Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 39603
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2018/06/22 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2005/9/9-13 [Science/Space] UID:39603 Activity:kinda low
9/9     Looking to buy an entry-level telescope in the ~$500 range.
        Any recommendations?
        \_ I have a Meade ETX-90 (the old non-computerized version).
           Excellent optics and very portable.
           Or if you like Celestrons, this isn't too bad -- wider aperture
           but a bit bulkier:
           At any rate, go for as large an aperture as you can afford.
           \_ second that.  It's not the size, it's the apature that matters.
        \_ I have a Celestron mirror telescope with a 910mm lens.  It's
           great for starting.  Look at for some info,
           but there are many other great sites you'll find with some basic
           googling.  It's not strictly "entry-level", but I would look for
           a scope that can fit a motor with usb controller port--it's great
           to be able to just point and click on objects on some planetarium
           program on a laptop and have the scope move there, as well as to
           have it keep tracking an object.  A Russian colleague who's teh
           telescope god recommended some Russian outfit that makes super high
           quality scopes for far less than Meade or Takahashi; I can find out
           if you're interested.  Most important:  get a really good bag for
           it so you can go into the field.  -John
           \_ John, you have too many expensive hobbies.
              By the way, are those big and cheap reflectors any good
              for beginners?
              \_ Urgh, it was a present from my girlfriend.  This one wasn't
                 "cheap" per se (about $1.5k, but relatively inexpensive as
                 far as good telescopes go--remember that, like cameras, sky's
                 the limit pricewise.)  Depends on what you mean by "good"--I
                 took some time to read up on lenses, cosmic objects, whatnot,
                 but I still just like going out and looking at Jupiter/Mars.
                 It's sort of important how much you intend to get into the
                 topic.  Maybe it's best to find someone knowledgeable to go
                 stargazing with--people with good telescopes are usually
                 pretty enthusiastic about getting people into it.  I'd ask
                 Prof. Filipenko (sp?) about some pointers, if he's still
                 around.  -John
                 \_ why would you ask Filipenko about a hobby telescope?
                 \_ Why would you ask Filipenko about a hobby telescope?
                    Do you ask Econ profs for tax/investment/real estate
                    \_ Are you being difficult on purpose?  I'm trying to be
                       informative.  Filipenko might know about clubs of
                       hobby astronomers in the BA who will probably be
                       happy to help you/op get into it--he seemed pretty
                       approachable about stuff like that.  Also, I just
                       remembered that I lived next to a guy in SF who was
                       part of a club that ground their own lenses and sold
                       really nice home-made telescopes--if you ask around,
                       maybe you can get a good deal on one of those.  -John
                    \_ Why wouldn't you ask an econ prof for that sort of
                       advice? Most econ profs I met were pretty well off
                       financially. It's their expertise. Likewise, asking
                       astronomers about telescopes makes a lot of sense.
                       What's your deal?
                       \- it make a lot more sense to ask a hobbyist group
                          in the telescope case. do you ask cs profs what
                          computer you should buy? dear prof katz, which
                          raid card do you recommend. econ profs may have
                          perfectly good answers but unless you have a
                          non-standard relationship with them, i dont think
                          it would be appropriate to make an appt with one
                          to talk about your portfolio. unless filipenko in
                          particular has somehow advertised "come talk to
                          me if you are interested in buying a telescope".
                          \_ I think if you're in his class it is perfectly
                             reasonable to ask him. I'm not discussing
                             the case where one makes a totally random
                             appointment with a prof they do not know. Maybe
                             a hobbyist group would give better answers.
                             Maybe not. I found astronomy profs at
                             Berkeley to be fantastically approachable in
                             addition to extremely bright. My astronomy
                             profs were some of the only profs I had at
                             Berkeley that gave the impression they loved
                             to teach and actually cared about students.
2018/06/22 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

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1/21    I'm looking for a decent telescope in the $200-$300 price range.
        Any recommendations (or brands to avoid)? tia.
        \_ Don't buy at Costco, the optics in the objective are worthless
           \_ Thanks for the tip.  Are there any south bay retailers (or
              online) that are good?
        \_ you have a such bizzare requirement.  what are you trying to do?
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ETX-90AT, ETX-105AT, and ETX-125AT Astro Telescopes ETX-90AT, ETX-105AT, and ETX-125AT When the original ETX^ telescope was introduced in 1996, it quickly crea ted a revolution in amateur astronomy. Here for the first time was a stu nningly beautiful, ultraportable, and highly versatile telescope system of unprecedented optical resolution and performance. Within one year of its introduction the ETX became the largest-selling modern telescope in the world. Autostar Compu ter Controller ever produced in their price range. And yet without sac rificing any of the user-friendly features that started the ETX revoluti on. Optical Systems: Manufactured at the Meade Irvine, California, facility, ETX Maksutov-Cassegrain telescopes produce superlative, diffraction-limi ted optical performance and resolution. Optics so high in contrast, imag e brightness, and resolution that ETX-90AT, ETX-105AT, and ETX-125AT mod els often outperform many telescopes of larger apertures. ETX-90AT Maksutov-Cassegrain Optical System Fork Mounts with Standard-Equipment Dual-Axis Drive System and #497 Autos tar Controller: The rigid fork mountings of ETX Maksutov-Cassegrain mode ls include high-torque DC motors on both telescope axes, permitting elec tronic operation from the standard-equipment Autostar controller. With t he telescope placed in the altazimuth mode on a table, astronomical obje ct-tracking may be accomplished automatically, after a quick and easy 2- minute alignment of Autostar to the sky. Alternately, the telescope may be mounted in either the altazimuth or equatorial modes on the standard- equipment #884 Deluxe Field Tripod. Cordless Field Operation: The drive base of each telescope accepts eight (user-supplied) AA-batteries that power the telescope for about 20 hours of normal usage, negating any requirement for an external power source in the field. Materials and Coatings: ETX optical systems include a Maksutov meniscus c orrector lens of Grade-A BK7 optical glass. This lens is individually ha nd-figured by a Meade master optician to achieve an optical null in comb ination with the Pyrex^ primary mirror. High transmission magnesium flu oride (MgF2) coatings on both sides of the correcting lens, as well as a luminum/silicon monoxide coatings on the primary and secondary mirrors, are provided as standard equipment. Optional coatings, described below, increase light transmission and reflectance still further. Ultra-High Transmission Coatings (UHTC): Available optionally with the ETX-90AT, ETX-105AT, or ETX-125AT, the Meade UHTC group permits the hig hest levels of light transmission (about a 15% increase in total telesco pe light transmission compared to the standard coatings) ever offered on amateur telescopes. The UHTC group, if desired, must be specified at th e time of telescope order. we sent the scope to a series of targets sprea d across the sky. Views of the Moon and planets were all satisfyingly crisp . One of my most enjoyable moments with this Mak came while I was viewing Castor on a foggy evening that offered very goo d seeing. The scope split this unequal double star very cleanly and disp layed the sort of Airy disks and diffraction rings that one sees in opti cal textbooks but seldom in real life." Standard Equipment: Meade ETX Astro Telescopes are supplied as complete i nstruments. Standard equipment includes a premium-grade Meade Series 400 0 Super Plssl 26mm eyepiece for 48X with the ETX-90AT, 57X with the ETX -105AT, or 73X with the ETX-125AT. The 8 x 21mm viewfinder of the ETX-90 AT incorporates an internal roof prism that results in an erect-image or ientation, facilitating the quick location and field-centering of both t errestrial and astronomical objects. ETX-105AT and ETX-125AT models are supplied with an 8 x 25mm right-angle viewfinder for comfortable object- sighting with the larger instruments. The #884 Deluxe Field Tripod is in cluded for rigid mounting of the telescope during standing or seated obs erving in either the altazimuth or equatorial mode. Use the standard-equ ipment #497 Autostar controller for automatic GO TO object locating. Motor Drive Systems DC servo motors with encoders, both axes; At 50X the image showed incredible contrast and sharpness alon g the terminator. At 190X the lunar image fully maintained its rock-hard focus. Even at 350X, one hundred p ower per inch of aperture, no breakdown of the image occurred. Now I had to give the ETX the most sensitive test of all, viewing a second magnit ude star at this same extreme power. Clearly defined, faint, concentric diffraction rings surrounded the small, bright Airy disc. Taking the star both in and out of focus r evealed identically sized secondary shadow obstructions. Clearly, I was observing through an optical system that has no detectable wavefront err or." Fifteen optionally available eyepieces permit ma gnification ranges of from 31X to over 300X with the ETX-90AT, from 37X to over #932 45 degree Erecting Prism For terrestrial observing with the ETX-90AT, ETX-105AT, and ETX-125AT Ast ro Telescopes the #932 45 Erecting Prism attaches to the telescope's re ar cell and presents correctly-oriented images, viewed at a convenient 4 57deg; Also shown in this photo are the Declination lock, focuser knob, and flip-mirror knob. The #126 2x Barlow Lens, a special short-foc us Barlow ideally suited to ETX systems, doubles the power of any eyepie ce. For terrestrial photography or astrophotography of the Moon and plan ets, the #64 T-Adapter threads to the telescope's rear cell and, with th e appropriate T-mount, accepts any 35mm camera with removable lens. In this way ETX models may be used for terrestrial photography or fo r astrophotography of the Moon and planets. Even the most novice observer will find himself or herself locating dozens of fascinating celestial objects the very first night out - from commonly-observed objects such as the rings of Saturn, the satellites of Jupiter, and the Orion Nebula (M42); to more difficult objects such as the Ring Nebula (M57) in Lyra, the Spiral Galaxy (M33) in Triangulum, an d the Sombrero Galaxy (M104) in Virgo; to very obscure objects near the telescope's threshold of visibility such as the diffuse nebula NGC 6559 in Sagittarius, the galactic star cluster NGC 1778 in Auriga, and the sp iral galaxy NGC 3310 in Ursa Major. Any of Autostar's database objects can be called up and entered on the ha nd controller display in seconds. The observer then simply presses the G O TO pushbutton and watches as the telescope automatically slews (moves) to the object and places it in the field of view. The effect of Autosta r is to bring objects easily within reach which were previously unreacha ble for all but the most dedicated of amateur astronomers. Without exaggeration the Meade Autostar Computer Controller opens up a ne w era in astronomical study for the casual or beginning astronomer, just as Meade LX200 and LX200GPS Schmidt-Cassegrains have for the advanced a mateur. Most Autostar users see more celestial objects in one night's vi ewing than typical first-time telescope owners previously have in a life time. Object Database: Included within Autostar's database are all of the follo wing astronomical objects a range of objects certain to keep even the most active amateur astronomer growing in his or her studies of the skie s for years: 5,386 objects from the Index Catalog (IC); the complete Index Catalog 7,840 objects from the New General Catalog (NGC); additional galaxies, ne bulae, and star clusters of all types; the complete New General Catalog 109 objects from the Caldwell Catalog of the best objects for small teles copes 110 Messier objects; the complete Messier catalog 16,800 stars from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) catalog , including double stars, variable stars, and other stars of special not e 50 Earth-orbiting satellites 26 asteroids, including all of the brightest asteroids 15 periodic comets 8 major planets from Mercury to Pluto Any of the objects in the preceding listing can be located simply by call ing up the object from the Autostar database and pressing GO TO. 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Great Optics and Computerized GoTo Pointing Make Stargazing Effortless an d Tons of Fun Don't know Lyra from Leo? You don't have to know the constellations to locate oodles of celestial objects wi th a StarSeeker GoTo telescope. This high-tech telescope incorporates the latest computerized object-loca ting technology, which points the scope automatically to any of 4,000+ a stronomical objects in its database! Includes scope, mount and t ripod, two 125" Kellner eyepieces, and a red-dot finder scope to aid in the initial alignment. Celestron StarSeeker 130mm GoTo Telescope Dont know Lyra from Leo? You don't have to know the constellations and you certainly don't need a star map to locate oodles of celestial objects with a StarSeeker GoTo telescope. This high-tech 130mm reflector telescope will turn even the absolute skyw atching novice into an instant astronomer. It incorporates the latest co mputerized object-locating technology, which automatically points the sc ope to any target you select from the electronic library of 4,000+ astro nomical objects! And it features the revolutionary SkyAlign technology, which makes the initial alignment of the telescope as easy as pointing t he scope to any three bright stars or planets and you dont even have to know their names. Using the red-illuminated hand controller (included), you just select an object from one of the user-friendly menus, and twin high-precision serv o motors in the single-arm mount guide the scope to it at up to 4 degree s per second, putting it right in the eyepiece for you to view. The Star Seeker then tracks the object so it will stay in the field of view until youre ready to move on to the next object. This model has the largest optics of all the StarSeekers, so it sees the deepest into space. Everyone in the family will enjoy the crisp view s of star clusters, nebulas, Moon, and planets that this telescope serve s up. The StarSeekers mount is solidly constructed of cast metal, for greater stability and durability compared to other GoTo scopes in their class, w hich have a lot of plastic parts. With their sturdy, pre-assembled alumi num tripods, StarSeeker telescopes can be set up and ready to use in min utes. The telescope comes equipped with a 125 rack-and-pinion focuser, two qu ality 125 Kellner eyepieces, and a red-dot finder scope to aid in the initial alignment. Power is supplied by eight AA batteries (not included) in an external bat tery pack, or by an optional 12-volt DC battery such as the Orion Dynamo (#2305). An optional AC adapter (#7234) is also available for use of ho usehold 110-volt power.
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Stellarvue Telescopes and Accessories You've found one of the most comprehensive telescope review websites on the internet. Inside, you'll find reviews of over 100 telescopes, eyepiece reviews, a beginner's advice column, feature articles, and lots more! If you like this site, please patronize the advertisers on these pages, they help defray bandwidth costs. DO NOT LOOK AT THE SUN THROUGH A TELESCOPE WITHOUT PROPER FILTRATION.