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New beginnings, a Whole New World



blog-0530631001397259825.jpgHello everyone, I am very new, very green but have been interested in all things Space since I was a child. I wanted to be an Astronaut........ Now 62, female and retired, I am planning to purchase my very first telescope..! I discovered SGL today whilst surfing the net for the best dark skies in which to view the Milky Way. I have a bucket list, containing things like, viewing the Aurora Borealis, takings photos of the Planets, lying under the sky to watch the meteor showers Perseides and Leonids. Things of that nature. I have seen many images this evening and am in awe of you all, they are amazing and I am so excited about turning my lifelong interest into a full blown hobby! I have watched by way of notification from NASA's SpottheStation, the International Space Station fly over the UK on many nights this year, I am still in awe of that! How wondrous is our Universe, how compelling and how incomprehensible so much of it is! My I have a lot to learn. If anyone is interested, I will try to keep my new little blog updated. I would very much appreciate any advice on a first, but good, telescope, I don't know how much they really are but I am looking to spend between £1,000-£2,000. I need to be able to find things easily! If that is possible. Any help would be gratefully received. Any charts, books or maps I need that would help me? Thank you so much. Nice talking to you. :-). PS my very first 'space' photo, it's the ISS just taken on my iPhone! The itsy bitsy dot.
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Don't give up go, for the astronaut bit.

Guess around Chesterfield, so maybe a bit too far for the East Midland Stargazers.

Meteors: Keep an eye out on May 24, reports that we may pass through recent comet debris, so might (just might) be something.

Aurora, best I can suggest is the Norwegian ferry service Hurtigruten that goes up and down the coast.

Decide what you want from a scope, the budget stated will get you a lot of scope, but a lot of scope may not be the best. I might suggest a nice 80-100mm refractor and an iOptron cube. Getting a big scope that you do not or cannot use is a waste.

About 100 mile south of you, Leamington Spa, in early June is the IAS, lots and lots of scopes there to look at.

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Please heed Ronin's advice.  When I first got into the hobby, over 35 years ago, I started off with a cheap Jason 60mm refractor on a rickety alt/az mount.  I used that scope nearly every clear night and saw many amazing sites.  In 1986, I bought a 250mm dobsonian.  It was, and still is, a great telescope, but, due to its size, I didn't take it out nearly as often as I did the 60mm.  A couple of years back, I purchased a 90mm refractor on an equatorial mount.  Now I am back out observing on nearly every clear night and I have observed more objects with it than I did in the previous 28 years, using the 250mm Dob.


Start off with a good pair of 10x50 bins, and take your time choosing a telescope.  A giant light bucket will not be of much use, if, due to its size, you are not inclined to use it much.

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Ronin and StarSapling ............... Yes, Chesterfield!  Nothing is TOO far, I will google East Mdland Star Gazers.  Thank you both so very much for your advice about the telescope.  Being so naive, I am at risk of spending too much on something too big and complicated for me.  You have reined me in and I thank you fo it :-)  It will be a few months yet before I actually purchase the equipment, but I will be sure to seek your advice further.  Like I said previously, I am a 62 yr old female who has been into all things Space from a very young age.  I can't get enough of it.  We plan to move to Ireland in about 12 months time to really enjoy our retirements.  The night skies over there should be good and dark!  This is the time I will buy the telescope.   We plan to build as far as is practical, a kind of obsevatory but again, I have to really research this and decide if ths is necessary, it may not be?  I am just so very excited about the whole thing, but I will take my time, take good advice and not go overboard on the first thing that I see.  Your help  is invaluable to me, thank you very vey much.  As for my very first space photo (on my iPhone) of the ISS, it's a tiny tiny dot, but I am chuffed with it, it's a start!!!! My start!  But looking  at eveything on here, I have an awful lot to learn and an awful lot to see out there.  As for being an Astronaut, I am hoping that in my lifetime, I will be able to go up in one of the space travel vehicles!  I can dream. xx

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hi Hoppity, I also hail from Essex, near Burnham on crouch, good luck with your search for a scope, and I would suggest that you could do a lot worse than speak to First Light Optics, who have a header at the top of this page, while not wanting to influence you, I have found these suppliers very knowledgeable and helpful with free advice, the one thing I was advised before parting with my cash was to go along to a few club nights local to you, try google  "star gazers in Essex" to find a local group, and go along to their evenings to have a chat and possibly try a few scopes,  Good luck, Lum

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