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I am glad to find this forum. As a raw beginner in astronomy, but having supported NASA for over 30 years, I'd say I am playing catch-up for this characteristic to NASA functions. My role at NASA has long been as a spacecraft bus designer and analyst (including HST, GRO, SDO, et al), and very rarely involved with the instrument and scientific investigative side of things.

I've always had an interest in astronomy and also photography, but up until now the photography alone won out in getting the attention.  Now I'm anxious to explore a new photographic endeavor and enjoy viewing the universe at the same time.

I also notice that the Beginners Forums here are multiples - that is better than I have ever seen on any other forum (of any kind).

I'm looking forward to learning from you all.


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Hi Tom and welcome to SGL :)

Fascinating job you have there and wow what a place to work at. Astro photography is a terrific and stimulating side of the hobby and you get to look at the stuff at the same time - you'll love it! Ask any questions you like in the relevant sections about the equipment you'll need and you'll soon have answers to get you on your way.

Tip - It helps to state a rough budget along with your objectives and we'll be delighted to help spend your money for you on astronomy gear. :)

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Hi Tom and welcome to the forum. Your intro sounds very interesting! I don't 'get' all the theoretical stuff so I'll sit out of those discussions :grin: but I've learnt a little about imaging along the way. Forget everything you know about photography, it's a different world!!

What are you looking at imaging? DSO's or solar system? I ask as there's different requirements for both.

Look forward to seeing you around :smiley:

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Welcome Tom. 

As other people have stated, AP is quite an interesting side of the hobby, and has a lot of different requirements from the visual side of things. If I may make one suggestion it would be to read up on here, as well as obtain a copy of the 'Making every Photon Count' book by Steve Richards...do this before you decide to fork out on equipment...it may well just help steer your choices.

Look forward to seeing you around the forum


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Welcome to SGL Tom, you are correct in that it is the easiest forum to naviagte and it is certainly the friendliest and most helpful.

As a newcomer to Astro photography myself I can confirm that Steve Richards' book Making even Photon count is a must, he is on SGL as Steppenwolf.

you need to clarify what area of AP interests you as if Solar system is you bag then Steve's book isnt your starting point whereas deep sky etc it certainly is.

Also to assist you in your endeavours your area of interest will enable the advice to be fit for purpose.

Nevertheless enjoy the forum.

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Hi Tom (from one newbie to another)

Had my first experience last night as it was relatively cloudless here in the UK. I managed to see Jupiter (it's bands) and 5 moons this time. I also took a look at Orion's great nebula , the Pleiades cluster , split the Castor binary and took a heap of photo's of the moon.
I can honestly say that I'm completely hooked. Just need to order a telrad to make finding stuff a little easier. 
I think out of all the forums I've seen this is the friendliest and easiest to navigate.

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