter divided by focal length (7.9 for your telescope). The less luminous the image is with the same eyepiece compare to a scope with a shorter focal ( the image will be more zoomed so less luminousz).
A ratio of 7.9 is good to start, very 'multirole'. Good point. You have a telescope that remains able to have a large field of view (to watch a good part of Andromeda galaxy for example) or zoom enough to see the cassini division on Saturn !

Now you know about diameter, focal length and their ratio.

You have to know that the magnitude of zoom is given by the number written on the eyepiece (its focal length) (usually 25mm and 10mm).
If you use a 25mm eyepiece with your scope, you ll zoom by the focal length divided by the focal of the eyepiece = 1000mm/25mm = 40times. 100times with the 10mm one... You will immediately notice that the more you zoom, the less luminous the image is, the more blurry it is, the more you ll understand that a very solid mount for the scope is important : you will barely touch the scope, everything will vibrates lol ^^.
Having an extremely sharp image is extremely difficult, it's a science. It's a mix between the best quality of mirrors, eyepieces, and the hardest to have for many of us because we cannot choose it easily...a great Stability of the atmosphere ! You ll understand very fastly too what I meant before by 'barbecue effect'. Our atmosphere is a lot of things, but not an example of stability 99% of the time. It moves, it moves a lot for a lot of reasons I won't detail, but basically when you zoom a lot with your favorite telescope, it's like watching the effect of the heat over a barbecue or a any kind of source of heat. You know it, heat changes the density of the 'air' and deviates the light so it's 'blurry'. Well you ll see that we are living on a giant barbecue (the Earth) that emit in the atmosphere the heat accumulated during the day, ofc I m talking during the night. It's invisible with a naked eyes (only stars that are blinking in the sky), but with a scope, it's easily visible. The atmosphere moves a lot, and it impacts the quality of the image drastically. That's why I told you to not watch through a window, even opened: the difference of temperature between inside and outside will create turbulences in the air that will totally ruin the image.
I also talked about the fact that a good way to gain in stability of the image is to have a scope that is at the same temperature than the atmosphere. It avoids the difference of temperature between the primary mirror and the air, so microscopic turbulences that impact the stability of the image will disappear.
In other words, forget your scope 1hour outside before watching the sky lol. It won't be 'hot' and will not create annoying turbulences because of its own heat. That's simple don't worry lol.

For the stability of the atmosphere, well cities are usually very bad... But it s like that, unless you move in the countryside or even better in altitude, you ll have to get used to it... BUT there are cold nights of winter where the sky is great even near Chicago...

Now comes the mount. You choose to buy a telescope with an equatorial mount. The best IMO. A little bit tricky to understand at the beginning... But once you get the concept, it's absolutely marvelous to use it! Mounts for scopes' are divided into two great families, altazimutal mounts and equatorial ones.

What's the difference? An Altaz moves up and down, left right, it's impossible to make simpler. When you look at an object in the sky, you ll have to 'follow' it due the rotation of the earth. With an Altaz' you ll have to mix a two-axis movement to follow for example Jupiter or the Moon. (left or right mixed with up or down).
Nothing special, it's impossible to make simpler. It has defaults for astrophotography that I won't detail.
A 'Dobson' telescope, is basically a Newton reflector with an ultra ultra simple altaz' mount designed by M. Dobson for almost nothing. The idea with a dobson mount is to have a light and stable and cheap mount, with the largest primary mirror possible! Some dues have mirrors that reach 800mm or 1meter! These are giants that can give you images you ll remember day an night!!

Now the amazing equatorial mount is three axis, because it also takes into account the position of the astronomer on the earth. How? Well.... instead of writing a novel on the forum, you can watch tutorials on YouTube . The idea is to target Polaris (here the star that indicates the north, easy to find) with one axis that will give you your latitude on the earth (the higher polaris is, the more in the north you are). Then you will be able to find an object with its coordinates and most important IMO, follow it by moving only ONE axis so it's muuuch more comfy. Again, it's hard to explain without images and only words, so check YouTube to help your son to use the mount i just checked, it's full of tutorials!

The mount you have is OK, it ll definitely vibrates but it should be acceptable. I think it's what we call an 'EQ-2'. It has a tubular tripod, good point.

Now as a little summary, I, personally wouldn't buy this scope. Because it's a catadioptric Newton, and the spherical mirror, lense to increase artificially the focal is a no no for me...
Then, to reassure you, for that cheap, with an equatorial mount it's hard to find something incredibly better. Your son is a beginner so the image will be enough for him unless you have a terrible scope. But it's a Meade so it should be fine. It has also a red dot finder that is great and easy to use. The eyepieces you ll have are basic. Nothing special, they are enough to start. Don't buy new ones if you or your son have zero hype...

Last but not least, enjoy the sky and our solar system and, ASK questions on this forum or another one if you feel that something is wrong.
It shouldn't, and you should like the view!
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