First telescope

Quick review/initial thoughts of the SkyWatcher BKP13065EQ2 telescope I just brought.

As the model name suggest its a 130mm (5.1″) Newtonian Reflecting telescope. It has a focal length of 650mm and a focal ratio of F/5. For more detailed spesifications see the  SkyWatcher BKP13065EQ2 page. The scope cost $500 NZD before shipping.

The first thing to note is how easy the setup was. I found instructions very easy to understand and follow and had the telescope setup under and hour (all tools were provided in the box). And seeing as this was the first time I’ve setup a telescope I don’t think thats to bad. The instructions are well written with easy to follow diagrams. They also contain details on how to polar align the scope, collimating the optics, even calculating the magnification and true field of view.

The scope looks nice all in black with a slight sparkle to it.

It comes with 2 eye pieces, a 25mm and a 10mm. These are probably fine for a first telescope, but I’ll likely want to pick up some more and maybe some filters at a later date.

The mount feels quite sturdy, with adjustable height. Seems to manage the scope and 3.5 kg counter weight easily (once balanced correctly).  One of the main criteria I was looking for a first telescope was portability. Once fully assembled the whole thing is difficult to move around, but can easily be broken down to manageable pieces in a couple of minutes.

I can’t really comment on the viewing experience as I haven’t had a chance to do any night viewing yet. I’ve only had the scope for one night and it was clouded out. Expect a follow up

I can’t really find a fault with the SkyWatcher BKP13065EQ2 telescope. It looks good, has excellent instructions, simple to setup and reasonably portable.


Beginner Astronomer

I’ve finally decided to take the next step in my astronomy interest. List night I went to the first meeting of the Palmerston North Astronomical Society up at the Palmerston North observatory. Half the time was mainly meeting formalities and a short presentation by the Chairman on a gathering they have each year called “Star Date”. After the we moved up to the telescope dome to get some viewing done. I can’t remember the exact size of telescope the dome housed bit it had an aperture of around 60cm (24 inches). This was the first time I had looked through a telescope of this size, even though it was very old I was pleasantly impressed. We viewed 4 objects that night I can’t remember what the first object was, I remember it was a nebula. The second was Barnard’s Loop (I think). This is where the Horse Head Nebula and Orion Nebula can be found although the telescope wasn’t able to resolve the Horse Head.  Then we had a look at the comet Lulin that is at its nearest pass at the moment, it was still very faint though. And lastly we pointed the telescope at Saturn, at the time it was close to the horizon, so we were getting a lot of atmospheric interference. There’s something about seeing an things in the night sky through a telescope with your own eyes that make it all that more awe-inspireing.

I think my next step is to pick up a pair of binoculors or a cheep telescope and get out there myself