Astronomy/Telescope lens

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Question
Hello Paul,

My wife and I have been fascinated by astronomy for some time, but having a newer house has eaten up a lot of our time with landscaping and whatnot.  Recently I was able to purchase a slightly used Meade Model DS 114 telescope (d = 114, f = 910mm f/8).  The man whom sold us the telescope was a avid astronomer who said it was a great starter telescope, but stated the eyepieces were not great (MA 25mm and MH 9mm).  It did come with an Meade Autostar goto device, but for our purposes staring out, I'd rather try to find objects on our own.  We would like to start out viewing the moon and planets.  Could you recommend some good eyepieces for our needs and recommend some websites that are not only trustworthy and reliable, but also offer information for newbies.  Thanks again for your time.

Answer
Hi Brad

A good question---and it sounds like you are on the right track.  I would look for a decent set of orthoscopic eyepieces.  One should be about 25-30 mm, to give you a wider angle view, and the other should be more like 7-10mm for higher power.  With those two, and this scope, you can pretty much max out the performance of the main mirror.

One thing I would recommend is that you find a really nice dark place to use your scope.  No combination of eyepieces will do so much to improve what you can see throught this scope!

As for website---spend some time on the San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers pages.  They are a great organization, and they really have a lot of information there.

http://www.sfaa-astronomy.org/

And another fun site is:

http://www.astronomyboy.com/

And if you want a good book, you should check out:
http://www.amazon.com/Turn-Left-Orion-Hundreds-Telescope/dp/0521153972

It's the perfect guide for what you want to do.

Hope you have fun!

Paul Wagner  

Astronomy

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Paul Wagner

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Astronomy and telescope making. Have made at least seven telescopes, both refractors and reflectors, and have spent 30 years looking at the nighttime sky.

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