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AmatuerStargazer

Good book?

11 posts in this topic

So I got a Celestron Inspire 90az telescope for Christmas last year. I have looked at the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn. Although I think I have a very basic understanding of how to use a telescope, I wanted to know if anyone reccomends any books that teach you how to use a telescope and maintain and upgrade it.

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Turn left at orion is often recommended, but I've never read it myself. I have 'An illustrated guide to astronomical wonders' and find it great, but is probably more suitable for bigger telescopes. There are plenty of books about maintaining your telescope, but I think you'd get much better advice on this forum to be honest.

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I own Turn left at Orion and The practical astronomer, both excellent I highly recommend purchasing both 👍

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Books tend to give options on what to see in the sky. Many use TLAO, I prefer the Monthly Sky Guide. Find one that suits you and that is not always as easy as you think.

To an extent using, maintaining and upgrading is experience and preference. Here again what you like or can use comes into it. A half reasonable set of eyepieces certainly helps, wider views, sharper views and more comfortable use make it all a better experience. Often here the first eyepiece improvemnt are to Starguider eyepieces.

Finders come a clsoe second, many recommend the Telrad, again be sure as I simply cannot use a Telrad. I never get anything out of it, no idea why since one finder I do like is the Red Dot Finder and the 2 are a bit similar. Friend gets on fine with a simple straight through finder. As there are about 5 options it would be better if you did not want to buy one of each to find out.

Stellarium on the PC is a good choice, F sets time, F4 sets the viewing options - you can reduce the displayed Mag to Mag6 on DSO's the get the brighter ones.

If you want one of a phone/tablet then the best seems SkySafari Plus. There is a lesser cost one, I only have the Plus version so not sure how well the more basic compares. But as the basic is not a grewat cost it is likely still a good purchase.

If the 90Az is a refractor then probably no real maintenance.

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Try your local library and flick through pages and get the one which you feel is simple. Turn left at Orion is a good book and quite popular as well because its easy to understand. 

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I like these two. 

The Backyard Astronomers Guide (Terrence  Dickinson and Alan Dyer)

NightWatch (Terrence Dickinson)

Start with NightWatch. I found it an excellent starting book.  TBAG is great for covering everything for Backyard Astronomy

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2 hours ago, kendg said:

 TBAG is great for covering everything for Backyard Astronomy

Agreed. Its the one book I wished I had bought when I started, rather than 6 months later after having spent many hours learning the hard way.  A really good book for helping you to get to grips with the practical side of choosing and using astronomy equipment  plus a whole load more. Turn left at Orion was a book that helped me get going with observing. I then drifted onto other source books which had more to get my teeth into (like - Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders whose "coffee table book" style title does not do it justice) but then occasionally come back to as it does some things so well.

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I have two books that I started out with both second hand from Amazon and I still refer to them when needed.

Stargazing Secrets by Anton Vamplew A very good introduction to using and maintaining your telescope with a number of chapters on your first targets. It's easy to read and understand.

Haynes Astronomy Manual is also pretty good as an introduction to the hobby. Again with sections on using and maintaining your telescope.

finally TLAO is excellent for finding your targets and I also recommend Sky and Telescopes Pocket Atlas

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Posted (edited)

I found you some free booklets (Pdf.) from Celestron that might help you out. Just 'save' them to your computer and read at your leisure:

 

21035_21038_travel-scope_manual_5lang_web.pdf

 

1297798410_astronomybasics.pdf

 

1297801590_celestialobserv.pdf

 

1297801757_telescopebasics.pdf

 

1297801919_telescopemainte.pdf

 

From the 'Miles-O'-Files' -

Dave

Edited by Dave In Vermont
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It may sound stupid but why not Astronomy For Dummies. I've purchased the 2nd edition for a few quid on EBay, there is a 3rd edition which costs about £11 on Amazon.  Google is another great tool for Astronomers, I don't want to come across as ignorant or that but I find Google to be great unless you need a book to take out into the field, You Tube has videos of maintaining telescopes by experts. Bright Giant mentioned Sky Safari, I bought Sky Safari 5 Plus a few days ago and it was £15. The basic is £2.99 and Pro is £39.99. Here's a link showing a comparison between them all, I'd advise getting the Plus version as Pro just offers a bigger database of objects.

 

http://skysafariastronomy.com/skysafari-5-professional-astronomy-telescope-control-software-for-ios.html

Edited by Paul6230S5
Forgot to include link

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