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Meade Starfinder 16" Dobsonians - Viewing, Magnification, Etc.

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Posted by Scott Nelson on June 14, 2003 05:42:25 UTC

I've been seriously considering getting a telescope. I've spent a lot of time researching telescopes, what kind of telescope is better for certain types of viewing, etc. so that I don't end up with something that isn't what I want. Initially, I was considering getting an 8 or 10" LX200 SCT, but after further researching, I noticed the Meade Starfinder 16" Dobsonian for quite a bit less money than an LX200. So, I'm considering possibly going with the 16" dobsonian, and gaining aperture at the expense of accessories, astrophotography possibility, etc.

I'm not too concerned about the size because I don't really mind hauling stuff, and I do have a pickup truck, and I would probably do most of my observing on my back patio anyway.

I'm sure the 16" aperture is great for observing the faint fuzzies, but I was wondering if the large 16" aperture is enough to compensate for the short focal ratio when viewing planets?

I have also read that the maximum useful magnification on the typical night is about 25 to 30X per inch of aperture, and was wondering if that holds true for a telescope of this size, or if that only applies to smaller apertures. So basically, could I go about 400-480X magnification or so with a 16" Dob, and higher on exceptionally clear nights?

Thanks in advance!
Scott Nelson

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