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coxy322

Newcomer from Somerset

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Hello there fellow astronomers!

Finally got my activation e-mail and joined up this AM. Am very new to Astronomy, first scope purchased in May this year (2011) and finally starting to make the most of it now the darker skies are upon us.

Am technically minded, a 29 year old IT engineer and looking to get the most out of my new hobby.

My scope is a Skywatcher 200P Black Diamond. Just purchased my first additional Eyepiece; A Konus 6.3mm Plossl. Looking to expand my accessory stock very soon!

Can anybody recommend a decent red dot finder? Also, are light pollution filters going to make much difference? I am from Taunton and on the edge, close to the M5 junction. On a good night can easily find nebulas, galaxies etc but never see the spiral arms - will a filter help me here?!

Many other members from around my way?!

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Hi Coxy, welcome to SGL. I've never seen spiral arms either and I've had several reasonably dark sky sites. They can be seen in amateur photos, as you probably know. I wonder if they are visible with an image intensifier? Maybe someone else knows

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Spiral arms on a galaxy are going to require a fairly big telescope, although you can photograph them with much smaller gear ! I am just beginning to astro-photograph myself, but I have been successful in catching the spirial arms of M 101, whereas I can hardly even SEE the galaxy with my eyes !

Welcome to the group. I hope you enjoy making new friends and aquaintences as much as I have, and that you will learn much by browsing through the various sub-forums.

If you have questions, feel free to ask them. The guys LOVE to answer even those which might seem trivial to you. I have not seen a single negative response to any honest questions that have come up on this forum. It's a great bunch of guys and gals.

Jim S.

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Hi - welcome to SGL

I'm not too far from you - north about 40 miles, near J19 on the M5.

You may be able to make out the spiral arms in the galaxy M51 from a very dark site. I've seen them with a 12" scope but my 10" won't quite resolve them from my back garden.

A Telrad finder would be a good addition to that scope - it's a sort of red dot finder but projects 3 red circles like a "bullseye" instead. It's very helpful for star hopping because the circles have a defined angular diameter against the sky.

Edited by John

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Thanks for the welcome messages, everybody seems very friendly and I look forward to finding out loads more through the community on here!

I am going to get into astro-photography some time next year, just as soon as I have gained more experience with the scope. I also need to get myself an RA motor and a decent CCD before I can begin. First I want to invest in some more EPs and filters etc where necessary.

I read about the Rigel RDF, but only one place online seems to sell it - and they are out of stock!

Skies are looking a bit clearer tonight than last, so might enjoy an evening of further exploration later!

Cheers guys.

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Hi Coxy

Welcome to SGL from just down the road from you - near J26!

Steve

Edited by Steve 1962

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Hi Coxy - welcome to SGL (from another IT engineer - they seem to be 2 a penny on here :-) ).

I'm in Dorset but brought up in Somerset and there are some good dark skies not far from Taunton!

Good luck

Gareth

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