Ari at the Astronomy Club

Last Saturday, after we cleaned the house, I took Ari out of Sara’s hair for a little while and took him to a public star gazing party at the Astronomy Club of Akron (I myself was a member… 30 or so years ago…) Ari had a great time, as did I. These star gazing parties are free and open to the public.
It made me think of getting a telescope for him, and myself. At the cheap end we have the Celestron NexStar 130 SLT ($439), which would be a good starter scope and will expand with him for some time, but not be a huge investment if he doesn’t really get into it. I am not a huge fan reflectors like this, and would rather go with a refractor such as the Celestron NexStar 102 SLT ($479), but would take either as a starter scope.
I would prefer to step up and get something from Celestron’s CPC Series, which runs from $1999 for the 8″ model, $2499 for the 9.25 inch model, and $2799 for my preferred choice of the 11 inch model. These would satisfy my needs better, and be a better investment overall, however they do cost a lot more…
With any of those I would probably want to spend the extra $99 on the eyepiece and filter kit as it saves a lot of money in the long term. A solar filter would be cool as well…
Anyhow, Ari had a grand time and knew as soon as we got there they were telescopes… not sure where he knew the word from already. When looking through one his face lit up with a huge smile and he said “I see stars!”

Of course if I had unlimited funds I would go with a telescope from RC Optical Systems, where the 12″ costs $17,370 and still doesn’t have all the accessories you would need such as something to mount it to… of course I would rather have the 16″ which would cost $33,980, add a nice FSQ-106 by Takahashi to piggyback for another $4,395, Ion Milled optics would be a nice bonus, but I don’t know how much that adds to it…, of course you need something to mount it to, so I would need a Paramount ME, which would cost $12,500.00… then that is just a mount, you still need something to hold that up… and then you need eyepieces… Obviously I need to win the lottery for that one. 🙂