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Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by BSA70, Aug 14, 2019.
Ha-Ha...those thin drapes don't do any good if ya' got a pair of thermal imaging binocs....
This is you I know it is...
Lots of good comments in this thread. I asked myself this same question starting two years ago, with about the same budget in mind. Two things:
1. Something that is easy to use is more likely to be used.
2. None of us have the time we had has teenagers to spend hours and hours a week pursuing an interest.
With that in the back of my mind, I waited (and waited) until I had enough saved to go "all in" which was effectively double what I originally set as a spend limit.
I am in Chicago (a few miles north of downtown) so obviously light pollution is a factor, but my own backyard may not be the only place I use my telescope in my lifetime, so I crossed that off my list of considerations.
There is no way I have the time up-front to learn star names and positions and what celestial body is x number of degrees from another, so this was a big factor in my considerations. Space is mostly just that - space! I wanted to be able to spend an hour at a time viewing something instead of searching for something.
With that said, I got an Orion XTG 10" dobsonian along with a Baader Planetarium MARK IV Hyperion Zoom lens (which is like having 4 very high-quality eye-pieces). Even though the technology that comes with the scope seems very 80's-ish with the hand controller, it works!
Like others have said already, don't give any consideration to advertised magnification, because it's a con. An 8" mirror gathers alot of light, and a 10" mirror gathers even more, and a 12" even more, and a decent eye-piece brings the image home. I decided on a 10" because it was the maximum size that I still considered portable (it's BIG).
Views of Jupiter, Saturn, and the moon are awesome. And it's quite humbling to see a star, such as Antares, that is 700 TIMES bigger than our own sun, hanging as a dot in the sky among millions and millions of others.
With the XTG 10, I was able to start viewing planets and stars from the get-go (when I finally got a clear night), and over time have learned names and positions, but still use the "find" feature because it tracks the object as the earth rotates, so I never need to nudge the scope.
Since getting the Orion XTG 10, I have "found budget" for other accessories Haha - like a solar filter to view the sun (an amazing experience), a "moon and skyglow" filter that makes viewing the bright moon more pleasant and also helps filter out light pollution from street lamps for planet and star viewing, and the most recent addition is "SkyFi III" which lets me use my phone to locate objects and point the scope. Truly amazing and fun to use. I also spent on ahard shell camera case to keep accessories dry and safe.
My point to all of this is spend as much as you can for a good foundation on which to build. For most, that is light gathering ability, but for me, the main consideration was "GoTo" functionality very closely followed by light gathering ability. Everything else can come later.
When you get your scope, expect cloudy, rainy weather each night for three weeks straight from the day your scope arrives! LOL! Happened to me, then it turned cold, but it doesn't stay cloudy or cold forever, and to this day am happy I got what I did.
Hope this helps - come back and let me know what you decided!!
Doesn't your neighbor have a telescope
Seems like that would be kind of a perversion of tactics.
I was in Columbus OH for 20+ years. Frustrating viewing conditions there.
His wife would skin him alive if that thing was ever pointed at the beach.
There are a few good dark sky’s areas in southern Ohio. I have been to the one in Graysville a few times
In WV, Spruce Knob is the darkest star gazing site in the mid-Atlantic.
Between cloud cover and sky glow, Columbus basically doesn't get dark at night in the winter.
I live in AZ now, so crystal clear, dark skies are an easy drive from my house.