My other hobby is numismatics and we have these challenge questions, too. Some collectors only want the highest Mint states and certfied by a top-tier grading company. And that's OK, but the discussion then turns on someone posting a classic 19th century silver half-crown, like a US half dollar or a UK florin with nice, even wear, and you know that the coin has historicity
: it had a life. For myself, I pursued archaic and classical Greek coins from the towns and times of philosophers and had about 50 from Thales to Hypatia. An uncirculated coin would be nice to look at, have all the details, but would lack historicity: it never did any work for anyone, never bought a krater of wine or a loaf of bread. On that basis, some people collect gold of the 12 Caesars, again, nice coins, but a bronze semis or quadrante answers the sign at the tavern: Nulla mensa sine impensa.
- So,my first axiom is that the best telescope is the one that gets used.
And my second is that good seeing is more important than good glass.
I have a new 8-inch Newtonian and a new 115mm APO
refractor, both in boxes for want of other hardware. I need finders that fit and I need tripods and mounts that can carry the loads. The Newtonian is a Bresser that I bought from Explore Scientific. Their customer service rep said: "We do not have anything that fits this finder base perfectly because we make them to be universal." As for the mount and tripod, the Newt only weighs 10kg (22 lbs), and the frac 17 lbs (like 7.75 kg), but right now, all accessories are hard to find. So, the nominally "best" telescopes are just not getting used right now and it will be clear tonight. So, I am taking out the 102mm achromatic doublet refractor with my kit of Celestron Ploessls, not the others with the Televue 82-degree 7 mm and Meade 82-degee 14 mm.
Bigzmey wrote: ↑Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:04 pm
1) You always start with telescope ...
2) Mount, as important as scope. ...
Right and if the mount is just as important then it could be Number 1. We all each and everyone of us focus on the telescope and then say, "... but the mount..." Why not start with the mount? That would be my advice for anyone asking about their second
telescope. The first telescope can be almost anything (above a basic level). I still take my 70 mm National Geographic out for short trips in the backyard, just to see what I can see. I don't take it out more often because the mount is held together with rubber bands. If I did this all over again, for my second telescope I would shop long and hard for a mount and tripod first
. Those are harder to find and as noted by Turboscrew, they get expensive on a curve steeper than the telescope.
Bigzmey wrote: ↑Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:04 pm
... My rule of thumb - don't spend on EPs more than you spent on the scope.
Baurice wrote: ↑Thu Jul 22, 2021 10:11 pm
I always agreed that there's no point in buying expensive eyepieces for cheap telescopes. I would add a couple of points:
1. A good pair of binoculars will see far more use than an expensive telescope
I know from looking back at my logs that last year at this time when we were shut down for Covid, my city skies were much clearer. I split the double-double in epsilon Lyrae and split delta Scorpii, among other targets. Last week, I got out for a few hours from 10:00 to 02:00 and neither was attainable with the same instrumentation.
To solve the problem of good seeing, you cannot buy enough telescope. We are moving. Our neighborhood is getting built up. We have been here almost eight years. We rent. So, we're looking to move. And, I have a map of the 2023-2024 annular and total eclipses. We have a lot of choices.
I agree 100% on the binoculars. They get hard to hold. And I am older and shakier and I was never agile or adroit but it is nice to use them to verify locations and targets and mostly, just to lay back in the chaise lounge and look up at the sky.
Makuser wrote: ↑Fri Jul 23, 2021 6:12 pm
... I spent months on any clear night taking Moon Walks and I wore out my old Sky &Telescope lunar map, as you see. ... Andrey, back in 2000 I bought I bought a complete kit at Books A Million ...
And that's another great example of "outside the box thinking." I had a nice telescope as a kid, a 4-inch reflector. I never saw much with it, maybe the Moon a couple of times. My first view of Saturn, what got me hooked, was with my first telescope, a Tasco 30x30 birdwatcher. But someone showed me that. We lived near city hospital and we had young doctors as renters in the neighborhood and one night they were partying and one of them pointed to Saturn and told me to get my telescope.
Now, my mentors are books and I do a lot of shopping, just window shopping and reading looking for the ones that work best for me. That includes planispheres. I have several and one I like best. I am happy that the city library is open again and I have been using curbside pickup for several months now.
And then there's websites. I rely on Sky & Telescope but use others as well.
https://skyandtelescope.org/wp-content/ ... piter.html
The Great Red Spot
https://skyandtelescope.org/observing/i ... -red-spot/
Saturn and its moons
https://skyandtelescope.org/wp-content/ ... aturn.html
Mars (when it comes around again)
https://skyandtelescope.org/wp-content/ ... /mars.html
And, finally, I mentioned taking an online class in astrophysics and I am looking at another. In addition to a standard university textbook and some other classroom materials that I acquired over the years, I recently bought Steven Weinberg's overview lectures.
And another textbook for a one-year class.
It does not matter what kind of telescope you have, or what your oculars are, or the magnification of your finderscope, or the load bearing limit of your mount and tripod. If you do not understand what you are looking at, why are you out there?