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Thread: Purchasing telescope and equipment for my son.

  1. #1
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    Purchasing telescope and equipment for my son.

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for accepting me into your forum.

    My daughter is turning 13 in a few months and has expressed how much she would love some astronomy presents. I'd love to buy her a telescope etc so that she can properly explore the sky, and ideally take some photos if we can link it up with our Nikon D90 camera.
    As I'm sure you can tell I'm a complete newbie when it comes to all things 'deep sky' and I don't want to just throw money away and give her a ****ty telescope.

    I guess my first question is what should I be buying her? Is a telescope enough, or is there any other equipment she will need? And my next question would be what type of telescope? My budget isn't huge ~100/200 but I don't want to buy her something which she will grow out of very quickly so I can spend more if I need to.

    Thanks in advance for any responses.

    Persephone

  2. #2
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    Hi Persephone,

    My advice would be: let her join a local astronomy club and go to observing nights with her. That way she can discover for herself what kind of observing she likes, be it planets, double stars, deep sky or everything. Also it will give her thenopportunity to try out a few small telescopes, because that's what you're aiming for with your budget. And perhaps the other members will know of a good deal for a 2nd hand telescope so you'll get good value for your money.


    Clear skies, Wouter

  3. #3
    Member Howard B's Avatar
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    That's great advice Wouter. However, if there isn't a local astronomy club and you're determined to get your daughter a telescope, I suggest a 6 inch f/8 like this one: http://tinyurl.com/kcvtyx2

    She'll be able to quality views of almost everything of interest to a budding amateur astronomer, and if it turns out her interest is fleeting then you should be able sell the scope for about 60% of the original cost.

    In lieu of a telescope I suggest books and/or magazines. There are tons of astronomy books and magazines to choose from that can fan her interest - and perhaps help you both zero in a telescope she can get for her 14th birthday.

    Best wishes to you both!
    Howard
    28 inch f/4 alt-az Newtonian

  4. #4
    Co-Founder DSF.com Jimi Lowrey's Avatar
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    All good advice!

    You might want to start with a good pair of binoculars. You can see a lot in the sky with them and learn the sky with them. After you use them a while and if it turns out that astronomy is not so interesting to her you can always use a nice pair of binos for other things.
    Clear Skies,

    Jimi Lowrey
    Fort Davis Texas

    48"F4 OMI/TEC
    28'F4 ATM

  5. #5
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    as you are in the UK the Stargazers Lounge forum may be more suitable for this kind of question. Unfortunately for the budget you set you are not going to get much of a telescope so Jimi's advice about binoculars may be a better bet.

    Owen

  6. #6
    Member Don Pensack's Avatar
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    Here you go: UK and pretty much in the right price range and a fairly nice scope for a beginner:
    https://www.telescopehouse.com/teles...telescope.html
    And easily handled by a beginner 12+.

    Jimi's advice is good, too.
    Don Pensack
    www.EyepiecesEtc.com
    Los Angeles

  7. #7
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    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for all your great advice. We went out for a walk last night just so 'happened' to go through the park where an astronomy club meets the other night. It was great she got to see a little bit of how everything works, and I got to see how excited everything made her and chat to some fellow parents who had some great advice, also mentioning the Dobsonian Skywatcher. After several hours searching online last night I found some second hand telescopes (on www.for-sale.co.uk/dobsonian-skywatcher) for around 150.

    I think I will go with this one: Skywatcher SKYLINER-150P 6" f1200 PARABOLIC DOBSON has anyone had any experience with it? Or any 'must have' books I should get her?

    Thanks again, after seeing my daughters face at the astronomy club I can't wait to see her face when she gets her telescope.

    Persephone

  8. #8
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    I've nothing new to add, just want to endorse the idea of the 6" Dobsonians which others have mentioned. Both are made by Synta and both will give great views of a lot of things. Simple to use and quite capable makes it about the best buy for a beginner.

    You do need to figure on having to do some collimation. A collimating eyepiece is sufficient and here is one: https://www.telescopehouse.com/acces...iece-1-25.html You might be able to get by with less, but this device is both very capable and reasonably simple. Too many rely on the lasers and they are generally not as capable.

    Overall it goes above the budget but you get so much more!

  9. #9
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    You might want to take a look at UKABS for a telescope. You can find some very good deals on there.
    http://www.astrobuysell.com/uk/

    And- If she is interested. Join the SPA.
    http://www.popastro.com/
    PaulB
    C9.25 "FastStar"
    Altair Astro "Starwave" 115 EDT Refractor
    Orion Optics OMC 140
    Box full of eyepieces.

  10. #10
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    Yes, it is best to go little by little. Maybe some celestial letters and some binoculars is certainly the best equipment to see, I still remember when I started not long ago, the binoculars were a great companion of the stars.

    Roberto.
    http://dibujodelcielonocturno.blogspot.com

    Dobson 16'' F 4
    Refractor 4'' Traveler az DM4

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