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John

Essential reading for those who are thinking about getting into Astronomy !

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Interesting article but a bit dated and technophobic? Are these star-finding computerised mounts really so bad? And no mention of that other great telescope we all have access to...google-sky.

My son lives in the west highlands and been passed on a 4 1/2" vivitar reflector on a joke of an aluminium mount I received as a gift last year. The weight of the scope on the mount makes it so unstable it is useless. I fear I may have put my son off astronomy for life giving it to him.

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Could I suggest Turn Left at Orion, I've just bought a copy of this, should have got one earlier. I've had suggestions as to what to view in the sky and can easily find them in stellarium but once you're outside viewing its not that easy to find some of the objects. What I like about Turn Left is that it provides easy to find reference points together with directions leading what your really looking for, just copy it down on a bit of paper or take the book with you.

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As a "bouncer" (I started, got very disappointed and stopped for a long time then got back in) I think there is one other very important resource which is missing for the person contemplating starting....

That is a single resource there a large number of objects are shown at different apertures and under different conditions. You can find web sites that compare some - but you have to hunt.

This will remove a lot of the initial disappointment that I encountered, and I am sure I was was not the only one, when I used my first scope - an etx-105.

I had carefully selected the 3rd largest scope from the line (avoiding the 125 as I was told it was heavy for mount).

While I knew it would not be hubble and was aware that it would not even live up to the photos on the box I was not prepared for the complete lack size and clarity and in many cases invisibility of the experience that greeted me.

I would probably have made a better first choice (though I still have the etx-105, its great for its purpose) if I had the knowledge before making the putchase.

Edited by boboco

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Although books are slightly off topic for this particular thread, I just got a copy of this book http://stargazerslounge.com/equipment-reviews/111106-illustrated-guide-astronomical-wonders-first-impressions.html

I reckon this is a superb book and I'd recommend it highly to all newbies and oldies alike.

Mods, feel free to remove this post if you feel the need to do so.

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So much to read, so little space left in the book-case.

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great find paul already increased my perception of stargazing:icon_scratch:

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Great article, and some good suggestions for books in subsequent posts, heard 'Turn left at Orion' been mentioned a few times now.

Think I'll get onto amazon and get a copy.

Cheers everyone:)

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Was useful reading .. going to make sure my son reads section 9 after he was cussing at the goto on the scope Saturday night lol

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I have just read the article and it was very helpful and insightful i would recomend it to everyone thinking about starting star gazing.

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I've just read this and have found it to be really helpful. I'm deliberating over a first scope and this informartion was invaluable.

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Ive just started to read A Short History Of Everything, looks good so far :)

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Excellent article, this paragraph is so very true:

"Lose your ego. Astronomy teaches patience and humility -- and you'd better be prepared to learn them. There's nothing you can do about the clouds blocking your view, the extreme distance and faintness of the objects you desire most, or the timing of the long-anticipated event for which you got all set up one minute late. The universe will not bend to your wishes; you must take it on its own terms."

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"I've read it can I have a big scope now"

Very interesting read, now to the library.

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Thanks. I recognised myself, hardly able to wait to go out and buy the "best" telescope I can afford, only research has stopped me (confused). I will now dig out the binos and take a look.

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Thanks. I recognised myself, hardly able to wait to go out and buy the "best" telescope I can afford, only research has stopped me (confused). I will now dig out the binos and take a look.

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