The tale of two astronomers

Got a question on astronomy that you'd wanted to ask? Ask your questions here and see if the old timers can give you some good answers.
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weixing
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Favourite scope: Vixen R200SS & Celestron 6" F5 Achro Refractor
Location: (Tampines) Earth of Solar System in Orion Arm of Milky Way Galaxy in Local Group Galaxies Cluster

Post by weixing »

Hi,
Going for big and bulky setups is the number one killer for most new comers. You are not the first one. But still, many here tell newbies to go for the "biggest scope you can afford" because it is no fun seeing tiny things with a small scope.
Hmm.... buy big scope, too heavy and bulky, so give up... :( Buy small scope, can't see anything, so give up... :(

I guess it not whether do they own a big scope or a small scope, it whether do they really have the interest and real passion... or just "three minute passion"... If they really have the passion and interest, they'll still not give up, but start to "adjust" his equipment to suit him best.
But fact is, astro is not just about seeing things (if it is, we just have to look at photos...no need scopes), it is also about the process of finding those things which fortunately you realised it now with your bino.
The problem is how many people have the patient to do star hop to find the object and try again if they can't find it... now people will start to complaint when their computer just take a few more minutes to boot! :( :(
Also, it frustrating that you aren't sure whether you can't find it or just that you can't see it in Singapore. :( :( :(

Have a nice day.
Yang Weixing
:mrgreen: "The universe is composed mainly of hydrogen and ignorance." :mrgreen:

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ariefm71
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Post by ariefm71 »

Even for newbies, you need to get at least a 3" scope.

"The first three inches are the most important. A three inch scope amounts to something like a four magnitude gain over the unaided eye. To get another four magnitude gain over the three inch, you'd have to get something in the twenty four to thirty inch range."

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acc
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Favourite scope: Mag1 Instruments 12.5" Portaball

Post by acc »

Second Weixing's and Arief's comments. With the availability of affordable and good instruments in recent years, it is not a necessity to start off only with a pair of binos or an under-sized telescope with <80mm aperture.

I don't think anyone in this forums has ever encouraged "getting the biggest scope you can afford". Rather the sensible way is to "get the biggest scope you can afford and can carry with reasonable effort".
We do it in the dark...
Portaball 12.5"
Takahashi Mewlon 210
William Optics 110ED
...and all night long!

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Airconvent
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Post by Airconvent »

Right...join obs sessions, figure out which one you need and go straight for it if you can afford it. if not, buying a lower end one and upgrading later may cost more as equipment price usually have depreciation.
The Boldly Go Where No Meade Has Gone Before
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United Federation of the Planets

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rlow
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Location: Jurong

Post by rlow »

As I always said...start small, unless you have the means to carry those big scopes around. Going for big and bulky setups is the number one killer for most new comers. You are not the first one. But still, many here tell newbies to go for the "biggest scope you can afford" because it is no fun seeing tiny things with a small scope. But fact is, astro is not just about seeing things (if it is, we just have to look at photos...no need scopes), it is also about the process of finding those things which fortunately you realised it now with your bino.
I have to agree with Vin Snr here, you should get the scope you can afford AND yet easily carry out to use. If you cannot easily carry out the scope and everything else by yourself at one time, then it is likely that you will eventually find the setup too troublesome and the setup may see less usage in future.

I noticed that the use of binoculars has been very much under-rated here. If you put your bino to good use, it will help you get familiarised with the sky more and find objects faster.
Last edited by rlow on Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Grievous
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Post by Grievous »

Problem is, I'm not much of a newbie and yet I had did that big mistake!

Shame on me! Shame shame! :oops:
The gentle light of a distant galaxy
must needs pour into mine eye.
Or i shall with bent and turned,
fall me down, distraught..To die.

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VinSnr
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Post by VinSnr »

Grievous wrote:Problem is, I'm not much of a newbie and yet I had did that big mistake!

Shame on me! Shame shame! :oops:
dun worry bro....it all happens to us once in awhile.

As long ur passion is there, I am sure you will come back one day with a scope that will probably outlast your previous one.

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Canopus Lim
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Post by Canopus Lim »

Actually I agree with everyone's view. I also started off with a bino (although 'kana' cheated to pay so much when bought in Spore) and it really helped me to identify the stars and constellations. Later I progressed to the C5 which I currently own, then the Orion 8 inch dob and now 12.5 inch Obby. It took me years before I realised what I wanted to achieve in astronomy. I am sure at the start we do not know what we want or really know anything about astronomy. Some have become astrophotographers and some just visual. For me, I like the visual part and the experience part and hence I have configured my equipment that suit my observing style and my likes of astronomy and that is to be a stargazer (more of appreciating the stars and the universe rather than really understanding all the physics stuff behind it). I agree to what Weixing says and what VinSnr says. Actually it is necessary to have both the bino and a scope that is large/affordable enough and not too hard to carry about as what Rlow had said. Also, in the end it also boils down in how much interest and passion we have. I am sure many people would say that we are 'hardcore' to spend so much on astronomy, but that is because we have come to the point that we really appreciate what we see and we really want to appreciate what we see to a higher level and detail. I do not feel that I have wasted my money in astronomy as what I have seen and experienced is really worth more than money can buy and there are many people who have never a chance to see those things. This is something to remember.
AstroDuck

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rlow
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Post by rlow »

Problem is, I'm not much of a newbie and yet I had did that big mistake!
Don't worry Charlie! We all make mistakes lah!

Yes, passion is very important in this hobby. It can make you carry more equipment than is normally possible. For example, look at how much scope and equipment that Weixing carrys. :)

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ariefm71
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Post by ariefm71 »

Owning an FLT110 is never a mistake, mounting it on a GEM for grab'n go and travel scope is :D

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