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Inspiring first week with my first pair of binoculars


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Hi Stargazers Lounge community,

I pointed a pair of binoculars at the sky for the first time last Tuesday, and wanted to share what I've seen in the last week because it has amazed me. Also, I wanted to say thanks in general to the community; I've read some really useful posts on here to help me get started.

As a general question, what has everyone else been looking at recently? Also, I'd love to hear any recommendations for things I could look for next (as a beginner, with 10x50 binoculars).

Highlights:

  • Finding Perseus and then seeing 10 shooting stars.
  • Seeing the Andromeda galaxy. A dim fuzzy blob, but the first time I've seen anything outside our galaxy. I'm blown away just thinking about the scale of it.
  • Seeing Saturn for the first time. Clearly golden in colour, bigger than a star, and with the rings making it obviously Saturn-shaped (although the rings weren't all that distinct from the planet itself).
  • Seeing a satelite, and then seeing another 50 and realising the sky is full of them.
  • Seeing another shooting star zip across high in the sky. This was 5 days after the Perseid peak, and not originating from Perseus, and quite unexpected to me.
  • Seeing the thinnest finger nail of the new moon set just after the sun. Might sound daft, but with binoculars, it seemed clear it was a big sphere of rock in space, rather than just a flat looking circle in a flat sky. Lovely colours in the sky too.
  • Seeing the colour of Arcturus, and enjoying that not all stars are white.
  • In general, the achievement of finding so much (or indeed finding anything at all), and learning a couple of new constellations beyond the obvious Cassiopeia, Plough and Orion.
  • Getting trapped inside Wikipedia while reading about the above.

In case it's useful to other beginners, the advice on starting with binoculars really is excellent advice. As per the above, you can see some very cool things with binoculars. Half of what I saw was from just taking a quick look (sometimes even just peering out from an upstairs window), which I wouldn't have seen if there was any faff involved. I'm glad I've not gone overboard on the magnification (10x), and can appreciate it's better to get a modest view of what you are looking for, rather than a highly magnified view of some random stars.

Nice and cloudy tonight, so I might catch up on some missed sleep :-)

Happy astronomising everyone. Paul.

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Wow very good week! I rarely get out my 10x50 binoculars and thinking now I should.

Didn't think Saturn would be noticeable in them, though think Saturn is too low in the sky from my location to see it.

The sky maps web site gives monthly download pdf which shows the things you can see that month and breaks down to naked eye, binocular and telescope. Worth a download.

Craig

Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk

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Enjoyed your report very motivating.

Stellarium is a useful tool and you can plug in your binoculars for using the occular view which I find useful.

I often watch the bats and scan the skies, quick and easy and so relaxing.

+1 for binocularsky monthly news letter (if in relevant hemisphere I am in mobile view so can't see location).

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Don't forget the moon!

See if you can catch the Swan and Eagle nebuli (M16/17) with M11 glowing above them.

M752 is worth a shout if you are near Andormeda.

Thanks for the enjoyable writup.

Paul

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Hi Stargazers Lounge community,

.......... the advice on starting with binoculars really is excellent advice.....................

Happy astronomising everyone. Paul.

 I have just added some 10x50 marines to my collection, but I would not be without my binoculars. I see more with the binoculars, and detail with the scope. 

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I need to get some 10X50's. Thanks for the post.

Definitely

Wow very good week! I rarely get out my 10x50 binoculars and thinking now I should.

Mine are just as important as my charts.

I have just added some 10x50 marines to my collection, but I would not be without my binoculars. I see more with the binoculars, and detail with the scope.

That's how I use them too. Plus it's much easier to find stuff in that wider field before heading to the telescope. Edited by BeanerSA
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As others have said, an inspirational post. If you can't be bothered with dragging out a scope last thing at night surely having a pair of binos by the back door is a good thing.

Living, as many of us do, in a light-polluted area I was astonished when I looked through my bins at the area around Cassiopea to find that I could no longer make out the asterism, the sky is awash with stars and just multiplied my sense of wonder manyfold.

My bins are going with me everywhere from now on!

Neil.

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Thanks everyone, I'm quite touched to see so many responses. Great to see it generated some interested; I wasn't sure if it would have seemed a bit mundane to folks with more experience.

Thanks for the helpful tips too. I've just checked out Binocular Sky and the Sky Maps site, and they look great places to get started. I can imagine the Sky Maps download being useful early on. In rating the features as eyeball/binoculars/telescope, it looks like ideal for getting familiar with the basic landmarks. I've not had a chance to check out Stellarium yet, but will take a look.

Best wishes, Paul.

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The sky maps web site gives monthly download pdf which shows the things you can see that month and breaks down to naked eye, binocular and telescope. Worth a download.

Craig, thanks. This was bang on the money too.

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