need telescope buying advice
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02-04-2014, 02:32 AM
RE: need telescope buying advice
(01-04-2014 12:58 PM)Alex_Leonardo Wrote:  
(01-04-2014 09:05 AM)Alex_Leonardo Wrote:  Astrophysicist, eh?
You , might want to get him/her Kerbal Space Program instead of a telescope.
It costs much less than a telescope. ($27.00)

Really, if he/she wants to be an astrophysicist and not an astronomer, buy Kerbal Space Program.

OP specifically asked for advice on a telescope, not which video game to buy. It's for the entire family and all of their kids. I get it... KSP is fun... (I own it myself) but I'd rather read up on physics and check out space, look at nebulae and planets, than make rocket ships and watch endless amounts of youtube tutorials. Not to mention, if it is intended for multiple people, it's unlikely that everyone is going to play KSP as a family. However, star parties are always family filled fun and educational Thumbsup

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02-04-2014, 08:27 AM
RE: need telescope buying advice
(01-04-2014 12:58 PM)Alex_Leonardo Wrote:  
(01-04-2014 09:05 AM)Alex_Leonardo Wrote:  Astrophysicist, eh?
You , might want to get him/her Kerbal Space Program instead of a telescope.
It costs much less than a telescope. ($27.00)

Really, if he/she wants to be an astrophysicist and not an astronomer, buy Kerbal Space Program.

Guy, that's engineering, not physics. And it's a game - a crude simulation at best, regardless of how entertaining.

If you want actually relevant programs, something like Stellarium or Celestia is free open-source software.

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02-04-2014, 08:39 AM
RE: need telescope buying advice
Willhop already said it pretty much but Logich is the one to talk to.
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02-04-2014, 08:57 AM
RE: need telescope buying advice
I am taking note of the game suggestions, but really....if its not minecraft, my girls really don't want to play it. Rolleyes They will sometimes play World of Goo, Light Bot (programming logic), Simple Physics and others that kids their age enjoy, and some that are school related (state capitals- multiplication facts). They don't have time for much more than that and if they do it means they have blown off either homework or piano or both, or are playing outside.


My daughter really enjoys science class, and cosmos, and we recently saw Hidden Universe in IMAX, we run outside when the ISS flies overhead to catch a peek, we often talk about Mars missions, Saturn, Titan and Europa and what we might learn from them. She has seen Hubble photo's, rover photo's, movies......now she wants to see it for her own eyes....once she can see Jupiter or Saturns rings with her own eyes....she will learn the rest just to figure out how to get something there.

Yesterday, she was sitting with me checking out the product pages and youtube videos of the telescopes we mentioned earlier in this thread, when the neighbor boy showed up to ask her (and her sister) to come out to play. The weather is finally gorgeous here. She totally blew him off to watch old guys review telescopes on youtube. LOL. She's hooked......(and I think the rest of the family is too).


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02-04-2014, 09:24 AM (This post was last modified: 02-04-2014 09:28 AM by Alex_Leonardo.)
RE: need telescope buying advice
Edit.

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02-04-2014, 09:26 AM
RE: need telescope buying advice
(02-04-2014 08:27 AM)cjlr Wrote:  
(01-04-2014 12:58 PM)Alex_Leonardo Wrote:  Really, if he/she wants to be an astrophysicist and not an astronomer, buy Kerbal Space Program.

Guy, that's engineering, not physics. And it's a game - a crude simulation at best, regardless of how entertaining.

If you want actually relevant programs, something like Stellarium or Celestia is free open-source software.
Maybe "space engine" might be more optimal than stellarium of celestia.

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02-04-2014, 09:31 AM
RE: need telescope buying advice
from dictionary.com

as·tro·phys·ics [as-troh-fiz-iks]
noun ( used with a singular verb )
the branch of astronomy that deals with the physical properties of celestial bodies and with the interaction between matter and radiation in the interior of celestial bodies and in interstellar space.



--- we want a telescope so we can learn (and fall in love with) the celestial bodies and astronomy. the rest can come later.


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02-04-2014, 09:49 AM
RE: need telescope buying advice
QUESTION 1-- about collimating and maintenance. How involved is it?

The telescopes listed earlier in this thread are exactly what I had in mind as far as features and price point. A few of them mention that they will need to to be collimated and maintained.

How is collimating done? does it require expensive equipment? One of the websites had a gadget for $300 to do it. yikes! How often? Would I need to do it if I put the telescope in the car, drive across town to set up at friends house? What other maintenance is necessary? And how often? And are these 'precision' types of maintenance?

QUESTION 2-- Accessories--what do you suggest?
a sun filter? colored lenses? storage/carrying case? or do you just leave it set on the tripod? A battery pack with the car charger (in the celestron bundle) All these things will need to be considered when we do select one to purchase.


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02-04-2014, 10:43 AM
RE: need telescope buying advice
(02-04-2014 09:49 AM)Bows and Arrows Wrote:  QUESTION 1-- about collimating and maintenance. How involved is it?

The telescopes listed earlier in this thread are exactly what I had in mind as far as features and price point. A few of them mention that they will need to to be collimated and maintained.

How is collimating done? does it require expensive equipment? One of the websites had a gadget for $300 to do it. yikes! How often? Would I need to do it if I put the telescope in the car, drive across town to set up at friends house? What other maintenance is necessary? And how often? And are these 'precision' types of maintenance?

QUESTION 2-- Accessories--what do you suggest?
a sun filter? colored lenses? storage/carrying case? or do you just leave it set on the tripod? A battery pack with the car charger (in the celestron bundle) All these things will need to be considered when we do select one to purchase.

Start simple. Don't buy accessories until you know you need them.

Power, for instance, can be supplied from a battery pack or straight from the car. So you may want either or both.

Colored filters are most useful for planet and nebula viewing - but not essential.

Modern telescopes need little maintenance if just cared for. Re-collimation of a reflector is easy-peasy, a catadioptric not much harder. They usually have three screws to aim the mirror. Refractors are the trickiest - aligning lenses is not simple. However, they rarely need collimation unless banged around.

A lot of smaller 'scopes come with a travel case or bag.

A good quality solar filter is a must-have for looking at the sun. They're not cheap - $75 - $150-ish last time I checked. Get a glass one.

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02-04-2014, 10:47 AM
RE: need telescope buying advice
(02-04-2014 08:39 AM)Hobbitgirl Wrote:  Willhop already said it pretty much but Logich is the one to talk to.

Angry

Yeah, I'm just chopped liver. Weeping

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