Beginner telescope with a room to grow

Any stargazers here? I would like to buy a telescope for my son. He is 12. Any recommendations/advices? What would be a good forum to check?


@ architect - Don’t know about the telescopes, but the app star walk 2 could be of help to find your way around the stars and orientate a bit …

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I’ll take all tips and tricks ;D

I thought about this my self a while ago, my son is 7 now.
But after reading a bit into the topic, with all the filters you need for planets, moon, stars, … and the fact that stars and planets are really moving fast when you have a high magnification, lowered down my initial energy on this topic a bit.

I prefer stellarium software where you set time and position, define which magnitude you can or not… But that’s just my choice :wink:

For the choice of a telescope, it dépends of what you want to see and your budget ! If you just want to see the moon, first price can be enough, but if you want to explore deep univers, you can’t get anything for less than 3000$ !

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I’ve been keeping my eye on the Ultrascope project. If you have access to a Lumia 1020/1050 then it looks like an interesting project. I’m waiting on the new Microsoft flagship phones to be released so I can upgrade and start the build.


@ ianlee74 - Not much news since Nov 11th, 2014 …

@ architect - are you looking for the rings of saturn or just a great view of a crescent moon? manual or automated tracking? camera mount? there are a lot of options, and they get pricey quickly. you can probably find a local stargazers club and attend a meeting to see what they have for equipment. they usually have online forums for this kind of question. however, i’ve found their idea of “amateur” is actually very sophisticated.

My son got a basic telescope as a gift and after a few peeks at the moon, it has been collecting dust (even with some encouragement to dust it off). It did inspire his interest in astronomy, though, and we’ve had lots of fun with Google SkyMap and the Perseids activity this summer.

Hmmm… It would appear they are not updating the website. However, I am on their beta list and the last email update I got was from earlier this year. There’s definitely still work being done.

@ Architect - Lately I’ve been researching some spotting scopes for target shooting, and I came across this one, which seems to work as both a terrestrial spotting scope and also an introductory astronomy scope:

The reviews are glowing, especially on the price/performance front. The magnification is changed by swapping out eyepieces, and I believe this particular scope comes with 39X and 100X eyepieces, and is compatible with standard 1.25-inch eyepieces for other magnifications. It also appears to have a built-in camera mount for astrophotography.

The included tripod, I hear, is rubbish for astronomy though, so you might want to pick up a nice stable one for looking at the sky.

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I bought this one a couple of years ago for my son 3 at the time, he developed an interested and wanted one so bad…

But I soon got frustrated with it because it was not easy to use, and I’m talking about me using it not him :slight_smile: anyway, my recommendation is to get something that can be attached to it for easy viewing… don’t get me wrong, it works when used with different lenses. But it’s hard to keep the target locked for kids… hence the need to a tablet or some sort of external display for better exploration…

Maybe it would be better if used with this camera…


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