Welcome to the most intuitive guide on beginner astronomy ever!
First of all, if you are even the greatest astronomer ever, please show this to beginner astronomers as this may help them get a good start. I will also post in the description a video explaining everything I just said a bit easier. Other than that, enjoy!
Welcome to the great hobby of astronomy! First off, I would like to say three things about your new hobby!
1st: Don't expect what you see in pictures!
This is a picture taken by NASA using the Hubble telescope of the Orion Nebula:
And here is a photo that you will see through your telescope:
It is way down in the lower-center part of the image. My point basically is that you aren't going to see those big beautiful pictures you see on NASA's website. So now search your brain, and think if this is what you want to do. If you aren't as interested, still stay, as you may not have to lose hope yet!
2nd: Think if you are ready
The biggest problem you hear in astronomy is that someone got a big 1000 dollar telescope and hated it and stuck it back in his/her closet. So this is probably the most important step. You will be donating a lot to this new hobby, and the time, money, and regret can cost you if you are not careful. I will get into this more in the choosing your first telescope section of this post.
3rd: Calm down, and remember...
Do not buy a telescope and fancy camera just so you can take pictures! I hear about this, and always think to myself that these people are losing all the fun that you have while stargazing because they're just trying to take the perfect shot! calm down, as you can get into astrophotography later if you like it.
Now to the main part of beginner astronomy...
Buying Your First Telescope
This is something that worries a lot of people. They always think that if they don't get the best they will die.(I did this as well, but calmed down and got a cheaper telescope. It worked for me until I felt it was time to level up) But to tell you the truth, if you don't dig astronomy, then you will only have spent 800-1000 dollars of well-spent money on nothing. I included some great choices for beginners on which telescope to get:
(I am assuming a price range of about 200 dollars)
Astromaster 70AZ Telescope- $149.95
Travelscope 70mm Portable Telescope-$ 89.95
The Celestron Cometron series-$59.95 to $179.95
60LCM Computerized Telescope-$259.95
(Note: I am not a representative of Celestron, but rather find Celestron a good start-off point for newbies)
Now many people want to get a computerized scope, and I find those scopes great AS long as the are not EQ mounts, our equatorial mounts, as these are harder to deal with. I would also not recommend Reflector Telescopes, as these are hard to manage. I would also not recommend Cassegrain Telescopes, as these are hard to manage. Trust me.
you will only need two eyepieces, which come with all these telescopes
First Observation Night
Yay! First observation night has arrived! here are my tips:
--since you may not know enough about the constellations, make sure you have something to see what is out with. Celestron's SkyPortal app for Ipad and Iphone is a great place to start, as it is easy to use and free.
--Be prepared for average views depending on air pressure, and always be ready for light pollution if you live in a large city.
--Note: Always find a spot without streetlights or trees to use, though rooftops are also good if you live in and apartment building
--Carefully maneuver the telescope
--Never get angry, as this could cause chaos and ruin your experience
--As always, have FUN!!!
Have fun with your newfound skills, and recommend this forum to others!
Please leave comments about questions!