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bomberbaz

Finding stars, nebula etc, what does anyone use..

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I was just wondered what anyone was using to find thier targets general location, as in charts, direction finders, interactive prgrammes as so on.

I have downloaded solarium to my laptop and have also got star chart installed on my iphone, I figure using these two will be enough for a starter like me but only time (and clear skies :rolleyes: ) will tell.

So spill the beans and help please, do I need anything else :smiley:

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Learn the shapes of the constellations and use them as pointers to find what you're looking for. :)

Practice makes perfect and all that.

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You've made a good start by downloading Stellarium.

As Islander said learn a few of the main stars in the constellations, you will gradually add to your knowledge, don't try and do it all at once.

I like to use Sky and Telescope Pocket Sky Atlas when I'm at the scope and I know a lot of members here speak highly of it.

I don't know if you have a Telrad but I find that really helps to put me in the right place and if you want you can print off charts that show the Telrad circles from many web resources.

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astro magazines like sky and scope, astronomy now or sky at night have monthly charts and sugested targets to look for. there is also a book "called turn left at orion" that helps you to learn to star hope. (great book). as already said, stellarium is a great tool also and its great for those cloudy nights ehen there's nothing to see.hope this helps.

Scott

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Astronomy Now magazine monthly guide plus Norton's Star Atlas, but will be ordering the S&T Pocket Sky Atlas.

I'll get the ISBN from amazon, then order from my local Waterstones.

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Do all your homework in the evenings prior to a planned session - forums, magazines, charts, books then reference all of this through stellarium.

Then at the start of the session set up and spend some time getting accustomed to the sky, and perhaps begin by using binoculars.

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For DSO's I use a laminated copy of "Sky Atlas 2000" and a red torch.

For finding the telescopic planets "skysafari" on iPad. I don't like to use tablets, phones or laptops at the eyepiece except for when they don't effect night vision.

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I usually spend the afternoon checking out Stellarium and planning what I want to see, and checking if the said object is up, if its a direction with no city lights etc

When I come outside I orient myself by the constellations I know, and once i spot the general area of the object I let the Synscan do the rest ^_^

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Great info guys, I really looking forward to getting my teeth into things. Thanks, steve

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Most of the aforementioned books list what you can see in each constellation , have a read and pick one , go outside and find it and then loose yourself for hours exploring it :)

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I'm still very new to this and have yet to be anywhere near familiar with the night sky. I use a combination of Stellarium, Turn Left at Orion, and S&T pocket atlas. I select a couple of targets then draw my own maps based on the few markers that I do recognise. I try and go out first with binos and eyeballs to make sure I can see the star patterns I want. (Earlier in the year it was Vega and Lyra or Cassiopeia etc). My first Messier (M57, the ring) took me about an hour to find. I find that drawing my own chart on a sheet of A4 and using that at the scope helps. Trouble is that like anything else it's practice that makes perfect and with so few clear skies it's gonna be a long job :shocked:

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I use nortons star atlas and learn the constellation I plan to observe if I get lost I remember the aliment stars for guides

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The Sky at Night monthly guide is very good as is Turn Left at Orion.

You will be better off having some idea of what you want to look at, but be flexible.

Star hopping is the best way to get to know the night's sky, but takes time and patience.

Have a mix of targets that you know you can find easily and some that will take time and effort.

If you head out with a list of difficult targets you'll only get disappointed.

Sometimes the most obvious targets are the best!

I spent some considerable time studying Jupiter the other night.

The longer I looked the more detail I could make out.

Cheers

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Stellarium, compass,binoculars and note book.

I spend an hour or two on stellarium which you can jump both the time and date for when you plan to go out. Then I set out a plan lust like a road trip mainly picking easy targets and just have fun.

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Book and a pair of deteriorating eyes.

Do find that a laser pointer helps me, so I can point out to myself the stars. I think it just concentrates my thoughts a bit better.

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Stellarium, compass,binoculars and note book.

I spend an hour or two on stellarium which you can jump both the time and date for when you plan to go out. Then I set out a plan lust like a road trip mainly picking easy targets and just have fun.

I like this one as it kinda goes with what I had in mind, And I did have a decent orienteering compass if I can find it. My only problem with bino's is I have an astigmatism, so cannot take my glassses off. Again I do own a decent pair of bino's but the glasses cause me problems with viewing. Maybe its time I looked at contact lenses, hmm :confused:

I will see how I manage with star chart and let you know if it comes in useful.

Steve

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hi im new to this as well and use stellerium and make notes to help, i also downloaded the sky at night The moore winter marathon to give me some purpose. The problem i have is finding things appreciating the beauty etc but not knowing what it is, so what i now do is make a note of what and where it is and when i get home check and note it down and ive found that this backwards way of learning helps me

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If it works for you then it's not backwards mate , we all have different ways of learning and retaining knowledge :)

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in terms of finding where things are I use only a Sky and Telescope pocket atlas and a dim red torch. as with Steve I never use gadgets at the scope as they ruin my night vision - a red torch is bad enough.

when it comes to pointing the scope, I use a combo of Telrad plus a right angle correct image finder, 9x50mm in my case. this usually puts the object in my wide field eyepiece and in the case of naked eye objects in a higher power eyepiece too generally. for me there's nothing transforms your ability to find things like a telrad and right angle finder combo.

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Goto

Even with Go-To, you need to align either 1,2 or 3 stars or a solar system object before it will track for you. So you still need a finder of some sort. A RDF offers no magnification so is a bit of a dud. It will get you close to the target you want but will be off a bit. I'd say even if you have a Go-To scope that a Telrad will be the best and get you bang on target.

Alternatively...............do what i do. Learn the night skies fairly well (3 or 4 constellations in any season) and use a book,star chart etc to star hop from a well known bright star to your target object.

I have an 8" SCT Go-To scope and i still star hop with it, rather then align it.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher

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Ordered the sky and telescope pocket sky atlas just now. Gonna spend a lot of time with that and solarium learning just a couple of constelations. Anyone got a tip on something easy for me to start with pleassr steve

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