Hi everyone! I come here having listened to most of the AstronomyCast episodes (especially at the beginning) and having a new appreciation for all of you guys (and of course Pamela and the good psychologist Fraser [I still think his name is funny]).
Okay, my father is approaching retirement age and I would like to give a nice telescope as a gift for him to pass the time and to relieve stress until he is able to retire! He does not own binoculars or a telescope, but does know how to identify constellations, major stars, and planets. I was hoping to spend less than 2000, and the less "high-tech" it is the better (he somehow got my ipad stuck in an infinite reboot loop while he was "trying it out"). That said, it seems like to see a lot of the smaller objects, you need some sort of computer attached to the telescope (?). He is a scientist, so being able to "discover new asteroids" or to be able to "point his telescope" at some new NEO I think would really excite him (even if it requires him to be meticulous). So given these requirements, am I better off just getting a Orion Dobsonian telescope or splurging a bit more for the Celestron computerized telescopes (or something else)? Are either of these two powerful enough to see enough detail, or am I looking at much more money?
Also, are "Nightwatch" by Terence Dickinson and "The Backyard Astronomer's Guide" by Dyer good two books to get for him?
Thank you so much!