Telescopes

Can anyone tell me where to find excellent telescopes in pakistan? I recently watched alot of documentaries on cosmos and I just see the night sky for myself. dont recommend hubble becoz i cant afford that. I just wanna buy one small but really good telescope for my personal use.

p.s. I am also told that asad-ahmad knows about this stuff. ;p

^ Lolz. I don't recall discussing Telescope stuff on this forum, though I have shown my interest in Astronomy a couple of times, so probably someone assumed from that.

Though fortunately I was so obsessed with star gazing a couple of years back when I was 16/17 that I decided to get a Telescope somehow, and did share bit of research about this. There are a couple of things you should be clear about:

1. If you are looking to see images of those beautiful coloured Nebulae and Galaxy clusters etc, forget it. Its a very very long shot you'll see anything close to that, thanks to the light and dust pollution in Pakistan. Though courtesy of Wapda, you'll nowadays have a few hours of light pollution free times, and if you couple that with a rooftop and clear sky after a rain session, things get really interesting.

2. Getting a proper Telescope, at least what I call proper, will be quiet expensive. Acceptable aperture size Reflector's start from around 20,000+ at least. And if you throw in Equatorial mount it'll go even more up. Though as your first experience you will be fine with Alt-Azimuth, unless you plan on doing serious Astrophotography and track stars or other cosmic objects.

3. Get a bulk of knowledge about Astronomy and basics of telescopes first. And then get a sky-guide type of book and go to your rooftop for a couple of days. If you get to see the sky on a clear night without lights around, and when you know what you are looking at, it will change your experience.

When I was searching for them, there were no shops where there was a decent variety of Telescopes, and where the shopkeeper knew what the hell I was asking about. Though I didn't search that extensively in Lahore back then, and I am sure there are some shops here which will give you some choice. Unfortunately they'll most likely be "Scientific" shops and not specialized Astronomy related store.

When you do decide to buy, I would rather suggest a Reflector if you can afford it. Forget the magnification-power marketing crap on it, just look for a decent objective lens/mirror aperture.

Now that you have rekindled my interest, I got to visit a few of old links, and realized that amateur astronomy in Pakistan has a come a long way. I was stunned to see this big astronomy related gathering, with those kind of scopes. Man those lucky rich brats. :D

You are most likely to find some help regarding a shop address etc from the Yahoo Group:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/astronomy-atLAST/

This as good as it gets for a local astronomy group. They have local meetings, Video conferences etc etc...

If you can afford it, and have a serious interest in it, this will be something you don't want to miss in your life. For starters, if you have a digital camera (~8MP+)with tripod, take a few night sky pictures of 10 second - 20 second exposures. You will be stunned with what you will see when zoomed in on final pictures.

Edit: Check if you can find some Scientific shop with name similar to "Crystal Scientific" on Aabkari road Lahore.

Have fun and best of luck.

http://www.skywatchertelescope.net/swtinc/knowledge_base.php?class1=2

hope this helps

cheers

thanks alot for useful info mate.

I visited this link and found some discouraging info there. :(

http://www.scopereviews.com/begin.html

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

In summary, here are the prominent points given above:

1) Binoculars, even cheap ones, are sometimes a good substitute for a cheap

telescope. In addition, binoculars are almost always good companions to a

telescope.

2) Avoid department store, toy store, and "Nature/Science" store telescopes.

I cannot restate this strongly enough: STAY AWAY from department store

telescopes!

3) The primary purpose of a telescope is to gather light. Thus, all other

things being equal, beginners should buy the largest aperture telescope they

can afford. A 6" Dobsonian reflector is an excellent first telescope.

4) BUT, if the instrument is too large, you may never use it. Be realistic

about what you're willing to lug around.

5) You don't need more than 3 or 4 carefully chosen eyepieces in your collection

at first. The minimum quality you should consider are Kellners (and their offshoots).

A barlow is useful tool for doubling your collection at minimal cost.

[/quote]

:/