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Ukcats82

Just getting started!!

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Gear - Polaris 114EQ-D

Also my Galaxy s8+ for star maps and what not.

OK, so the great thing is I'm a total newbie, but on the other hand in freash and ready to absorb anything and everything that I need in order to make the most out of what I have. It may not be the best scope by ANY means, but it's what I just got for free so I'll take it :)

I'm not familiar with the working of a telescope, how to fail one in to find what I want to see, what all the numbers on the stand mean other than I'm sure they are measurements to direct the scope to the right spot in the sky. 

So what should my first goal be?  A good harvest moon?

 

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Buy the book "Turn left at Orion" it's a must for any one new to the hobby. It will give you all the easy targets your scope will be able to see, and step by step guides of how to find the objects.

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Hello and a warm welcome to the SGL.

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Hi & welcome to SGL. 

+1 for Turn Left at Orion. It is a great starting point.

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7 minutes ago, Demonperformer said:

Hi & welcome to SGL. 

+1 for Turn Left at Orion. It is a great starting point.

+2 with Turn Left at Orion. It’s been updated over the years and provides sketches of what you can realistically expect see with with a small telescope. Also have the Sky & Telescope Pocket Sky Atlas as well as the Stellarium App. I’ve been into astronomy for a long time on and off and only just scratched the surface! 

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Welcome. As a newbie myself, best thing I did after getting a scope & Turn Left at Orion was to buy a pair of binoculars (cheap second hand 10X50's in my case).

Because many targets look better in bino's than in a scope, but mainly because they are so easy to aim that you will learn your way round the sky so much more quickly than just using a scope.

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2 hours ago, Ukcats82 said:

So what should my first goal be?  A good harvest moon?

Hi.

Your first goal should be any daytime landscape because there will always be something bright and detailed to see no matter where you look. Having to aim at precise small (even the Moon is small, only half a degree across) unfamiliar things in the dark is a task in itself.

To make your learning simple take one task at a time, get familiar with handling the telescope first. Those who try to tackle two or more new things in the same moment invariably fail and get frustrated, or they keep their patience but it takes them enormous amounts of time to exit the confusion.

Since it's getting late, if you want to start right now a brightly lit piece of nighttime landscape can do provided it doesn't have large gaps of darkness to get lost into.

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Welcome to being bitten by the asto bug.... Moon, start with the moon... than move onto planets....

 

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Cant get enough of the noon myself. Go and do some star hopping also, my current target is the Beehive Cluster.

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Hi and a very warm welcome to the Lounge :)

Steve

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Hello and welcome.

Peter

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Welcome. Have fun with the hobby and the forum.

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Hi there,

Turn left at orion is a great book, don't get me wrong, but I wouldn't rush out to buy anything just yet. Get the (free) computer programme Stellarium, and do a little exploring with that. You can even set it up with your scope and eyepieces details and get a fairly realistic impression of what you can expect see.

Next up I'd research polar aligning that mount. Knowing how to do this will make a big difference to the experience. Then make sure your finder is properly aligned.

Definitely start with the moon, so you get used to setting up the scope and finding objects.

Once you can actually set up and use the scope, then you can think about buying a guide like 'turn left ...'

Kev

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Welcome to SGL :smile:

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21 hours ago, Ben the Ignorant said:

Your first goal should be any daytime landscape because there will always be something bright and detailed to see no matter where you look.

Welcome to SGL. As usual lots of good advice on here... I'd go along with the advice above. When you find something in daylight to look at try and find it in both your main scope and the finderscope (the little one on top). Then try to adjust the finderscope (there should be some little screws on it) so that it's pointing in exactly the same place as the main scope. 

Next try the scope at night, stand exactly behind it and aim it at the moon. That should get the moon in the finderscope- now centre it.

Now go to your main scope and explore the moon...

2 other tips-

- The most interesting bit of the moon to look at is usually the terminator (where it goes from light to dark)- not a full moon.

- If you want to know more about what you're looking at try googling the lunar 100

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Welcome to SGL. Following the advice, above, and having done the daytime alignment of the finder, the Moon is nicely placed at the moment, to get the best contrast at the terminator.

Once you have had a tour of the Moon, look south after 10pm, and you should see Jupiter near the horizon, rising to almost due south at midnight. It's the brightest object in that direction, and its 4 principal moons are useful to help you get a sharp focus.

I would second Kev's advice about downloading Stellarium. I often use it to plan an evening's observing.

Geoff

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Hi and welcome aboard. 🙂

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Hi there and welcome. Still new myself so learning all the time. Never get tired of studying the moon though.. 

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Welcome from land down under

Enjoy your stay with us

Not sure if Polaris has a north leg

If it does, use a compass to align the mount, allowing for magnetic variation for your location

Some useful APPs for Android S8+ is Heavens Above, Lunar Phase, ISS Detector, Sky Map

Agree also, do a daylight observing of an object in the distance, and adjust the crosshairs of your spotting scope, so that both the spotting scope and focuser for the eye piece are aligned

Nothing off putting, tan finding object you want to observe in the spotting scope, and find the spotting scope is out by up to 10 degrees, and not able to detect what viewing in your eyepiece

 Happy Viewing

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I am fairly new myself, so I can say from what little experience I have that the best thing you can do is look at the moon. And then again. And again. I would recommend looking at the moon every free night you have for at least a month. You will learn a a lot about the moon, and you will learn how to aim at and find a very small object. Once you do that, I would say the best thing to do is try to look at a planet. They are small and hard to find, but are well worth the time and will help you learn how to find even smaller objects. I would also recommend a pair of binoculars, I have a good pair and use them far more than my telescope. (Mainly for convenience, but they really are a great tool that even the best astronomers use frequently.) Depending on whether you are in this for the science or the views, I would recommend either Turn Left at Orion to find cool stuff to look at, or the Big Book of Astronomy to help you understand what you are seeing. Both are excellent tools, and I would recommend having them both eventually, but pick one or the other based on what your goals are. I am not a professional by any means, but feel free to message me if you have questions. I can't guarantee I can answer them, but I can guarantee I will try. Have fun, and bring a blanket and hot chocolate!

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Hi , 

Welcome to SGL 
you can download the sky chart at skymaps.com . very useful :D

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Posted (edited)

Hi @Ukcats82 and welcome to SGL. :hello2:

When viewing the Moon, or anything else, don't panic if it/they appear upside down... this is normal.

Edited by Philip R

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On 22/05/2018 at 19:26, Doc said:

Buy the book "Turn left at Orion" it's a must for any one new to the hobby. It will give you all the easy targets your scope will be able to see, and step by step guides of how to find the objects.

yes this book is a amazing read really helpful in what you can expect to see around the different season's highly recommended

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