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Received my book 'Turn Left At Orion' yesterday, just want to let any newbie out here know that this is a beautifully written book and ideal for newbies looking to navigate he sky with layman terms.

Thank you SGL for everyone's recommendation to get this book. Delighted.

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it's a great shot, Julian, particularly for the context provided by the atmosphere and the chimneys.

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I was so torn last night.

The weather forecast on the Met office advised rain so I kept the kit inside. at 8pm the sky was clear and i'm thinking maybe get the scope out, at 8:45 it absolutely chucked it down so I went back inside. after watching a bit of match of the day I could tell it stopped raining and when I went outside at around 11:45 the sky was tremendous but felt as a first time setup it was a little to late to get going, having to familiarise myself with polar alignment (Polaris was clear) and the dec, ra familiarisation.

in hinsite these are excuses and I'm gutted that I've missed my first real good oppurtunity, but in another light I was quite chuffed, as it was really enjoyable to now be able to look at Orion and start navigating from this constellation and see Sirius, Betelgeuses, Procyon, Castor, Pollux, Capella & Aldebaran.

I would of never of naturally been able to describe and understand my view of Orion in such detail before, so although I was gutted that I never managed to see orions belt then M42 & M43 in any detail through the eyepiece, I did go back in with a little contentment that I am actually learning the night sky. 

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The evenings viewing was peaked at the bright and amazing site of Jupiter, high up  west of Orion, THe moon was blocked by the neighbous house to the East but the sky was stunning at around midnight.

I have to say it really is great after a heavy week at work to get home and in the evenings just sit in the conservatory or outside and chill out looking at the beauty that is this amazing night sky.

The more you relax, the more you see and the sky then shines upon you.

Gutted but content :-).

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Sounds like all good, positive experience, one way or another. Did you get the scope set up this evening?

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I was so torn last night.

The weather forecast on the Met office advised rain so I kept the kit inside. at 8pm the sky was clear and i'm thinking maybe get the scope out, at 8:45 it absolutely chucked it down so I went back inside. after watching a bit of match of the day I could tell it stopped raining and when I went outside at around 11:45 the sky was tremendous but felt as a first time setup it was a little to late to get going, having to familiarise myself with polar alignment (Polaris was clear) and the dec, ra familiarisation.

in hinsite these are excuses and I'm gutted that I've missed my first real good oppurtunity, but in another light I was quite chuffed, as it was really enjoyable to now be able to look at Orion and start navigating from this constellation and see Sirius, Betelgeuses, Procyon, Castor, Pollux, Capella & Aldebaran.

I would of never of naturally been able to describe and understand my view of Orion in such detail before, so although I was gutted that I never managed to see orions belt then M42 & M43 in any detail through the eyepiece, I did go back in with a little contentment that I am actually learning the night sky. 

Time spent just looking at the night sky and finding your way around is time well spent and will reap rewards when you're out with your scope.

Good luck and clear skies.

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Its been a while due to horendous weather conditions that ripped my roof off the garage, thankfully my scope wasnt inside and nothing damaged except the garage.

Tonight has been the official first night thaat I've managed to use my new bit of kit.

Got home from work at 17:15 and got every outside with the tripod setup and leveled in preparation, I left the scope outside to start chilling off. At 18:30 I managed to align and calibrate my polarscope to polaris, (have now ordered an illuminator £21 from bristol cameras) as I found the polarscope quite tricky to use and ended up using a black plastic bag to kneel on the boggy ground. Will definately look into getting a web cam for the future.

Also used Polaris to center the view finder, which I also have to get to grips with as a newbie, I found this finderscope a little tricky and lost my way a little plus my confidence that I had centered it to Polaris, wasnt certain I carried this out very well and later used a better target with Jupiter to center perfectly and with confidence (it was miles out).

After setting up the polar alignment I went straight to Orion using the 25mm eyepiece. I have to say that this 25mm eyepiece has surprised me, as it does give a beautiful pinpoint view, Betelguese was beautiful but I was blown away when I managed with the aid of my star map to navigate to M42, I must of spent 45 minutes just observing and in awe of what I was viewing, you can make out the clouds and used the 10mm eyepiece to try and see more, which it did but not with the clarity like I got with the 25mm eyepiece.

Now I have experienced the 10 mm eyepiece, this is definately being replaced come pay day.

After viweing M42 I realised that I was bitten big time and was extremely pleased that I took the time to setup the EQ mount, as the RA tracking was all I needed to track any object once centered. It was brilliant to be able to use the EQ5 to track smoothly with either the 10 or 25mm eyepiece, I can now appreciate why people rate this EQ5 mount as it really is solid and I never lost any target due to the steadiness and smooth precision of the gears, really is a feat of engineering that I'm proud to pocess, I know theirs allot better out there, but for a beginner this is ideal.

I then went to Procyon that at first i thought was a planet, At 21:00 I had Jupiter in a great position and managed to use Jupiter to center the finderscope perfectly, the 25mm eyepiece was exceptional and also the 10mm eyepiece with \jupiter did merit some praise, the 4 moons in a beautiful straight line were clear and some detail could be seen of Jupiters rings, but very vague.

It was a great sight and I'm delighted with my purchase. Absolutely blown away by the level of detail you can see and truely amazed by how much more detail you can see through the scope, 1 star becomes 4 or more with such clarity and detail that it really is breathtaking.

I'm also very glad that I've taken time prior to using the scope to study up a little first. The internet makes this hobby so much more accessable for joe blogs people like me.

Thank you to everyone who's given such excellant advise on this forum, really pleased to have been able to share your wisdom and expertises to get me going.

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A quick question though, how do you all keep your feet warm, mine are still freezing, the scope was covered in ice when I finished and were due snow tomorrow.

I wore a thin pair of socks with a thick pair over them, but my feet were freezing in shoes and wellies, are hiking boots any better?

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Nice report Joe Blogs! keep at it  :smiley:

Keep your socks on indoors whilst studying 'TLAO'. That will help them thaw!

Check this http://www.heatholders.com/uk/

Also note,  cotton socks (  if that's your choice )  absorb and hold sweat, the feet will stay/ feel cold.  So breathable socks, and footwear helps.  I often wear thermal socks when wearing wellingtons when fishing for 5 hours at a time, and the toes keep cosy warm, just gotta keep 'em dry. The colder it gets outside, the warmer your body gets to accommodate, this results in some minor sweating, and unless that sweat is wicked away, the dampness remains and the cold prevails?

Edited by Charic
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Try standing on a piece of Karrimat (or equivalent). Everyone knows air is a poor conductor of heat, but not so many realise just how much you lose through direct contact with the cold ground. Thick socks are great, but your own weight compresses them underneath you, eliminating much of the benefit. You are then effectively standing on a solid, dense stack of rubber, synthetics, and whatever else, and once you've been standing out on the frosty ground for a while it becomes a very cold stack indeed - you're losing heat very rapidly downwards. The closed-cell foam used in Karrimats is pretty good at maintaining reasonable insulation, even under considerable pressure.

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Weather is overcast tonight and glad to be indoors but eager to get out again after last nights success, like the idea of a karrimat, we had snow last night which must of come down not long after I got in.

It was cold and the tube was a lump of ice when I got it in last night, I tried some photography and have allot of red in the background, is this moisture?

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Tonight is all going to plan, just hope the forecast turns out to be true and clear.

My new 8mm BST eyepiece and BST 2x Barlow has arrived and hope this will give a little more clarity to what I previously observed with the Skywatchers 10mm Eyepiece.

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Weather is overcast tonight and glad to be indoors but eager to get out again after last nights success, like the idea of a karrimat, we had snow last night which must of come down not long after I got in.

It was cold and the tube was a lump of ice when I got it in last night, I tried some photography and have allot of red in the background, is this moisture?

Could be. I find I have to wipe dry the camera lens fairly often

My biggest concern is the exposed sensor when mounted on "prime", hence I like to screw a Barlow onto the adaptor to keep things sealed tight.

Red mist could unlikely be hot pixelation which can happen with long-long exposures but you can easily tell from the picture, it's increased noise. Depends on camera some go reddish and some get a mauve tinge and some don't do it at all. Not at all likely unless all-over even faint tinge showing.

What camera are you using and how are you mounting it to the scope?

I too suffer gas and have irrational urges to rush out and buy stuff on-line and then find it don't work as expected or I've got two things that do the exact same job different ways. Best to slow down and research from the armchair with a cat.

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