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My 11 year old wants to watch the stars

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So, my 11 year old is interested in watching the stars (no, the ones from Hollywood or Bollywood) and wants me to buy a telescope. Any recommendations?  I don't want to break the bank for this though.

 

Moderator Comment: This thread is mirrored to these forums: TECHNOLOGY, DEAL DISCUSSION. — May. 28, 2017 @ 12:02am
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rated:
At 11 years old, if he hasn't already, I'd start with just watching with the human eye and no telescope.  Get some materials that help him identify constellations, etc.

Then if he seems really into it, spend the money on a telescope.

That's just my opinion...

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A Celestron 21023 would be a good telescope for kids for a low price.
The SkyView app on IOS / Android is fun to look at the Sky with.
Binoculars can be used for watching the stars too.

ChinaRider makes some good points. No point in going all out unless there is a continued interest in the subject. Getting a telescope that is too bulky / heavy could make the hobby a chore.

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backsplatter said:   A Celestron 21023 would be a good telescope for kids for a low price.
The SkyView app on IOS / Android is fun to look at the Sky with.
Binoculars can be used for watching the stars too.

ChinaRider makes some good points. No point in going all out unless there is a continued interest in the subject. Getting a telescope that is too bulky / heavy could make the hobby a chore.

  Seems a good deal 4.1/5 Amazon @ $60. Fakespot at 90% +.

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I'd recommend a pair of binoculars to start with, along with an app like SkyView. Decent pair to gauge interest with your 11yo would be something like this ~$35 model. You can see a lot of stuff with a dark Sky (go to nearby nature preserve, state park, etc.) if you live in bright city.
https://www.amazon.com/Celestron-71198-Cometron-Binoculars-Black...

One reason I recommend binoculars is to help little kids make the link between the importance of accurate pointing, but also the wonder in just scanning the Sky. I've taught various kids groups basic stargazing/astronomy and found that linkage a good foundation. A compass is also VERY helpful, but most smartphones have one built-in these days as an app.

If your budget allows after verifying continued interest, a good starter telescope set like the one backsplatter mentioned is a fine option.
Here's a good review of some starter scopes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkgR_307OEo





But I'd consider, after the binoculars, something that will be good for both the first couple months AND the first couple years of the hobby. A $190 kit like this one at Costco is a very fair deal (and return policy is great)). The mount and tripod is pretty important for going beyond the basics.
https://www.costco.com/Celestron-AstroMaster-130EQ-with-Eyepiece...

Good luck!!

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Find a local astronomy club. Astronomy buffs almost always love noobies, especially kids. There is almost certainly a club in your area where you can go to a meet and find people with a lot of different gear. Most of it will probably my much higher end than you're looking for, but they can probably give you some pointers and you'll get to use their scopes and see some really cool stuff. If you decide to jump in, I highly recommend getting one with a computerized mount. It'll make finding and tracking objects much easier. Have you checked out Google Sky Map? It's an amazing app to get you started.

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Yes, the astronomy club would be a better decision for him because, at 11 years, the telescope will only serve for watching stars and not develop any further interest in him. The astronomy club will take him further step by step in building his interest in other things related to space.

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