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Hi everyone.

I am new to astronomy and new to forums so please be gentle with me!

I am waiting for the delivery of a Skywatcher Explorer 200P (EQ5) telescope and hopefully it should arrive tomorrow.

I just wondered if anyone could help me out with a little bit of advice.

I live in west London and I know the light pollution around here is terrible but I don't know of any good viewing places where the sky will be darker so I would appreciate anyone's tips on where to go.

The other thing I could do with some advice on is good reading material that an absolute beginner would understand.

Thank you to anyone who can help me out.

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I can't help either with the viewing sites but I'd recommend a Planisphere for learing the sky , can get one from Amazon for about a fiver

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Hello and welcome. Totally agree with jflowers. Turn Left At Orion is the newbies bible. Although it is mainly for people with small scopes, I am sure it would be of immense help as you start out on your stargazing journey.

Also definately download Stellarium off the internet. It is a free programme that shows you everything in the night sky. an absolute must.

With regards to places to observe, unfortunately where you live couldn't be much worse. There is The Hub in Regents Park where the Baker St Irregular Astronomers meet up. Failing that if you can get your scope out of the lp by taking a bit of a drive out then that may help.

Edited by M4lcs67

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Hi

I'm located around the Ruislip area of West London and live very close to the various Woods that form part of the green belt. There are a few areas of fields and meadow land that are ideal. The LP facing west (over the wooded areas) is surprisingly good for an outer Borough of London but if you travel out a bit further to say Beaconsfield or High Wycombe it gets better.

Remember that it's not a good idea to be out observing alone.

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Hi sallystar and welcome to the forum

I would agree on the' Turn left at orion' plus i would recommend 'The backyard astronomers guide '

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You need to put a lot of miles behind you to fully escape the orange glow that is London :(.

You could try Astronomy 4 Everyone : GroupSpaces who meet just outside Guildford, or keep an eye on the Surrey Observers page on this forum, and join them at Ranmore Common, just outside Dorking. Not proper dark sites by way better than the view I get from home.

Also +1 for Stellarium, it is fantastic as well as free :D

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Here's a link to a dark sky map that you can zoom into and move around to see if there are any places that may give you better viewing conditions. As already mentioned, think of your own security.

UK Light pollution Map | Les dossiers Avex

I hope you find somewhere, but if not, plan a few days out at a spot with a campsite handy and take your scope somewhere that is dark, it's worth the effort. That's when you don't need webbed feet to do it of course.

Enjoy your new scope. :(

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Hi SallyStar,

Welcome to SGL!

I hope you enjoy your new scope when it arrives.

I live on the south coast so can't help with sites I'm afraid. As a relative newbie myself, I can recommend TL@O and Stellarium as well as a planesphere. If you have a smart phone, Google Sky is a good app. You turn on the app and hold your phone up to the sky and it shows you what you should be seeing in front of you.

On the travelling side, a 200 newt is a big scope to be driving about with an setting up in a wood (or hopefully a field;)). Newts can get knocked out of collimation if you are too rough with it. It would be a shame to drive to a lovely dark site only to be disappointed with the image in the scope because the mirrors have been knocked out of alignment. :D

It might be a good idea to try collimating the scope after it arrives as those delivery drivers aren't always that careful. Ask the guy in America that had his flat screen tv dropped over his 5 foot high fence by the UPS delivery driver! :(

Bryan

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Hi fellow noob. I'm having the same problem with LP, however next clear night i'm going to try Richmond Park, is there park near you?

Agree with what has been said above though...its not a good idea to be out observing alone.

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Hi Sally, you've got some very good advise here. one thing i would say is a definate must if you're going to be traveling with your scope is a collimator. i'm not going to get into the laser versus cheshire debate as there are many threads on this topic but you really want one or the other. when you get one, get some practise with it at home so you're not wasting valuable viewing time when you get to a dark(er) site.

Oh yeah, most of all, ENJOY...

Scott

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Hi sallystar and welcome to the forum

I would agree on the' Turn left at orion' plus i would recommend 'The backyard astronomers guide '

those two books are the first two i bought, great for different reasons,id recomend both too.

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Hi there. I would recommend a book called The Practical Astronomer to begin with. I'm a very visual learner myself and the fact it had pictures helped me. If you're a busy bee, the book is also good to put down and pick back up again. My Astronomical Society has mentioned Turn left at Orion to me but I haven't had a chance to read it yet. So I would check that out too given that someone on here has already mentioned it. :hello2:

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London light pollution is very bad, but don't let it dampen your enthusiasm. I'm always amazed by how much I see from Central London. I've had my breath taken away innumerable times with the things I've seen with my 127 Mak and a 110mm reflector. Your scope will be able to show you plenty! And when you do get to a dark sky site it feels really special!

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