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Anyone know anything about Telescopes?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by great advice, 5 Mar 2006.

  1. great advice

    Mobster

    Joined: 20 Oct 2003

    Posts: 2,872

    Location: Manchester

    My nephew wants a telescope for his birthday and his cool uncle wants to buy him a good one :D are the Meade ones any good? they seem to be able to point to anything in the sky just by punching in numbers!!

    How does that work? the spec doesnt list GPS or anything :confused:

    http://www.meade.com/etx/etx_mak.html

    I have a budget of £500 and want to get him something that will be portable enough to fit in the boot of a car yet powerful enough to stare deep into space :)

    Also do you know any good astrononmy forums or reference sites?
     
  2. Kerplunk

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 10 Jan 2006

    Posts: 9,030

    Location: Bournemouth tbh

    Nasa do it for us.
     
  3. great advice

    Mobster

    Joined: 20 Oct 2003

    Posts: 2,872

    Location: Manchester

    What's your point?
     
  4. G-MAN2004

    Caporegime

    Joined: 4 Jul 2004

    Posts: 30,235

    You're helpful but then again im not exactly helping :p
     
  5. The_TailGunner

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Oct 2003

    Posts: 1,894

    Location: Dublin

    im guessing that you would type in the position of the star based on star chart tables, with the numbers being the right ascention and declination. kind of like latitude and longitude, but for looking at the sky as opposed to the earth...

    Definitions HERE

    the one you describe sounds good...

    try looking at something along the lines of an 8" to 10" reflector telescope if you can, but 4.5" and 6" models are less expensive- the motorised bases are handy as it will keep the telescope pointed at whatever you are looking at as it moves accross they sky, but they arent essential...

    there are gps based models, but they tend to be expensive- besides, you will learn more working from charts and tables...

    note- make sure you buy a tripod...some 'scopes that come with the motorised number-punchy bases dont come with...


    TG
     
    Last edited: 5 Mar 2006
  6. norm

    Soldato

    Joined: 21 Jan 2003

    Posts: 5,161

    What power magnification would one need to identify and spot high flying aircraft?

    Quite interested by the number of planes that frequent the skies round here.
     
  7. great advice

    Mobster

    Joined: 20 Oct 2003

    Posts: 2,872

    Location: Manchester

    A decent set of Bino's will do, 8x40's will give you a good view of very high flying aircraft :)

    Tailgunner - thanks for the advice :) Do you know if the Meade ETX 105 is any good? Thats the one thats been pointed out to me as being the best in its price band.
     
  8. norm

    Soldato

    Joined: 21 Jan 2003

    Posts: 5,161

    Can you recommend a good brand or pair?
     
  9. Capt Doufos

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,633

    Location: Nr Colchester, Essex

    The 105 should be pretty good. They are expensive for the money because they are so compact and have the autofind, and autotracking.

    Just bare in mind the telescope can't just magically find stuff though. You will need to calibrate it correctly before each use.
     
  10. The_TailGunner

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Oct 2003

    Posts: 1,894

    Location: Dublin

    i dont know it personally, but googling for meade etx 105 review brings up a few results. by all accounts it looks popular...

    check out a few astronomy forums and ask around, as my info is a little out of date...

    TG
     
  11. Webby

    Associate

    Joined: 27 Jun 2005

    Posts: 8

    Location: Derby, England

  12. Fusion

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 10,574

    Location: Notts

    8x ain't gonna be too hot for jet spotting, I'd be saying 12x. As for what brand- how longs a piece of string? What's your budget?

    Meade scopes are the dogs danglies by the way.
     
  13. skankmaster

    Gangster

    Joined: 24 May 2004

    Posts: 439

    In the old days, astronomical telescopes were mounted on wedges and your light bucket was calibrated to the north star, This meant tweaking the angle of the wedge, so that your tracking motor only needed to control your right ascension (left to right). Nowadays, with GPS, the scope doesnt even need the wedge, as the firmware can calculate the amount of horizontal and vertical adjustments needed to track an object in the sky. Oh the joys of technology!
     
  14. norm

    Soldato

    Joined: 21 Jan 2003

    Posts: 5,161

    Budget, could push to 125 if the difference in performance was that marked to say a cheaper model in the 50-75 region.