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Thread: Telescope buying help

  1. #1
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    Telescope buying help

    Any stargazers out there? I'm looking to buy a telescope for an 8 year old for Christmas. I know nothing about telescopes and very little about astronomy in general. This thing could be collecting dust in a couple of months so I'm not looking to break the bank but if anybody has any suggestions on Amazon I'm all ears.

  2. #2
    Buy her a metal detector instead. You'll thank me for it. Did the telescope thing in the past too and unless you're willing to shell out serious money, she won't really be able to see shit all and it'll be abandoned inside a weekend. The first time she finds a nickel in the dirt, snow, or sand, she'll be hooked for life. It's addictive.
    Everything's Got A Price

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Plum View Post
    Any stargazers out there? I'm looking to buy a telescope for an 8 year old for Christmas. I know nothing about telescopes and very little about astronomy in general. This thing could be collecting dust in a couple of months so I'm not looking to break the bank but if anybody has any suggestions on Amazon I'm all ears.
    Start with some binoculars first and look at the moon. Some specific specs suggested in here.

    https://earthsky.org/human-world/top...for-stargazing

  4. #4
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    Yeah, a decent set of binoculars is a better way to begin. Good telescopes are pricey and complicated, cheap ones are lousy and complicated. Optical quality is the first thing to consider, then f-ratio (smaller number is better), then the mount. Equatorial mounts are best, but the most expensive. Dobsonian are easy, and alta-azimuth, but won't track without operating 2 controls.

    For binoculars for an 8 year-old you want quality combined with low weight. Get some advice from an experienced person. The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Toronto Centre, often has stargazing nights in various locations year-round. Look them up on line and attend one, the folks there can give you good advice.

    Another advantage of binoculars is that they are more versatile, and can be used for birding, aircraft, baseball games, and just general fun.

  5. #5
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    The only thing I know about telescopes is to avoid any with cheap plastic lenses.

  6. #6
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    Avoid the telescope... Lots of potential, but never a hit. Binoculars are a good suggestion. Metal detector is a whole other world (in which I'd recommend you shop at RadioWorld).
    -Goodoer

    "I might just reverse my vasectomy for a lady who does this...

  7. #7
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    Her's a link to the RASC web site, with a list of event nights. The members will be familiar with binoculars as well as telescopes, and are enthusiastic about 'talking shop'. And don't worry about asking dumb questions, I can guarantee they've heard things so stupid that they would even shock Big Sleazy.

    https://rascto.ca/

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