Re: Telescope for observing GEO sats

From: Greg Roberts (
Date: Mon Jan 31 2011 - 18:35:34 UTC

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    Evening ( at least its my evening!)
    Whilst the Celestron NexStar 5SE will do the job you might find that the 
    field of view is a bit too small, especially if you are looking for 
    satellites where the elements are not that great or fresh. The 5SE is an 
    f/10 scope which means its a relatively long focal length with consequent 
    smaller field of view - I see the manual gives 1 degree field of view.
    You might instead look at the Celestron NexStar SLT102 - this is a 4 inch 
    refractor operating at f/5 so consequently has a bigger field of view. The 
    mount and programs that run the 5SE are identical - in fact you probably can 
    interchange the 5SE and SLT102 on the mount.
    You will also find that the SLT102 is somewhat cheaper than the 5SE.
    Dont go for the SLT130 which is a 5 inch f/5 reflector .
    Several people here on SeeSat are already using the SLT102 or equivalent.
    Of course if you get a focal reducer you can change the 5SE focal ratio to 
    f/6.3 or thereabouts giving you a bigger field of view.
    Guess it boils down to how deep is your pocket and whether you intend to use 
    the scope for things other than satellites where the 5SE will offer higher 
    magnification ( although not always better quality) on account of its f/10 
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