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John

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

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Thanks for posting them great links :D went through and learnt alot from them and have an idea on where to go next on the learning curve. Bookmarked for future thanks again.

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Very interesting first article, however the second one was on the money for me.

I have decided to progress from Binos to a CPC925 and I can't wait for the next step in what is a fantastic journey through a wonderful hobby.

Must get hold of a copy of Turn Left at Orion.

Edited by Pat Dunne

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I must admit that, while I understand where Alan MacRobert is coming from, a more useful piece of advice to give beginners is: astronomy is not the same as telescopy. I felt inclined to get into telescopes because, from photography, I have a fair understanding of practical optics, and also because of the inescapable fact that, to me, observing things is interesting and fun; I spend many cloudy nights using a microscope, not with any notion of discovering something new to science, but with the intent simply to see for myself.

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all good stuff, thanks

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I'm wading my way into astrophotography. If you have any serious interest in photography, especially with CCDs then I'd highly recommend "The New CCD Astronomy" by Ron Wodaski. It's a bit expensive, but PACKED full of great info. I bought mine used on Amazon.

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For beginners, at least, there's some consensus that a computerized scope can be a crutch that prevents you from learning to get around by yourself

thanks for posting this up

i'm going down the 'manual' road :)

a good scope on a sound pod & a sky map.........learning :)

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this may have been done before, but what about these apps available for smartphones. Are they any good as a basis for getting intimate with the constellations???

I read the advice article & found it brilliant advice - ordinarily, i would have leapt in with both feet, bought the best (telescope in this case) i could find. Now im totally not doing that & im following the sensible course of action

cheers

Andy

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Good stuff! That was one of the many things I was looking for. One down millions to go!

Seriously, many thanks! :)

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I spent my first year of amateur astronomy learning the constellations with a pair of binoculars, something that Patrick Moore recommended doing. This article sums up many of the best ways to start amateur astronomy, luckily I was a poor student at the time and could not afford a telescope.

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Thanks, really good advice, i too was all set to jump in and buy the best scope i could afford but i have actually been put off now and im going to buy some 15x70 binoculars and enjoy the sky that way for a while. i have looked at all the links and they are brilliant for us newbies, i have printed alot out to refer back to. i have astronomy for dummies, phillips stargazing 2011 and phillips guide to the night sky as well as the phillips planisphere. i will definately be buying Turn left at Orion though as i've heard a lot of people mention this. Thanks again everyone :)

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Another thing to think about is aperture fever. Get the biggest you can to delay the appearance of the disease!! :-P

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As someone who's recently started star-gazing & looking for sound advice, I found this article very helpful.

My recommended reading for those wanting initial guidance on how to find DSOs is Stargazing with Binoculars by Robin Scagell & David Frydman (published by Phillips, £7.99). Don't be misled by the title. As well as the usual constellation sky maps (created using the excellent Stellarium computer program), it provides advice on how to find 53 Messier objects & 23 NGCs - plenty for a beginner with a modest telescope (and binoculars!) to get their teeth into. It deals with planets, too but I'm more interested in finding DSos at present. Also makes some sensible suggestions about how to hold bins steady while studying the sky.

As with many other books, it's split into months for easy use/digestion - so you get plenty of reinforcement of what's where in the night sky. It has advice for Southern Hemisphere dwellers but there's rather more for the North). It's handy to have a planisphere alongside too - but who am I telling?!

Stonez

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Great find straight forward advice and shows astronomy doesn't have to be expensive if you plan ahead and budget right.

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Newbie here.

Thank you for putting this post up.

I have read it and found it to be enlightening. I have been trawling round ebay on the hope of buying my first telescope, with no success. I am glad that I have been unsuccessful, after reading this I realise that I would have made an expensive purchase, in the hope that it would reveal the wonders of the night sky.

The scope is now on hold and I am off to the library to see what books I can find on navigating my way around the sky. I have a pair of binoculars, which I have been using for a while, but in all honesty, I have no idea what I was looking at, I only know that I like what I see.

Hopefully I will become a scope owner, but only in the fullness of time.

Thank you :)

QUOTE=jahmanson;1156631]I've recently come across this piece on the web written by Alan MacRobert from the well known and respected astronomy magazine Sky & Telescope. It is well worth a read if you are thinking of getting into the hobby - ideally before you leap in and buy a telescope :) :

Sky Publishing - How to Start Right in Astronomy

As someone who has been in the hobby for many years now I found that many of the hints, tips and pointers in this article are right "on the button".

John

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Fantastic read and very comforting to know that you dont need to be a lotto winner to be an astronomer! (Although it probably would help...) I have a slight penchant for gadgetry and hobbys which has cost me a pretty penny in the past and this time around i wasn't keen (or truth be told able) to repeat the mistake again. I am keen to learn the craft first so I will be ably to squeeze every drop of performance i can get out of the equipment i will no doubt end up buying down the line. truth be told I am extremely turned off by the 'goto' technology that i've been made aware of, it does look extremely cool, but i cant help but think it completely negates the most involving and interesting part of the hobby? As an amateur photographer my real desire is to combine both hobbies eventually so if i do upgrade from my daughters trusty heritage 76 it will likely be an expensive leap but hopefully not into the unknown!

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i will definately be buying Turn left at Orion though as i've heard a lot of people mention this. Thanks again everyone :D

I've just bought the new edition of Turn Left At Orion after the recommendations on here, and it is every bit as useful as people say it is!

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John, Thank you for posting this. I think you just told me the best advice in the world and I shill use it a Bible 3!

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This is sooo helpful! Thank you very much! I want to start, but sometimes its a little hard to figure out where to start...

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