Newbie @ Bedok Reservoir

For people new to astronomy who want to ask those questions that they were afraid to ask. Receive helpful answers here.
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wind
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Newbie @ Bedok Reservoir

Post by wind »

HI All

Just to say hi and seek a few advise with regards to buying a new telescope to explore the stars with my 2 young kids. Been looking around at a few local websites retailing telescopes and narrowed down my options to the 3 computerized scope below:

- Sky-Watcher 130P SynScan
- Celestron NexStar 130 SLT
- Celestron NexStar 6 SE Telescope

Would like to see if the experiences star gazers can share any experiences/comments on the above scopes and if there is any other scopes that you would recommend?

Many thanks in advance and look forward to joining any future gazing sessions! Cheers!

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Gary
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Re: Newbie @ Bedok Reservoir

Post by Gary »

wind wrote:HI All

Just to say hi and seek a few advise with regards to buying a new telescope to explore the stars with my 2 young kids. Been looking around at a few local websites retailing telescopes and narrowed down my options to the 3 computerized scope below:

- Sky-Watcher 130P SynScan
- Celestron NexStar 130 SLT
- Celestron NexStar 6 SE Telescope

Would like to see if the experiences star gazers can share any experiences/comments on the above scopes and if there is any other scopes that you would recommend?

Many thanks in advance and look forward to joining any future gazing sessions! Cheers!
Hi wind. Welcome to the forum and hobby!

For your 3 options, i think the major subjective decision you have to make is whether your prefer the pros and cons of a reflector over an SCT. Find out which objects you prefer to look at more and select the design can that do that slightly better.

Personally, for a beginner first telescope only among this list of 3, I am more bias and in favor of 6SE. It has its fair share of cons - narrower field of view, may need a dew shield if observing at dewy locations for long hours. But its pros is very attractive too - more portable telescope body, accepts and balances accessories easier, less collimation required (compared to reflectors), close tube system (kids can't accidentally throw/drop things inside and scratching the primary mirror :)).

Do research on other designs like Maksutov Cassegrain Telescope (MCT). The 5-inch model (127mm) is quite popular too.

Do borrow and read the excellent Backyard Astronomer's Guide (or Star Ware) from national libraries if you have not already done so. Will help immensely in your research.

Good luck and hope to stargaze with your family soon!
http://www.astro.sg
email: gary[at]astro.sg
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"The importance of a telescope is not how big it is, how well made it is.
It is how many people, less fortunate than you, got to look through it."
-- John Dobson.

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antares2063
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Re: Newbie @ Bedok Reservoir

Post by antares2063 »

Hi wind,

I just went to Bedok reservoir last friday evening for a obs session , glad to meet another East-sider! :)

Before even buying any of the 3 , have you ever seen a mount and telescope in person? Do take note of the weight / logistics and how to lug it around. and as Gary mentioned, there are
different optical systems , each with their pros and cons.

If possible do join some of the observing sessions , (check sub forum "Events and Observing Sessions") to have a feel/sense of how big a scope is before committing to buy one :)

Regards,
Junwei
I miss the place where stars shine bright, to gaze upwards in awe of the sight

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wind
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Re: Newbie @ Bedok Reservoir

Post by wind »

Hi Gary and Junwei! Many thanks for your kind advise. I will try to read up on the titles mentioned above before deciding which one to get.

I was actually at Bedok Reservoir last friday night hoping to catch you guys in action but I was at the WaWaWa side, trying to catch a view of Jupiter with my very basic telescope which I got for my kids awhile back. Look forward to joining you guys for the next OS in the vicinity.

Cheers!

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ivan
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Re: Newbie @ Bedok Reservoir

Post by ivan »

Hi Wind, welcome to the forum!

Firstly, I guess it mainly depends on what you want to see. The 6SE will probably beat the other two hands down in terms of planetary and lunar views. However, because of its long focal length, it tends to have a much higher magnification for a given eyepiece than the other two. This means that it may be less ideal for viewing large deep sky objects like star clusters and nebulae. However, this could be overcome by using a focal reducer or a long focal length eyepiece (at the risk of vignetting).

As for the GOTO and mounting, the 6SE is also going to be better. The mount is much sturdier than that of the other two. The mount that the 6SE uses is identical to the one used for the 8SE, so undermounting wouldn't be an issue.

If cost ultimately turns out to be an issue, and you had to decide between the 130SLT and 130P, I would say it is almost identical. Both are made by the same company, after all. However, from what I've heard, the Skywatcher system does not allow you to align on certain objects, like the moon. I may be wrong, though. Got to check that out.
Just a casual stargazer

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bornfree
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Re: Newbie @ Bedok Reservoir

Post by bornfree »

we were @ the WaWaWa side as well, @ the fishing deck as it was a darker choice. this Sat, we are holding sidewalk sessions in various parts of Sg. if it is convenient for u, u can try the Bishan park.@ the Mcdonalds. a very prominent landmark of the area.
clear nites~
Born to be Free

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antares2063
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Re: Newbie @ Bedok Reservoir

Post by antares2063 »

Ah...should have given me a call...we were at the lower elevation...wawawa was eye level with us :)
I miss the place where stars shine bright, to gaze upwards in awe of the sight

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wind
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Re: Newbie @ Bedok Reservoir

Post by wind »

Thanks Ivan for the informative piece above!

Only hung around at the car park area, otherwise would probably have bumped into you guys .. next time!!

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Great Red Spot
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Re: Newbie @ Bedok Reservoir

Post by Great Red Spot »

Hi Wind,

I have a Nexstar 6se as well as the Skyprodigy 130 (which is essentially the SLT130 plus a CCD camera). I use the 6se most of the time.

The 6se scope is more compact than the 130 scope and hence easier to carry around. Having a longer focal length also makes it a better scope for planetary viewing.

More importantly, the 6se mount is much more substantial and steady. The 8se model uses the same mount. There are two advantages to this. First, there would be less vibrations when observing. Second, it allows you the possibility of mounting a slightly heavier scope on it if you decide to upgrade in the future.

Hope this helps :)

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wind
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Re: Newbie @ Bedok Reservoir

Post by wind »

Thanks GRS and all! Finally got my 6SE last night along with a Barlow and 17mm .. yet to try out the Sky Align thingy but looking forward to the next OBS / learning session in the vicinity! Cheers!

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