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Hi all, as a very early beginner in astronomy what do you think my starting goals should be? I'll be completely honest and say that I've never even looked through a telescope before, but I have always been very interested in space, and I don't really think I know if I'm interested in any one subject so I just want to experience as much varied things as possible....

I do need to learn to use my equipment so I'm assuming more lunar observations for now? Also there must be certain lunar sights I should be aiming for?

Prob made a fool of myself for asking such basic questions but I want to start off on the right foot with it so that I can get the most out for myself, any constructive criticism would be welcomed :D

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Just take it easy and at your own pace, the planets are a good easy target too. These are good questions for a beginner to ask so don't worry about asking them. :)

This is a good list to try out for the Moon.


Also if you can get a copy of Turn Left at Orion, that is a great book to work your way through.

Edited by JB80
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Your goals can be what ever you want them to be. Perhaps for now you should try a bit of everything, be they deep sky objects like galaxies and nebulae, as well as planets and the moon, and over time you will better establish which things interest you most.

As far as the Moon goes, you could do worse than attempt the lunar 100. http://www.skyandtel...on/3308811.html

You may find a life long love affair with our closest neighbour begins.

As far as the brighter planets go, the best placed right now is Saturn in the evening and Jupiter just after sunset though it is rapidly sinking into the murky horizon. http://www.skyandtel...rving/ataglance

Other planets will be better placed later in the year.

As for deep sky objects, there are many great Messier objects available for viewing in the summer skies. For locating these, free software like Stellarium is a good bet, and perhaps the purchase of a book like "Turn Left at Orion."

As for learning your scope, there is no substitute for "on the job training" that comes with the experience of using your scope under the stars, supplemented with advice from resources like SGL.

Good luck and clear skies!

EDIT: Should learn to type faster!

Edited by DirkSteele
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We've all been a noob. And there's always something new to learn. I remember that I was really looking forward to seeing individual stars close up before I got my first scope, then I was disappointed when they still looked like dots! I have no idea what I was expecting to see. :confused:

For me your overall goal should be to enjoy yourself, so I think like Matthew suggests, it makes sense to try a bit of everything, to see what takes your fancy.

As you try things out, you may find you like things you didn't expect to. I thought I would always be more into imaging, but these days, I prefer observing. I didn't think I would be that bothered about observing the sun, but I love it now (extreme care must be made when observing the sun, such as using a dedicated solar scope, or a white light filter and making sure the finder scope is covered or removed).

Welcome to a truly amazing hobby!

Edited by Luke
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I to am just starting out with astronomy and obtained my first scope about 8 weeks ago I found these 2 videos to be of help in getting to know my scope. Polar alignment and how to use an equatorial mount. So far I have seen Saturn, Jupiter and a few messier objects which were great to see.

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