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About Gem

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  1. Does anybody think that the slight smudge on the refractor or the few scratches inside my scope will affect it badly. Hope not, but its been on my mind all day. On the plus side just downloaded Stellarium and its brilliant to see where everything is!!
  2. After tonnes of advice I purchased my first scope last week. It still needs tweeking and setting up correctly but I am assured it is a very good starting scope. I purchased a Skywatcher Explorer - 6" Newtonian. I travelled 50 miles to get it from a shop that only sell scopes as I wanted the opinion of a professional. I was told that to view planets I would not need GOTO (I was worried that I would be short of time as I have a 1 year old!). I was offered a GOTO scope in the same range for £300, but I spent 50 quid less and got more scope for my money. Of course it is up to you which set up you prefer but as a rule you get a better scope for your money if you can do without GOTO. I have just downloaded Stellariu to my PC - its completely free and I now wonder what made me think I needed GOTO in the first place as Stellarium is that clear, you can even search for objects by typing them in and it shows you where nebulas and galaxies are etc. I think the fun is in finding what you are looking for. Good luck and keep asking questions to make sure you get the most out of your scope. I am always on here, asking away! Gem
  3. Thank you all for your help. I will have a go at alligning the finderscope properly and hope that this will make a difference. To be honest I have had a bit of a panic as when putting the scope together a screw got loose inside my scope (I managed to rescue it iafter a minute or so) so I have been worried that this will have severely impaired it, the mirrors look pristine barr the slight dot or smudge and the scope is slightly scratched inside where the screw rolled down the barrell, nothing major but I was worried that this was why I did not see anything clearly. I am sure that this will not affect the performance at all. I am looking forward to having a go at looking at the moon - this should be really easy given that you dont have to look for it! The lenses still confuse me slightly - which is the strongest and weakest etc. Thanks again for all of your help. Gemma
  4. Hi, Wondered if anybody would be able to help me and cheer me up! I have wanted a telescope all of my life and finally the other day decided I could afford one. I travelled to a retailers who specifically deal with scopes as I had seen lots of conflicting advice so decided it would be best to get some advice. After a discussion I decided to purchase a EXPLORER-150PL (EQ3-2) 150mm (6") f/1200 Parabolic Newtonian Reflector with the following spec - Magnifications (with eyepieces supplied): x48, x96, x120 & x240 Highest Practical Power (Potential): x300 Diameter of Primary Mirror: 150mm Telescope Focal Length: 1200mm (f/8) Eyepieces Supplied (1.25"): 10mm & 25mm X2 Deluxe Barlow Lens 1.25" (with Camera Adaptor) Parabolic Primary Mirror 0.5mm Ultra-Thin Secondary Mirror Supports 6x30 Finderscope Direct SLR Camera Connection EQ3-2 Deluxe Equatorial Mount Built-in Polar Alignment Scope Holder Aluminium Tripod with Accessory Tray 33% more Light Gathering than 130mm So I was extremelly excited, set it up (probably not correct as I have found the instructions incredibally difficult to get to grips with and they do not tell you anything about the lenses and which is best to use etc). Last night I decided to have a quick go at looking at the stars with my new scope and I found that the focus was not as good as I had hoped and also that the stars appeared pretty much the same to my naked eye except there were probably a few more. Now I now it was my first go and I it takes practice and that I probably had very unrealistic expectations but now I am starting to wonder if I have spent £250 on a scope that is too complex for me or that does not work properly. There is a tiny smear on the large mirror at the back of the scope but I am sure a tiny smudge will not affect it that badly. Which Lens should I be using and should I be able to see deap sky objects with real clarity. Like I said I am sure it is just that I am a beginner and need to fiddle around with it a bit more to get used to it and I suppose I expected to see everything 70 times bigger! Can anybody offer any advice or has anybody else got this scope. I am a complete beginner and feel out of my depth. Thanks in advance! Gemma
  5. Gem

    New Horizon

    Ok, so I am new on here and was just wondering if anybody else is as excited as me about the New Horizon mission to Pluto, the Kuiper belt and beyond. I have spent most of my 26 years with a keen interest in astronomy and am more than excited that by 2015 we will know so much more about Pluto and even have images - no longer will it appear as just a faint dot or blurred image (such as that seen through the Hubble telescope). I can't wait to see what information comes back about Charon and other Kuiper Belt objects. The images that it has produced of Jupiter and its moons are breath taking! I appreciate that Voyager 1 and 2 have already travelled so much further but this was before new technologies and without a close Pluto fly by. Hope somebody else is equally as excited as me, only 5 and a bit years to go! Gem
  6. Gem

    Hi from North Lincs

    Thanks everyone for the warm welcome, looking forward to sharing my interest with people who appreciate it. Also looking forward to meeting people from the Lincs area!
  7. Thanks everyone for all of your advice, I can't wait to purchase my firt telescope and will let you know how my stargazing goes, just need to get a book so that I know how to find the planets etc!
  8. I keep seeing GOTO when people are referring to searching for planets - what is this exactly (sorry if I am just being dumb!)
  9. Gem

    Hi from North Lincs

    Hi Paul, we are both fine thanks and thank you for your reply! Gem
  10. thanks for the advice I was thinking of spending around £250 for now until I know what I am looking at and then I would be willing to get a better scope for a bit more, I have heard of people buying scopes from toy stores and being very disappointed!
  11. Wow so you could see the edge of our solar system and a lot further! Whats the furthest planet you ahve seen and was it really clear? So that sounds really reasonably priced, where can I buy such scopes from?
  12. Hi there, Well it may sound odd after having a keen interest and fascination in astronomy for 20 years (I am now 26) but I am finally about to purchase my very first telescope! I am of course very excited and have decided now is the ideal time to get one as firstly I have just had a baby and so working part time allows me the time to concentrate on my hobby nad secondly I would love nothing more than to share my hobby and interest with my baby son as he grows up. The problem is I have no idea what kind of telescope I should buy, obviously having a baby I am on a budget and therefore can not afford to spend a small fortune, nor do I want to spend so little I can't see a lot. I would love a scope that can give me a good view of the main planets and some satellites and such like. Also how far can you expect to see with some of the cheaper telescopes (dont get me wrong I am not expecting clear vision of Kuiper Belt objects but a decent view of the planets and starts is viable, right?) I am so excited to be able to see the planets and stars in a closer and clearer image for myself. Hope you can help. Thanks Gem :-)
  13. Gem

    Hi from North Lincs

    Hiya, Just thought I would drop in a quick hello, just registered on SGL today and have a fascination and keen interest in astronomy. I live in North Lincs and have had an interest in astronomy as a child (I am now 26) and once even wrote to Sir Patrick Moore. I have recently had a baby and am looking forward to sharing my fascination with our Solar system and what lies beyond with my son as he grows up. Maternity leave has allowed me some time to pick my hobby up again and I love nothing more than looking in to the night sky. Look forward to posting on here and sharing my interest with others who will appreciate it. Gem :-)
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