Below are some of the telescopes I've used in recent years, ranging from ~30 -3000 dollars. (shortened for YTs character limits) Price $35 76mm reflector dobsonian mounted (Celestron Firstscope) Weight ~ 1kg (a couple of pounds) Setup time ~0 East of Transport 1 Short focal length- wide angle field of view. Finder not really necessary. Ultra cheap, good views of Moon, Jupiter Venus, rings of Saturn, bright, wide separation double stars, and brighter deep sky objects such as M13. I was not particularly impressed with the optics on mine, but for 35 bucks, you cant complain too much! Price $200 90mm Maksutov-Cassegrain, dobsonian mount (Orion Apex) Weight ~ 1kg (a couple of pounds) Setup time ~0 East of Transport 1 Longer focal length means smaller field of view for comparable eye pieces. I was impressed with this scope on the planets. It vastly outperforms the Firstscope on optics. The scope comes off the dobsonian mount on a quick release and can be mounted as a spotter scope (the main reason I got it). The dobsonian mount here (one arm) is exactly the same as the mount for the Firstscope. These are sort of the poor mans refractor. Great views of Moon and all the bright planets. Picked out Titan (brightest moon of saturn) with ease. I got this telescope for two reasons, firstly for outreach, in that you can just grab it and point it in seconds, zero setup time. Secondly I can mount it piggyback on the CPC11 (see below) and use it as a spotting/ guide scope. The Maksutov has the 'nice' feature that its a closed tube(helps keep dust out). The Mak. will have the edge on planets/ guidescope etc due to its longer focal length, but the Newtonian will be more all around bang for the buck. Price $600 10in Newtonian reflector, dobsonian mount (Celestron Starhopper) Weight ~ 15kg (~30lbs) Setup time ~10 mins to carry parts outside, 10 mins + cool down. East of Transport: Telescope is about the size of a small child (although not that heavy). It is big and awkward. Difficult to handle for the small. Almost the biggest telescope you can fit in a compact car (the reason I got it). The long open optical train requires periodic alignment (columniation) if it is frequently transported. Powerful deep-sky scope. Near zero photographic potential, but fantastic views of nebula, globular clusters and galaxies. Great scope for planets too. At this size the moon is getting too bright to look at for any length of time. Like most big newtonians, short focal ratio, which pragmatically means you get quite wide angle views. Again well suited to deep sky observing. Price $1500 90mm (3.5in) Stellarvue apochromat, -no mount, tube only (Apo Triplet) Weight ~ 4kg (~8lbs) East of Transport: The telescope is small and easy to transport. Comes with a bag that will go on an airplane as hand baggage. Worth the price for the aperture? Probably not unless you are in a fairly specific niche. This makes a great wide angle lenses for guided photography. As a guidescope its focal length is kind of short. That basically means the field of view for a given eye piece is wide. You need a very short focal length eye piece to get good magnification. I found myself using a 4mm eyepiece to look at planets, and even at that the image was small. As a finder scope though, that wide field is great. The other thing that these scope gives is absolutely beautiful stellar images. The stars just fall into incredible pin pricks. Beautiful contrasty flat views. I found the use of the short focal length eyepieces annoying for planetary use. Lacks the light gathering for versatility as a deep sky instrument. I only really ever used this as a piggybacker for the CPC11 below. Price $2800 11in Schmidt Cassegrain, driven goto alt-az fork mount (CPC11) Weight ~ 30kg (~65lbs) and thats just the top section. Tripods another 15 kg I think. Setup time ~30 mins to carry parts outside and align, 20 mins + cool down. East of Transport: It will fit in a compact car. To carry the telescope any distance really isnt an option unless you are strong. The ergonomic design is very good though. I always found mounting up the scope a bit of a bitch. Aligning it is relatively easy as the scope mount has a GPS in it that means you dont have to plug in these numbers and the time. Alignment is quite easy. I found the scope slips relatively easily unless the clutches are done up very tight. The scope can carry quite a burden (although of course when the scope weights this much extra, it does need to be well balanced). At this level it is an excellent photographic platform. It yields amazing views of almost everything. It's photographic potential is probably as good as you can get from a portable platform. This is the instrument I used to do the full rotation of Jupiter, although there the primary limitation was the stability of the sky.
which telescope to buy beginner buyers guide buying first starter start fun with astronomy dobsonian newtonian refractor reflector Maksutov Schmidt Cassegrain achromatic apochromatic amazon for ratings purchase jupiter moon planets night sky nebular stars equatorial altazimuth tripod scope lunar eclipse saturn mars venus celestron meade orion televue
A beauteous rip through the solar sytem, based on NASA's Science on a Sphere program "The Wanderers." In ancient times, humans watched the skies looking for clues to their future and to aid in their very survival. They soon observed that some stars were not fixed, but moved in the sky from night to night. They called these stars the wanderers. At the center of our solar system is the sun, binding the planets with its gravitational pull. From our viewpoint on earth, the sun appears small in the sky, but in reality it dwarfs even Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. The distance from the sun to the small worlds traveling it are vast. Light takes eight minutes to reach earth, and nearly a day to reach the farthest known bodies. Join us now as we tour our solar system, starting with sun-baked mercury and traveling to the remotest outskirts, where small, icy bodies move with only the faintest connection to our sun. Mercury Mercury, the closest planet to Sun is also the smallest terrestrial planet. It orbits so swiftly that its year lasts only 88 Earth days. The airless cratered surface could almost be mistaken for our moon, relentlessly bombarded by meteoroids for four and a half billion years. One of these encounters left a giant scar called the golarus basin, one of the largest impact sights in the solar system. Temperatures on the surface of mercury can reach a blistering 800 degrees Fahrenheit, and can dip to 300 degrees below zero on the night side. Venus Venus, as seen from Earth, is the brightest object in sky after the Sun and Moon. Russian probes were the first to land on Venus in the 1970's and 1980's. Venus's surface is volcanic. Its atmosphere is composed of thick, dense carbon dioxide with sulfuric acid clouds. Both are potent greenhouse gases that trap incoming sunlight. Venus rotates slowly—one Venusian day lasts almost four Earth months. Earth Earth is the only planet with life as we know it. The atmosphere and temperatures are "just right" for life. It is the only known body in our solar system where water can exist as a gas, liquid, and solid. Vast oceans dominate surface of the planet. Seasonal changes occur on the surface. Earth has a solid surface that constantly shifts due to plate tectonics. Mars Once geologically active, Mars has the largest dormant volcano in the solar system, Olympus Mons. It also hast the longest valley in the solar system, called Valles Marineris. Mars has a thin, atmosphere primarily composed of carbon dioxide. Surface conditions are dynamic. Mars has seasons as well as massive dust storms that cover the planet. Its surface features include the smooth, low-lying northern hemisphere and the craggy, heavily-cratered southern uplands. Evidence suggests that Mars had water running on its surface at some time in the past. Asteroid belt The asteroid belt is composed of small rocky pieces. The big question is "What happened here?" and "Why no planets?" The asteroid Ceres is large enough to be classified as a dwarf planet. Jupiter Jupiter is the largest and most massive planet in the Solar System. It rotates rapidly, completing one rotation every 10 hours. Long-lasting, high-speed winds and storms dominate Jupiter's atmosphere. Jupiter has a faint planetary ring system and over 63 moons. The largest moons, discovered by Galileo in 1610, vary widely. Io is volcanically active. Europa's cracked surface likely hides an ocean below. Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar System. Callisto is heavily cratered. Saturn Saturn's seemingly serene atmosphere hides powerful storms and winds on its surface. Saturn is known for its extensive ring system made of chunks of ice, rock, and dust with small moonlets embedded within the rings. Saturn has more than 60 moons. Conditions vary among the moons. Titan, the largest moon, has a thick, smoggy, atmosphere covering its icy surface with lakes of liquid methane or ethane. Small Enceladus has water and ice geysers at its south pole. Its water vapor coat other nearby moons and create a thin Saturn ring. Uranus Uranus receives 400 times less sunlight than Earth. Uranus lies nearly sideways, making its axis nearly parallel to the plane of the Solar System. This extreme tilt give rise to seasons that last nearly 28 Earth years. Uranus as many moons and a faint ring system. It has only been visited by one spacecraft, Voyager 2, in 1986. Like the other giant planets, Uranus's atmosphere is primarily hydrogen and helium with a trace of methane gas over deep clouds, giving it a pale blue-green tint. Neptune Neptune also has many moons and a faint ring system. Its Great Dark Spot, a large storm with extremely strong winds, disappeared in the 1990s. Neptune's vivid blue color is due to its frigid temperature: -371°F (-224 °C).
Wandering Stars moon nasa earth orbit solar system venus sun galileo einstein star planet universe space apollo astronauts Apollo Program Ufo rocket galaxy asteroid origins lunar jfk john f. kennedy orbiter camera crater meteor impact comet buzz aldrin astronaut neil armstrong radiation astronomy alien aliens shuttle outer secret
Visit http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/07sep_twomoons/ for the full story. Did our planet once have two moons? Some researchers say so. Moreover, the missing satellite might still be up there--splattered across the far side of the Moon. NASA's GRAIL mission could help confirm or refute the "two moon" hypothesis.
The Living Picture Visual Thaeater presents: Planetary Morphology Theater in 42nd Lunar and Planetary Conference 2011 Houston
Today we were treated to a very special sight; the Moon came in between the SDO satellite and the Sun. For 1 hour and 41 minutes team SDO observed the Lunar Transit. This event only happens a few times a year but gives the SDO Team an opportunity to better understand the AIA instrument on SDO and give it a fine tune. This video shows today's Lunar Eclipse in a variety of wavelengths the AIA instrument observes. Each wavelength shows us a different temperature and layer of the Sun, allowing us to study the Sun and its activities. Credit: NASA SDO
Gridkeeper Music http://www.youtube.com/gridkeepermusic Lunar Moon Crater Copernicus Close up 2009 filmed through a 12" Meade LX 90 telescope by John Lenard Walson. Video edit, audio and hosting by Gridkeeper. I tried to get this clearer but it's still not enough. The original film is incredible. This might look better when viewed on a Mac and old PC screens, not the LCD ones. PLease watch using the high quality option. Latest audio house/dance release from Gridkeeper - Moon Transmissions e.p. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Moon-Transmissions-e-p/dp/B0029BTYAU/ref=sr_f3_1?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1242155027&sr=103-1