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I am looking for a telescope and I saw the JASON MERCURY 420 telescope on craigs list. I have never owned a telescope, I am a ameture photographer and I watch every science show on tv. I am not a 8 year old and I am not planning on spending my time looking at the moon1st question, Iis the telescope adaptable with my Nikon camera. I want something that I can atleast see the rings of Saturn as well as the dust cloud at the tip of the big dipper and beyond. 2nd question, Would this type of telescope come with a tripod, I know from photography that a decent tripod costs hundreds of dollars and I don't want to spend $500 on a tripod when the JASON MERCURY 420 telescope is only worth less than half of that.. Last question, should I be looking forr a refractor or a reflecting,( I think that's what you call them,). Any help would be greatly appreciated, Thanks, Mark

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Do NOT buy that telescope.

Second, to take long exposure (several minute) astro-photos you must use a GEM mount like one of these:

http://www.telescope.com/control/accessories/mounts-and-tripods/orion-sirius-eq-g-goto-telescope-mount

http://www.telescope.com/control/accessories/mounts-and-tripods/orion-atlas-eq-g-computerized-goto-telescope-mount

Then you need to decide on the scope to use. Something like this would work:

http://www.telescope.com/control/product/~product_id=07338

or this:

http://www.astronomics.com/main/product.asp/catalog_name/astronomics/category_name/U5QNWB3RKWWL8N3EL99F9DX9A0/product_id/AT6RC

Additionally you will need some accessories to mount the camera onto the back of the telescope, and you will need to learn how to polar align the mount so it will accurately track the sky.

Read these articles:
http://www.astropix.com/HTML/I_ASTROP/TOC_AP.HTM

Posted on Oct 09, 2010

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Here is a picture. Is this your scope?
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Here is a picture.
http://orlando.craigslist.org/for/1785418524.html

As you can see it is for sale for $30 on craigslist. Here is a similar Meade telescope manual which you can read. They all assemble and are used the same way.
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http://www.meade.com/manuals/index.html

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Here is a list of astronomy clubs by STATE:

http://www.astroleague.org/societies/list

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