new scope for impatient wife
Any telescope can see the planets, the moon, galaxies, star clusters and nebulae, but the larger the telescope (in terms of the size of lens or mirror) and the better the quality the telescope, the more of these objects a telescope can see and the more detail the telescope will show in these objects. In other words, a small telescope and a large telescope can see exactly the same KINDS of objects. The difference is in the number of objects and the detail that can be seen.
Scope size is less of an issue for planets than it is for the faint stff. The Nexstar 4SE should be able to handle 150-200x on planets and that is plenty for good views of Saturn and Jupiter. For deep-sky objects, a 4" is still enough to see many moderately bright galazies, nebulae and star clusters. To be honest, she has a long way to go before she sees all that is available in the 4SE and she gets an easy to handle scope in the bargain. Even if she decides to get a bigger scope down the road, she still has a nice portable scope for travel.
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