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RE: Need Advice On First Telescope

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Posted by Kip Crawford on October 14, 2000 22:41:13 UTC

I am assuming you are refering to ASTRONOMY not Astrology. Common mistake since there is a slight relation. Anyway, the other posts suggested learning the sky first. This is good advice, however there are comprimises you can think upon. You can buy a telescope and materials to learn as you go, however sometimes frustration will set in and ruin the whole experience at the same time. Not good. Pace yourself and ask around on how the best way is to go about it. Many beginners buy a "goto" scope so they can bypass learning the sky all at once. You can do that, but what happens if your "batteries" die or the machine breaks? Then where are you? Can you find M13 by star hopping? These are questions you must ask yourself.
Now on first telescopes. Dobsonians will give you more bang for your buck. Discovery does make a decent scope, so that particular choice is OK. Orion has the XT SkyQuest Dobsonian 6", 8" and now 10". The 8" is just under $500 and is built well; it`s built so well that Sky & Telescope rated it "Top Dob" of all. Something else to consider. Now....Meade DS (digital) series scopes. I highly suggest that you stay away from these particular scopes. The reason being is that they have been found to be less than desireble in quality. I have ran into many circumstances with folks who have these and none of it that great. I suppose there are a few good ones, but I haven`t seen any. Their bigger scopes (Newts, SCT`s and APO`s) are very good however. The NexStar series scopes from Celestron have been reviewed as good scopes. They are essentially new. The NexStar 5 and 8 have performed well as stated by their owners. The 114, 80 and 60 NexStars are very new and there isn`t really comments on them just yet. Wait a few months for those reports. Keep asking around to help you make up your mind. Learning the sky is essential besides getting a "goto" scope. There are many things to think about and learn. I wouldn`t want you to dive in head first without removing the rocks sort of speak. Good luck in your search and Clear Skies!!!

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