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alien509

Something simple to find DSO's

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looking for something very simple to use that would help me find DSo's galaxy's it needs to be easy to use and points out interesting things to view for a newbie to use and hopfully doesn't cost much. something id take with me when out anyone recommend anything? possibly link to it ? thanks in advance

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There are several things that I've started to get to hand.

First for use whilst at the computer install Stellarium - its a free piece of software.

On a mobile there are apps for Windows, Android and iPhone, think there are some free for each phone.

There was a Star Hopping thread in here just last week with links to

Star Maps

http://www.uv.es/jrtorres/triatlas.html

The original topic also has links to learning to Star Hop, very useful in finding something not obvious.

To have an idea of something to find why not look at the check list below, it has the popular Messier list and more where you can sort it by season and difficulty to name a couple.

http://astronomychecklist.com/

Lastly some binos, I've just bought a good pair of 10x50 for £50. I get a much wider FOV than through the scope and you will be surprised how much more you can see in the sky, especially with LP. Even if you have a scope the binos will make star hopping easier to find what you are looking for, plus they are more portable allowing you to take them anywhere and anyone to use. I've just had delivered a bracket so I can attach mine to a tripod to make viewing easier and ideal for when you need to set them on an object in the sky.

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I use the messier maps I  printed off the below website.. nice easy to use charts and I've also got an android map on the phone/tablet with locations and pictures of the objects so I can make sure im looking at the right thing.. both have been great todate.. also a rigel quick finder has helped no end..

Just a thought for you, clear skys!

http://www.astro-tom.com/messier/messier_finder_charts/messier_maps.htm

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I'd make two recommendations :

The book Turn Left at Orion - around £19 (Amazon) for the spiral bound version - useful in my opinion. 

For an iPhone/iPad an App called Distant Suns, there's a lite edition (free) and a pay edition which if I remember rightly is £2-£3.  I'm not sure if it's available for other platforms.

+1 for Stellarium also.

If I was going to pick from that list, definitely Turn Left at Orion and Stellarium (as it's free in any case).  It's useful for pre-planning evenings.

~Kb

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+1 for Stellarium and Turn Left at Orion.

Personally I use Starmap Pro for iPhone when I need to look something up while already outside.

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Stellarium is free for pc's/laptops - and you can get it for Ipad's and some phones too I understand. So it can be available either out in the field or somewhere that you can plug a computer in.

A manual alternative is a planisphere. Also the book "Turn Left at Orion is good for your first 100 objects. There's also lots of web resources - google "finding <object name>" again for free. For any specific object you can always pop a question in the "Getting Started With Observing" section here on the forum.

Another idea - get the monthly edition of Sky at Night or Astronomy Now magazines - they have a center page spread of the night sky and loads of finding instructions for stuff that's in the sky this month. Hope that helps. :)

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+1 for Planisphere's... not sure how I managed to forget that!

I'd recommend one of the larger (30cmx30cm) versions.  I have a small (13cmx13cm) version and I personally find it a bit small.  It's also fiddly when wearing gloves.  I'm likely to replace it with a bigger one soon, both sizes are available on Amazon.

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