Getting started with astronomy

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CampfireDan
Asternaut
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2021 3:48 am

Getting started with astronomy

Post by CampfireDan » Mon Feb 21, 2022 6:00 am

Hey I'm new here but I've been watching apod and various astronomy news for a while now. I've looked through a few telescopes before but the one I have is very weak, and I don't even have a good camera. Does anyone have some recommendations for inexpensive but good value gear? I'm looking for either something around 200-300AUD or something I can save up for.

Also if you haven't met me, hello I'm Dan and I'm hoping to study to become an astrophysicist in the future.

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Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
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Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: Getting started with astronomy

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Feb 21, 2022 2:53 pm

CampfireDan wrote: Mon Feb 21, 2022 6:00 am Hey I'm new here but I've been watching apod and various astronomy news for a while now. I've looked through a few telescopes before but the one I have is very weak, and I don't even have a good camera. Does anyone have some recommendations for inexpensive but good value gear? I'm looking for either something around 200-300AUD or something I can save up for.

Also if you haven't met me, hello I'm Dan and I'm hoping to study to become an astrophysicist in the future.
Your choices are very limited in that price range. You might just managed a ~100 mm Dob-style reflector, or you could go with a nice pair of binoculars.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

CampfireDan
Asternaut
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2021 3:48 am

Re: Getting started with astronomy

Post by CampfireDan » Tue Feb 22, 2022 6:47 am

Chris Peterson wrote: Mon Feb 21, 2022 2:53 pm
CampfireDan wrote: Mon Feb 21, 2022 6:00 am Hey I'm new here but I've been watching apod and various astronomy news for a while now. I've looked through a few telescopes before but the one I have is very weak, and I don't even have a good camera. Does anyone have some recommendations for inexpensive but good value gear? I'm looking for either something around 200-300AUD or something I can save up for.

Also if you haven't met me, hello I'm Dan and I'm hoping to study to become an astrophysicist in the future.
Your choices are very limited in that price range. You might just managed a ~100 mm Dob-style reflector, or you could go with a nice pair of binoculars.
Thank you very much Chris! At the moment I have a small telescope that only has a mirror to redirect the light into the eyepiece (about 100mm lens at the end, highest magnification it has is a barlow with 10x) so I think I could save up for something in the future. Should I try for a reflector or save up for something later along the line?

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Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 16588
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: Getting started with astronomy

Post by Chris Peterson » Tue Feb 22, 2022 3:25 pm

CampfireDan wrote: Tue Feb 22, 2022 6:47 am
Chris Peterson wrote: Mon Feb 21, 2022 2:53 pm
CampfireDan wrote: Mon Feb 21, 2022 6:00 am Hey I'm new here but I've been watching apod and various astronomy news for a while now. I've looked through a few telescopes before but the one I have is very weak, and I don't even have a good camera. Does anyone have some recommendations for inexpensive but good value gear? I'm looking for either something around 200-300AUD or something I can save up for.

Also if you haven't met me, hello I'm Dan and I'm hoping to study to become an astrophysicist in the future.
Your choices are very limited in that price range. You might just managed a ~100 mm Dob-style reflector, or you could go with a nice pair of binoculars.
Thank you very much Chris! At the moment I have a small telescope that only has a mirror to redirect the light into the eyepiece (about 100mm lens at the end, highest magnification it has is a barlow with 10x) so I think I could save up for something in the future. Should I try for a reflector or save up for something later along the line?
Bang for the buck, you probably want to save up for a Dob. That is, a Newtonian reflector on a simple alt-az mount. An 8-inch scope (or even 6-inch) will let you see much more than you currently can.

Figure that the maximum useful magnification for a telescope is twice its aperture in millimeters. And the magnification is the focal length of the telescope (not the aperture!) divided by the focal length of the eyepiece. With small scopes, barlows are usually useless, or even harmful to your view. Don't worry too much about extreme magnification. Most objects don't need it, especially with a smallish aperture.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

CampfireDan
Asternaut
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2021 3:48 am

Re: Getting started with astronomy

Post by CampfireDan » Wed Feb 23, 2022 12:55 am

Chris Peterson wrote: Tue Feb 22, 2022 3:25 pm
CampfireDan wrote: Tue Feb 22, 2022 6:47 am
Chris Peterson wrote: Mon Feb 21, 2022 2:53 pm

Your choices are very limited in that price range. You might just managed a ~100 mm Dob-style reflector, or you could go with a nice pair of binoculars.
Thank you very much Chris! At the moment I have a small telescope that only has a mirror to redirect the light into the eyepiece (about 100mm lens at the end, highest magnification it has is a barlow with 10x) so I think I could save up for something in the future. Should I try for a reflector or save up for something later along the line?
Bang for the buck, you probably want to save up for a Dob. That is, a Newtonian reflector on a simple alt-az mount. An 8-inch scope (or even 6-inch) will let you see much more than you currently can.

Figure that the maximum useful magnification for a telescope is twice its aperture in millimeters. And the magnification is the focal length of the telescope (not the aperture!) divided by the focal length of the eyepiece. With small scopes, barlows are usually useless, or even harmful to your view. Don't worry too much about extreme magnification. Most objects don't need it, especially with a smallish aperture.
Thank you for your help!