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Refractors, Dobs, Etc.

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Posted by Scott Nelson on June 21, 2003 15:28:36 UTC

The main factor that made me decide on the refractor vs. a larger telescope such as the 16" dob was the fact that I don't get much opportunity to get out of town to those dark sites very often. And in town, Des Moines to be exact, the light pollution problem seems to more or less rule out observing the deep sky stuff, so that basically leaves planet and moon observing. And for planets, since I've heard that a 5" refractor is supposed to perform about like an 8" SCT, and I assume that a 6" refractor would perform about like a bit larger scope (9-10?), the refractor was my choice.

True, I could have chosen an SCT, and I seriously considered it, but for a first scope, I decided to spend under $1000 rather than going for the 8"+ SCT and spending around $2000 or more. I could also have gotten a large dob, but the problem there is that I basically only know the sky well enough to find the moon and the bright planets. So I decided on a goto scope that can help me out while I learn the sky.

Someday I plan to hook myself up with a larger scope, like that 16" dob, or possibly even a 12-14 SCT, but that will be at least a few years down the road. Until then, I think I will enjoy the refractor for in-town observing. And whenever I get another scope, I plan to know the sky well enough to be able to find whatever I want with a dob if I decide to go that route.

Whether or not I chose the best scope that I could have gotten for the money I guess is moot point since I have already paid for the 6" refractor and it will be on the way in a couple weeks, but for the above reasons, that is why I made the choice that I made. From what you have been saying though, it sounds like I made a reasonable choice.

Thanks again, and clear skies always,

Scott N.

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