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I'm a complete beginner, I have been spending the afternoon looking a constellations, I can remember five so far, then I wanted to take a brief look into the messier objects within a constellation if any, my questions are this ,,, how will I know what I am seeing is def m36 ,or 37,and will I see any colour or do I need to buy additional equipment to see colour..... Thank you in advnce

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try downloading this http://www.stellarium.org/ its a free programme that shows you what is visible in sky at the time you open the programme. you will see very little colour when viewing most objects in the sky. the exceptions are some double stars EG.Albiero and some of the planets, Mars, Jupiter, even with double stars the colours reported differ from person to person.

also what equipment sre using?

Edited by bunnygod1
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I'm also beginner, but as far as being sure of what you're looking at, I'd suggest downloading Stellarium. It's completely free and it has been an invaluable aid for me. Since long before I even got my scope.

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There is a mobile version of Stellarium as well. Don't know if it's available for your tablet, but check whatever appstore you have. Failing that, there are several other programs like it. And if those doesn't work for you, you could always get a planisphere.

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That's exactly what I wanted to hear with regards the scope, and have downloaded one or two apps for the tablet,,

regarding the scope a 200mm aperture has 77% more Light Gathering potential than 150mm, obviously it depends what your budget is.

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All things being equal, I'd recommend the 150 P: a six-inch scope will show more than you can hope to see in a lifetime as well as a wealth of detail on the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and the brightest deep sky objects. Lots of colourful and interesting doubles as well. Easier to lug around than a larger scope too. Better to learn your way around with a smaller manageable scope first IMHO. A 150mm Dob is a very capable scope, that's why I'll never part with mine. :smiley:

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As far as Messiers go, you will not see colour unless you go to about `10 inch or above aperture, and even then, you'd need good skies and it will be subtle. This has more to do with how the eye responds at night as much as anything. When imaging methods are used, it is very much possible to get colour with small scopes.

Do not that let discourage you however, there are still amazing sights to be seen with a 150 scope. To get a rough idea what each scope delivers going up the ladder in terms of aperture, take a look here

https://www.astronom...elescope_t.aspx

enjoy :)

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Get the "Pocket Sky Atlas", it's handy and very useful. I'd observe and get to know each constellation and their neighbours.You'll find that the Messiers are quite simple to locate . You'll be after anything non stellar.

Ditch the finder scope and replace it with a red dot finder ( rdf) or a Telrad finder,

Nick.

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If you're teaching yourself from scratch as you go along it can be tricky to decide if what you think you've seen is actually what you have seen. You get your eye in with practice, but I'd suggest starting with the brighter and more obvious targets. Galaxies and nebulae can be somewhat elusive, especially galaxies that are edge-on. Globular clusters are generally fairly obvious though, as are objects with a really obvious shape such as the Rng Nebula. Start with ones high in the sky initially, too. As you drop down towards the horizon the atmosphere and light pollution make everything more difficult to see.

Some sort of star map is very handy, be it on paper or electronic, as it allows you to compare the stars you can see with those that you think you should be seeing and confirm the location of an object when you think you're seeing it.

James

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I'm a complete beginner, I have been spending the afternoon looking a constellations, I can remember five so far, then I wanted to take a brief look into the messier objects within a constellation if any, my questions are this ,,, how will I know what I am seeing is def m36 ,or 37,and will I see any colour or do I need to buy additional equipment to see colour..... Thank you in advnce

Well - I found M36, M37 and M38 a little tricky - they were the first Messier objects I tracked down. You finder should give you some idea which you're looking at - most of these objects aren't that close together, even these three! I found I didn't trust that so much, though, so I took a guess as which it was and then tried moving around to the others based on the direction I figured they should be. That worked, though the upside down view on a reflector was confusing.

More generally, I often look up pictures of things that I've been looking at on Wikipedia; it can be handy for seeing what they should look like.

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I would say M13 is the perfect starter object. The first one I found and it is very obvious when you see it is not a star but something different, a nice but bright enough blob :D, as soon as you locate it in the eyepiece you know you did it :)

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Hi

6" Dob. Perfect scope.

This is the scope I would go for if starting out in this hobby today.

Cheap, potable, kind on eyepieces, great stable mount, requires little collimation, super views, and tough as old boots. You can't go wrong :)

Combine this with a good star atlas (I use sky atlas 2000) a red torch, and a comfy observing chair (I use a drum stool) happy days. :grin:

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There should be a lot of good apps for tablets. Apart from that, nothing beats looking at the night sky with the naked eye and then trying to piece all the bits together. Roll on clear skies and longer and darker nights!

Dave.

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Some sort of star map is very handy, be it on paper or electronic, as it allows you to compare the stars you can see with those that you think you should be seeing and confirm the location of an object when you think you're seeing it.

James

The Cambridge Star Atlas by Wil Tirion is an excellent buy.

I bought the spiral bound one, it has all what a beginner needs and its just the right size.

There are moon maps, constellation maps, seasonal maps and of course Wil's excellent

star maps, they include.....

Stars to mag 6.5

Double stars

Variable stars

Open clusters

Globular clusters

Planetary Nebulae

Bright nebulae

Galaxies

All these are represented by scale, you won't disappointed. :cool:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Cambridge-Star-Atlas-Tirion/dp/0521173639/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1372654319&sr=8-1&keywords=cambridge+star+atlas

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I today made a call to check stock of the telescope from my chosen retailer, and they have it and offer next day delivery .... I'm hoping to order it this week , can't wait

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Some sort of star map is very handy, be it on paper or electronic, as it allows you to compare the stars you can see with those that you think you should be seeing and confirm the location of an object when you think you're seeing it.

James

Also confusing when starting out is that what your seeing is upside down or back to front compared to star maps etc

Dave

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The star atlas's are a great idea - you'd also find a copy of "Turn Left at Orion" is sound purchase. You get descriptions of how to find each object and a photo or sketch of how it should look in the eyepiece. Another good source is the center pages of Sky at Night magazine (or Astronomy Now). They give you a month by month description of current objects, where to find them and what gear to use, plus you get to learn the night sky seasons over a year. I also like the object marathons and deep sky challenges that appear periodically.

If possible join a local astronomy group/club and go out on observing evenings with them. Most are very friendly to newcomers and you get to learn a heck of a lot observing with other enthusiasts. E.g. choosing the right eyepiece, judging the conditions, and finding stuff are tasks made much easier with other experienced observers around. You'll also get to look through other scopes and experience different equipment and upgrades. :)

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  • 2 months later...

+1 for the 150p. I've had a 150p for 9 months now albeit on an eq mount instead of a dob but nevertheless big thumbs up. Also, a copy of Turn Left at Orion too. Gives good diagrams and descriptions of what you can expect to see realistically. Welcome to an excellent and most enjoyable hobby!

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