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Evening all,

Moving to a new house which has a number of velux rooflights. I thought it could be nice to get a telescope to see what I could see out of them. Leading on from this I bought as a xmas stocking filler for Mrs and baby daughter a 'name a star' thing which I thought would be nice family activity to see if we could see them. I know zip about stargazing so my questions are really will we be able to see anything through velux and will these stars even exist or I just bought a turkey?

Thanks

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Looking through skylights is a pretty bad idea, it just doesn't work. Even viewing from indoors through an open window is a pretty bad idea, as the thermal currents passing through the window destroys the viewing.

The star definitely exists but will usually be very, very faint, and tricky to find for even an experienced individual.

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...as above. its not the best or ideal situation to observe from?

You will see something, but all that heat, even if you think your room is cold is akin to looking through the  heat haze on a long and straight road during the Summer! the shimmer degrades the image. 

As for the Star naming, if you have bought a Star?  that's fine, but I bet 5 Million other folk own the same Star?  its not something you can really buy or even sell to someone. The thought is nice, but to be honest....more of a gimmick! Thoughtful but gimmicky.

Like selling sand to Arabia or Ice to Polar inhabitants.

If you have ample room from this skylight, a pair of binoculars  which have far less magnification than most telescopes, would suffice, say around the 10x50 or 8x40  and  would give nice views of  several Stars within the same view. This may be more achievable than using the higher powers afforded from a telescope, which will pick up the impurities of thermal currents and other abnormalities if the seeing conditions are poor. 

Should also be looking through  an open window, as the window panes will not be of optical quality. 

Sitting outside on easy chairs with binoculars is a fine past time winter or summer, but  so much colder in winter so wrap up warm.

Edited by Charic

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Thanks for the responses. Just for the uneducated could someone explain to me how thermal issues affect the viewing isn't it just like looking through a pair of binoculars but into the sky (once again I know zip about telescopes). Thanks

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Thermals?

Throw a 2 pence piece into a swimming pool during the day while swimmers are swimming, and you`ll lose sight of the coin. Look again at 0400 in the morning and their it is, oh look, its tails up?

The atmosphere above us is akin to that swimming pool. Some times its good and stable, other times, its not worth looking.

Not only that, a telescope needs to cool to  ambient temperature within its surroundings, there will be thermal currents within the telescope, especially on a scope like my reflector where the mirror is at the bottom of the tube, but exposed to the atmosphere. Any heat is visible inside the scope when looking through a higher powered eyepiece, and destroys the view, the view shimmers, its effective and very noticeable on the Moon, but makes viewing the Planets even harder, Closed optics like refractors and binoculars escape some of these issues, but still need a little cooling to get the best from them.

Watching the thermals in my scope at over 200x magnification is like twisting a kaleidoscope only in grey monotone, as the thermals (heat waves) dance around inside the telescope. I don't see this with my binoculars.

Edited by Charic
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You could try - but as others have said 'thermals' might destroy the views.

If you have a go open the window and set up scope at least an hour before you start to view so both the scope and the room have cooled down (turn off the rooms heating!) closer to the outside ambient.

Stick to your lowest power eye pieces so you get the magnification.

If this fails- move the scope to the garden, but remeber the cool down time still applies for the scope.

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I found low power binoculars worked well for observing the moon through an open window in the summer. As the nights got colder, they got worse and the view became unpleasantly wobbly. So, it possible to some extent, but in general I'd agree with all the points above.

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Yup - thermal currents make objects wobble - especially at high magnifications. That's why winter is best for observing and imaging. In the summer - as the late evening turns to dark - the atmosphere makes everything wobble in the eyepiece as the Earth gives off heat and rises into the sky. Particularly on those warm balmy nights that we all like sitting out around a bbq. Not good for astronomy. :)

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Particularly on those warm balmy nights that we all like sitting out around a bbq. Not good for astronomy.

You must mean those 2 weeks in July 2013. Aint had a bbq since then.

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