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Hi All, 

I got my hands on some binoculars (25x70) and, after about 15 cloudy nights in a row!, have finally been able to see some pretty great stuff! I've managed to spot quite a few satellites going past using the heavens above app and am pretty sure I saw a meteor when I was looking in the area of quadrantids! I was hoping to catch a glimpse of M13 but haven't been able to locate it yet. 

I've found this website to be really useful so far in starting out but the biggest problem i am having is the wobble i'm experiencing from both a cheap tripod and the wind! Its really blowing things around! Can anyone recommend a decent, as close to wobble free as possible, tripod that won't break the bank? I'm getting the best results when finding a target, leaving the wobble to settle then trying to get as close to the eyepiece as possible without touching it but its tough when trying to see the smaller / fainter things out there!  

If anyone has any recommendations of good things to keep an eye out for would also be much appreciated!

Cheers, Steve

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The Ravelli/Amazon Basics tripods are identical,just differently badged,and available from-you've guessed it-Amazon.

The prices fluctuate,but they are tremendous value,and should cost under £50.

They've received lots of praise here on SGL,and rightly so.

It was the good feedback about them on SGL that persuaded me to buy one!

Edited by MAN or ASTROMAN
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My tripod is a Velbon DF50. It's about 5 years old now (originally bought for photography) so they've upgraded it to the DF51 now.

It cost £30 just like the newer version does now and I find it very sturdy, I'd happily recommend it to anybody.

I'm new to astronomy too so don't know much about looking for all the different objects that are out there. However, the Pleiades is a pleasing sight through binoculars and would be a great first object to look at. To me it looks like a miniature version of the plough set in a background of fainter stars. There is the great Andromeda galaxy, I think I found it once, it looked more like a smudge in the sky to me. I think a dark site maybe needed for that one. Orion  nebula would be the final thought from me as that's about all I know so far and this one's the easiest to find. Just find orions belt  in your binoculars and then slowly start lowering your view and you will see it, you cant miss it. It is only the mass of stars you will see rather than the coloured mist you see in photos buts it's worth it.

Good luck.

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Thanks for your help I'll take a look at those! 

Yeah Orion nebula is top of my list but has been out of view from where i am! I think i may try and find a dark site near to me and see what its like from there! 

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Actually, M13 is up and about - if you like the early hours of the day for decent altitude views. From The SkyX:

Magnitude: 5.80
Rise Time: 22:49
Transit Time: 09:37
Set Time: 20:21

This is for London, England. So Bristol is quite similar.

Have a good gaze -


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Can anyone recommend a decent, as close to wobble free as possible, tripod that won't break the bank?

That does, of course, depend on the flexibility of your bank :icon_biggrin:

+1 for the Ravelli/Amazon Basics with trigger-grip. If you want to see what it is like, there's an image of it and me (5' 10") in the November edition of my newsletter, available here.

If you want to future-proof (and your bank can manage it), I rather liked the Fotomate VT2900, which I reviewed (here) - £125 at FLO. It is streets better than the near-ubiquitous Horizon 8115 for binocular astronomy, it is also better than the more expensive VT680-222 (fine tripod for video, but the lack of centre-post is the problem for binocular astro).

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