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Hello to everyone.

I've just recently become interested in astronomy, I say recently, but my memories go back to my Dad showing me the various constellations......well...I remember the plough, the huntsman etc.

I'd be really grateful if anyone would offer me any advice on how to progress my interest.

At the moment, I'm struggling a bit. I'm using binoculars and trying to find my way around the night sky but to be honest I'm finding it a bit overwhelming.....mind you.....when I look up and the number of stars up there it's no wonder!

I've bought a book....... Viewing The Night Sky With Binoculars and find it really interesting.

I'd love a telescope but I'm really not sure what the best buy would be, not sure if buying one yet would be the best idea anyway?

OK....To sum up....really interested but not sure how best to progress?

Sorry. Hope I'm not being to vague?

Regards, Howard

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Hello to everyone. I've just recently become interested in astronomy, I say recently, but my memories go back to my Dad showing me the various constellations......well...I remember the plough, the hun

Hi Howard

A warm welcome to the SGL

first down load www.stellarium.org

it's free and will help you get around, if you have a Iphone then you have a compass on it if not down load one know your North and South ect and you can down load Stellarium to your phone

the sky is like reading a map but changes every month always start of with something you know like the cassiopeia the large W in the sky, it stays in the sky most of the year

and work from there

as for Telescopes there are a few and depending on where you live and what you want to do with it like Astro photography or just viewing like I do I have a few sreet light near by so I got a 8" scope

gives me wonderful views ,Still on viewing a 8" Dobson gives you a great view for your buck for Astro photography Newtonion scope that you can guide you can allways speak to Steve at First light optics they are our sponsor of this site

hope this will help, any other questions please ask every one on here likes to help


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Hi Howard,

Welcome to the forum.

I don't know the book but sounds like a good start. There's plenty of recommendations on starting with binoculars and finding your way around so it's a good start.

From my experiences - also a recent newbie who decided to do something about a long time interest - take your time & read around before commiting yourself to a scope.

Prepare to get increasingly confused until at some point it starts to get a bit clearer once you decide what compromises you want to make.

Given the amount of time we spend under clody skies download Stellarium. It's free and a great bit of software to help planning what to look for, when, etc etc.



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Welcome to SGL

The book Turn Left at Orion is worth a read and should guide you through many objects you can see with binoculars. There's also the Binocular Sky website. As regards a telescope, the primary consideration is probably budget, but you also need to think about how convenient it is to use, space for storage, weight and so on.


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Hi Howard welcome to the lounge, I too am a newbie with bins, the advice I have been given is to learn the night sky and stick with the bins for a while, it takes patience but seems to fall into place after a short time, study stellarium it really helps, and like me stick with the bins and don't rush into buying a scope, ask for advice, everyone is so helpful here

Good Luck Ron

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Hi Howard and welcome. Another vote for binoculars and learning the night sky. It's surprising how much you can see with naked eye and bins (there's a binocular section on this forum). As your interest developes you will get a better idea of where your main interest lies, planetary, deep space, visual or astro photography etc. Keep in touch with SGL and don't be afraid to ask any questions. Everyone here had to start somewhere.

Good luck and clear skies :smiley:


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HI Howard and welcome to the forum. Agree with the suggestion of Stellarium, Turn Left at Orion and the website, "The Binocular Sky" which you can view here. Once you get the hang of recognising the main constellations, you will then find it a little easier to identify the main stars, which in turn will enable you to quickly make sense of the night sky and ultimately where to find objects of interest etc. A good book or star map is essential in 'decoding' what you can see and it won't take you long at all to get your bearings! :smiley: On the scope front I would agree on not rushing into making a purchase but what might help you research this area better, might be to attend a couple of public observation evenings that are typically organised by local astronomy clubs and observing groups, which will help you to take a look at different types and sizes of scopes in order for you to calculate which one might in the future best suit your needs and expectations. It will also allow you to get up close to some of this kit to understand the setup and cool down times, mobility etc and of coure to understand the differences in eyepieces which can often make quite a difference to the view that you can see.

At the end of the day there isn't any rush (...not as if the stars are going anywhere soon :grin:) just take your time and do the research which naturally includes asking what ever questions you like - no such thing as a daft question, only the one you didn't ask!

Clear skies and enjoy the forum


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