Old 09-09-2020, 09:26 AM
paulsmithy (Paul)
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Best Choice for a child

Hi all

My daughter is about to turn 9 years old. All she wants for her birthday is a telescope! She just loves looking at the stars - she gazes out of her bedroom window every night when going to bed and if she can't sleep she'll just sit there and look at the stars with wonder. It is truly delightful.

At this stage she doesn't have a massive fascination or indeed understanding of all that's out there - it is just a pure pleasure at stargazing.

So I am really after some recommendations what to get her. We live in Sydney (NW suburbs) so could visit a store to try a few things out if that would be best.

Happy to spend around $200 (but more if worthwhile). This will be for space gazing, not bird watching etc so I am not concerned about multi use. But I desperately don't want to get what is essentially a kids toy. I think ideally she would love to clearly see craters on the moon and rings around Saturn, that sort of thing. It might be used in her room but probably mainly outside.

I know that kids can sometimes struggle with a telescope and using one doesn't come naturally to them. So is there one that would be good for her that anyone can recommend?

Otherwise would binoculars be better? Even high magnification ones to use with a tripod to steady them?

I really want to nourish this interest and know you guys will help out. Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:33 AM
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Atmos (Colin)
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Although I've never used one personally (others that have could chime in) but a table top dobsonian such as this could be a good place to start.
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Old 09-09-2020, 10:11 AM
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Outcast (Carlton)
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I know this is twice your budget but, some serious bang for buck here:


Have a look online, you might be able to pick it up for cheaper than RRP.

If it is too much of a stretch, she will still gain much enjoyment from a 3" table top; they are seriously underestimated as a useful little scope.

Don't forget a planisphere too... so she can learn to star hop with it...

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Old 09-09-2020, 01:36 PM
croweater (Richard)
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I have the scope that Carlton recommends and totally agree. I use it for a quick grab and go and and I'm very pleased with it. Have a look at reviews on the net and you will see it's a great scope for the price. There are no bad reviews. It is very simple to use and would be a great first scope for anyone. I got mine much cheaper at Astropetes but he (and a lot of other retailers) is out of stock(due to covid I expect) . This is the same scope made by Saxon and is in stock. There are a couple of simple mods to make it better.
Cheers, Richard
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Old 09-09-2020, 04:50 PM
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mental4astro (Alexander)

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I have a 114mm table top dobbie, 500mm focal length, like the one in the pic below. I made both dobbie mounts for the scope in the pic and the one I have now. The one I have now was my kids scope, but it can now do with a new home, and would be excellent for your daughter. I can add a couple of eyepieces and a red dot finder. I'd be happy to show you how to use it and give you & some pointers on things to look for in the night sky that are easy and interesting targets to start with.

Send me a PM if you are interested.

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Old 09-09-2020, 06:00 PM
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Hi Paul
Most important thing with kids is to show them the options and ask the which one they like...appearance is often very important..she may want a refractor for example...but show her don't just roll up with what you decided she will like.
But Alex's should win her heart.
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Old 09-09-2020, 06:14 PM
croweater (Richard)
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Nice one Alex. That's a really good offer. Perfect for Paul's daughter. Paul I would jump on that if I was you.
Cheers Richard.
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