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Posted: 4/18/2007 3:15:58 AM EST
My 8 year old daughter is interested in stars and planets.

She wants to see Saturn's rings.

How much of a telescope do I need?

would a decent rifle spotting scope and tripod be enough?

I'd like to do this without spending a ton of money.


Thanks
Link Posted: 4/18/2007 3:21:02 AM EST
I had good replies about telescopes a couple years ago. For some reason when I pull it up in the archive, I'm only seeing the first post and not the replies. I'll post in in hopes that gets fixed soon:

archive.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=389472
Link Posted: 4/18/2007 3:36:39 AM EST
Do you have a budget in mind to spend?  You can actually see saturn with binoculars.  The rings won't be in detail but you can see them.  With an 8" reflector type scope you should be able to see some division in the rings.  

With Telescopes it about apeture size and not magnification.  You would be amazed at how little magnification you need to see some really cool stuff.
Link Posted: 4/18/2007 4:20:31 AM EST
Well with my 16x50mm nikon bino's you can see saturn and barely see the rings if you put the bino on a tripod. But to really see it you need more powerful optics. A good quality spotting scope should show her a little more detail.

DO NOT buy one of those department store trash scopes more agravation than they are worth.

The first thing to do is to see if there is any astronomy clubs in the area and go to a star party. The great thing about that they will have larger scopes that can show saturn very nicely and it will not cost you anything , cool - free use of telescope that cost thousands of dollars!!

And if her interest continues then you can think about buying a scope.

I'm building my own scope now a 13.1" reflector thats a big jump up from the 5" mac-newt I just sold.
Link Posted: 4/18/2007 4:32:29 AM EST
This one is cheap enough and would probably fit the bill for your daughter and would double up as a nice spotting or nature watching scope.

www.telescope.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=230229&itemType=PRODUCT&iMainCat=4&iSubCat=13&iProductID=230229

ANdy
Link Posted: 4/18/2007 4:37:59 AM EST
What if they want to see Uranus???
­
Okay, don't tell me I'm the only one who thought it.  
Link Posted: 4/18/2007 4:40:34 AM EST
What about using a regular rifle scope?  
Link Posted: 4/18/2007 4:43:30 AM EST

Quoted:
What about using a regular rifle scope?  


Well you need a very high powered one , like on a .50 BMG sniper rifle but you will need to teach her not to pull the trigger and shoot saturn out of orbit because you know those .50 cal rifles can.
Link Posted: 4/18/2007 4:57:10 AM EST
A good smack on the back of the head should do.  She should see some stars as well.
Link Posted: 4/18/2007 5:01:17 AM EST
I had a 400mm telephoto lens for a camera, and a screw-on eyepiece that
converted it to a 40x telescope.

With that, I could just barely make out Saturn and a big ring.

Based on this, I'm guessing you would need at least 100x to get a good
image of the rings.

Magnification can usually be easily changed by simply replacing the eyepiece
of a telescope, so the important thing is the size of the objective or mirror.

Get the largest objective or mirror you can afford.
Then get an eyepiece that will give you the magnification you want.

Link Posted: 4/18/2007 5:01:45 AM EST
Derek45, Don't know where in the US you are located but a local University near me (West Chester University in Pennsylvania) has open evenings to go and use their university telescope in the observatory and use the planetarium.  Its free and the the University's telescope is big.  Check with a local College or University, see if they have times where they are open to the general public.  You would probably run ito people there they would know about personal telescopes, binoculars etc.
Link Posted: 4/18/2007 5:08:20 AM EST
Find a Saturn in your neighborhood

Lift Hood

Take of top of Engine Block

Remove one Piston

Rings should be on Piston,

But Im not a Saturn Mech, nor did I stay in a Holiday Inn Express last nite (But I should Have)
Link Posted: 4/18/2007 5:20:21 AM EST
You know, I have an 8" Dobsonian with a couple lenses, a solar shield etc just collecting dust in my study.

shoot me an IM and I will hook you up.

Looks like this



TRG
Link Posted: 4/18/2007 5:21:57 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/18/2007 5:22:35 AM EST
I have an Astroscan Telescope that I bought from Edmund Scientific company 26 years ago that still works great; it's so popular that they still sell them!  They only run around $200 or $400 if you want the deluxe package.  The Astroscan is small, easy to carry anywhere and simple enough that a child can operate it with ease.  Check it out here: Astroscan Telescope

Astroscan pics:

http://scientificsonline.com/images/250/30020-01.jpg
http://scientificsonline.com/images/150/30020-02C.jpg
Link Posted: 4/18/2007 5:41:36 AM EST

Quoted:
You know, I have an 8" Dobsonian with a couple lenses, a solar shield etc just collecting dust in my study.

shoot me an IM and I will hook you up.

Looks like this

www.graywizard.net/images/Astronomy/copernicus.JPG

TRG


If the OP isn't interested, I'd be willing to work something out with you.  IM sent.
Link Posted: 4/18/2007 6:07:07 AM EST

Quoted:

Quoted:
You know, I have an 8" Dobsonian with a couple lenses, a solar shield etc just collecting dust in my study.

shoot me an IM and I will hook you up.

Looks like this

www.graywizard.net/images/Astronomy/copernicus.JPG

TRG


If the OP isn't interested, I'd be willing to work something out with you.  IM sent.


you need to accept IMs or emails.  unable to respond back to you until you do.  

TRG
Link Posted: 4/18/2007 6:11:55 AM EST
Use the ACOG with the donut thing.
Link Posted: 4/19/2007 8:09:52 AM EST
Derek the Cheap Skate....LOL

scientificsonline.com/product.asp_Q_pn_E_3130100

How about this?
Link Posted: 4/19/2007 3:32:03 PM EST
It's possible with a 10x50 set of good binos, or a decent 500mm lens.  But not very satisfactory.  To get a good start, 20x binos or spotting scopes on a good tripod are the bare minimum.

You also need the right time of year to get a good angle on the rings.  

10x binos are plenty good enough to get Jupiter and several of the moons almost all the time.
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