Posted: Jun 13, 2020 7:04 pm
by theropod_V_2.0
Stay away from Meade stuff. They have some seriously wonky end user agreements.

I would opt for an equatorial goto mount as such allows for some astrophotography without jumping through hoops as an alt/az does. One either has to use a wedge on the alt/az or deal with derotation of the field. A good EQ mount is hard to beat.

No visual results will match those photos as usually dozens and dozens of images are stacked in software to eliminate noise and bring out detail. A 6” scope will invite use simply by virtue of its portability. A 41 pound scope may not sound like all that much, but setup and teardown will be a real bitch. One false move and the scope can be ruined, and maybe the mount. The 6” scope in the cat design will allow for some stunning views. Be aware that all such scopes have a rather narrow field of view in comparison to a Newtonian, or Refractor, but some of that can be overcome with the right eyepieces. I own a Celestron C-90 Maksutov Cassegrain and have not been afflicted with aperture fever, yet.

With your access to dark skies you might be surprised at what a smaller scope can do, and I’m absolutely sure a smaller scope will get more use. I also have a little DIY 60mm refractor I built myself, and the nebula of Orion just jump out. Andromeda is also stunning through that little scope as all of it fits in the field of view. My C-90 does this too, but Andromeda falls out of the FOV. Jupiter, through the little Mak is amazing. The GRS, when facing us, is as clear as day. I can resolve the Cassini division in Saturns rings with the Mak, but not quite with the 60.

I would try to contact a local astronomy club and get some first hand-in hand exposure to different scopes and mounts when they hold their next “star party”. Most such clubs live to educate noobs, and are happy to let one look through their equipment and will talk your ear off about this stuff. You just might end up joining them!

What ever you decide I wish you well. I don’t get near enough good seeing nights here in the south.