Suggestions Required for Outreach & Variable Star Telescope

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Mon, 06/27/2022 - 22:40

Hello, This is Nasir Rizwan, a new AAVSO Ambassador from Pakistan. 

I currently have a 4" inch reflector that I'm using for outreaches and currently looking to upgrade to a better telescope. 

What I'm Looking For:

i- Something portable for outreach activities, nothing more than 8" or 10" at the most
ii- A telescope that I could use for Variable star astronomy or something that would help me with research in AAVSO (I'm still figuring out what works for me LOL!)

What Choices Do I Have:
Nexstar Evolution 8" 
ii- Orion XT 10"
iii-Celestron Astro Master 130EQ Motorized

iv- Celestron 5se


I'd love to take up some serious science while also benefitting the community, children, and students like me as well, feel free to share what telescope should I move towards? You can suggest anything else from the list too.. Sending love from Pakistan.

Hello Nasir 

That is a very…

Hello Nasir 

That is a very good question! And I think everyone would answer differently, because we all have different experiences.

My belief is that an 8" or 10" dobsonian reflector telescope would be best.

I am not a fan of computerized telescopes for relative beginners. They tend to be difficult to use and frustrate users easily.

An 8" or 10:" dob is easy to use, easy to set up and breaks down for transportation. With either, one can see all the planets (except maybe Pluto) and very many deep sky objects. If you decide to make variable star measurements, either is suitable.

Which to get is more difficult. Are you "handy" with wood construction? With basic power tools one can assemble their own dobsonian from plywood, dowels and misc pieces of wood. You would only need to purchase the main mirror, secondary mirror, secondary holder and focuser. These can all be found at telescope stores in USA, Europe and Asia, or can be found on Ebay. The one thing to watch out for are cheap Chinese primary mirrors: they may be spherical where you need a parabolic shaped mirror and may be of poor quality. The quality of the optics is EVERYTHING. If you do not do wood construction, then an Orion or Meade dob would be great.

Googling Dobsonian telescope design should come up with multiple design ideas.

Please don't hesitate to ask questions! That's what we're here for.



American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Hi Peter

That's one…

Hi Peter

That's one interesting thing... I've checked eBay and found the biggest mirror they've got is 8", perhaps I'd need 10" or more If I'm serious about making a Dob. I will search around the science stores see and see If I could find something bigger and better. 

Also, I'll definitely consider your Dob suggestion. Thank you so much..


Stay in touch, let…


Stay in touch, let us know how it goes.

Remember: the weight of the optic increases by the square of its radius (assuming same thickness!). So a 10" mirror alone weighs 25/16th that of an 8". But still should be easily transportable.