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Prester John

Unrealistic expectations from a noob

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JOC    1,591

I was lucky, I found and read the first posting in this forum before I bought my telescope, if you haven't found it I would recommend it to you  if you don't read it all at least look at all the photos on the first page (I would have though the link to have been posted by now, but I can't see it so here it is:

So armed with this knowledge we got our first telescope and lowered our expectations about 8 months ago.  Yes, even though you are told you won't see the footprints on the moon you do still have this fairy tale hope when you first look (at least I did).  However, the moon is still well worth a gander - to be able to see the ups and downs of the mountains at the edges is quite something, when you get bored with it then play with the planets - at the right time of year Jupiter is rather neat - all the little moons around it, and the stripes (you've got 12" surely you will see the stripes) and I even saw the shadow of a moon passing through my 8" Dob.  Saturn is up at the moment - Jupiter will never be crisply crisp - its a ball of gas, but the first time you get a miniature Saturn in the telescope view I think you will be chuffed - it's like a mini-Christmas decoration and you think I you look in the big end of the telescope that someone has hung a little model there.  You should see a gap between the rings and the planet and at 12" I guess you might see a gap in the rings (I find I can't, but you might).  I think its about reining in your Hubble like expectations, but somehow when you think about what you ARE seeing and how far away it is then things seem a bit more worthwhile.  I am still at the stage where my interest will only hold for a couple of hours, but I'm still glad we got one and if I look after it then it will still be there when I have more time to call my own.

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