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About Sagan

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    Reading, writing, traveling, stargazing
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  1. Thanks for all your help on this! I look forward to making it to a dark site soon, potentially even this weekend if the weather is good.
  2. Sounds like a great session to me! I too saw M31 for the first time tonight and was giddy with excitement. Here's to more to come.
  3. Found it, found it, found it! Perfectly clear skies tonight, so I took the scope out for my first look at the moon. I swear the neighbors must have heard my gasp when I put my eye to the eyepiece. I knew I'd get a close view with crater details, but it still awed me seeing it myself. After that, I thought I'd try for M31 again. This time, I found it without much difficulty. A dull smudge of stars. I felt like prancing around to celebrate and stared at it for what felt like ages. An entire galaxy. I'm hooked! I would have stayed out later, but my hands were numb. Might go out for round two in a bit!
  4. Thanks for all the tips everyone. I tried again tonight for about an hour until the skies were too hazy to see much. Found Cassiopeia, then found Mirach. I looked around for quite awhile but didn't have much luck. As soon as I came inside, I took a look at Stellarium, and I can see that I wasn't quite there. Close but I needed to go just a little bit further to the right! I think I may be able to find it next time.
  5. Thanks very much! I found Cassiopeia and followed on from there, but from the looks of your screencap, I didn't go far enough away. I'll try again if the skies stay clear tonight!
  6. I finally managed to find an hour of clear skies tonight! Poked my head outside around 9:30pm, saw the stars, and excitedly moved everything into the back garden to cool down. Views are a little restricted due to the buildings on every side, but it helped keep out the light pollution. The first look through the scope got a "wow". Amazed at the number of stars I could see. For most of the hour, I just roamed the skies. I tried to find M31, but no such luck. I had the scope pointing in the right direction, but I just could not find it. I did find what looked to be a double star, though I'm not sure which one it was. Obviously, I have lots to learn, but I thoroughly enjoyed the evening until the clouds rolled back in.
  7. Managed an hour out for the first time before the clouds rolled back in!
  8. Those 8mm BST Starguiders do look really good. Thanks for the recommendation! Definitely want the detail over the size.
  9. I only just got my telescope Thursday and haven't been able to use it yet due to cloudy nights. I'm further south from you but two different apps and two other weather sites are showing clear skies for a few hours tonight. Fingers crossed!
  10. Thanks everyone for all the great advice. I didn't quite understand exit pupil before, but it all makes sense now. I don't wear glasses, so it sounds as if I should be fine with 1mm eye relief. Based on all the comments, it sounds like I should look at getting a 8mm eyepiece for now and then add to the collection as I get the hang of things. Haha, I really do wonder what the neighbors will think when I'm out in the garden in the early hours staring down a telescope that's almost as big as I am with a big grin on my face.
  11. While I'm impatiently waiting for a night when the clouds are at bay, I'm researching and trying to decide on the best kit for my goals. I own an Orion 6 inch (f/8) Dobs that came with a 25mm Plossl eyepiece and a Shorty 2x Barlow lens. I have a moon filter on the way and am looking to purchase one more eyepiece for the moment. I want to see pretty much everything I can in the skies, but my immediate goals are the objects in our own solar system. Top of the list is Jupiter. So, I'm looking for an additional eyepiece that will be the best for planetary viewing with the current setup I have now. After reading through some of the threads, am I right in thinking a 6mm Plossl is the best bet? In addition, happy to hear any tips and advice for planetary viewing in general. Thanks.
  12. The ISS is high on my list of things I hope to see since I've been fairly enamored with it for years! I see quite a few of you mention seeing it with a 10 inch Dob. I have a 6 inch Dob. Do you think I'd be able to see it with mine? If so, what eyepiece would be best? Since I only just got my scope, I only have a 25 mm and a Shorty 2x Barlow lens, but I'm looking to add to the collection.
  13. Sagan

    Newbie stargazer

    Thanks for such a warm welcome, everyone, and for the suggestions. I've downloaded Stellarium and am amazed at what it can do. Have also checked the collimation, aligned the Easy Finder with the scope, read a book, checked over the operating instructions a couple times, got my journal ready to go, and checked weather sites repeatedly. I'm itching to go! I have to admit I got fairly excited when I took the scope out during the day to do the alignment and saw how much detail I got on a faraway tree. Luckily, a few of the various sites are all showing about a three hour clear skies gap for late tonight. Fingers crossed it stays that way. I don't think I ever noticed how cloudy the skies usually are until now!
  14. Sagan

    Newbie stargazer

    Hi all! I'm brand new to astronomy and my first telescope arrived today: the Orion XT6. I had a lovely afternoon assembling it and having a look at the eyepieces and the Barlow lens I ordered as well. Absolutely can't wait to get out there and view the stars, so of course tonight is as cloudy as it could possibly be! I keep looking out my window as if the clouds will magically disappear but no such luck. Hoping for clear skies soon and a start to this wonderful new hobby.
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