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John

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

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Too late was the cry, should have read this 2 months ago, still I'm so impatient I probably would have still bought the scope. Will have to back track on the missing knowledge as I go

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I wouldn't say essential, but definitely a useful set of instructions.

I myself never bought binoculars or started reading charts or maps, instead I learned the basics about the planets in our solar system and after buying a telescope I am starting to get more in depth with info.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you're also a beginner like me, and you haven't followed those instructions, then don't be sad. You can still learn more, it's not a step by step process.

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Really nice article and as a beginner there are really great pointers. Before I bought a scope I spoke to an experienced astronomer /colleague/member of SGL. I had limited budget and opted for a second hand skywatcher 150p and EQ2-3 mount. Nice piece of kit and really delighted.

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After quite a few years in the financial wilderness, and having had to sell all my gear to pay bills i am now in the very fortunate position of having my post code come up in the postcode lottery so hopefully financia lrestraints will no longer apply and i want to get back to observing asap my question is this from a visual aspect will i see a great deal of difference between a 7inch sct ie a skywatcher 180pro and either a meade or celestron 10inch sct i am assuming that should i wish to venture into astro photography in the future the larger scopes would be better than the smalleror am i wrong? i had thought of a 16inch truss dob but a stroke last year has left me with aleft side weakness and i don't think i could move a BIG DOB even a truss dob around easily all your thoughts and input appreciated.meade o r celestron sct which is the better 10inch sct ????

ps i say i have no financial budget but i've not bee told what i have won yetand wont know until prizegiving this saturday :eek:  :eek:

phillip

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I`d wait until you know how much is available first? Sort out any outstanding bills and deficits, then get comfortable with your new budget. The hobby can always come at a later date.

I once waited for some winnings on the pools back in 1984? How shocked  was I  with the payment, considering the rumour mill suggested I was into a small fortune. not the case!

I think a minimum  daily prize Postcode win in the UK is £1000, which is not much in the grand scheme of things if your wanting to venture into Astrophotography? and according to the rules, every Sunday, every ticket in 15,000 postcodes wins £10. 

Lets hope your lucky and win big!

Edited by Charic

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i know i'm in the £2.000.000  monthly draw and guaranteed a piece of that just dont know how big a piece yet :eek:  :eek:  :eek: i will have to wait until saturdays presentation at vale resort hotel hensol,and i've only been playing for 4 months!!!!

Edited by peeceeTal2M
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A good read and very useful. Thankfully I saw something like this before I jumped in and spent badly. My local Astro groups have been great.

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Pooling thoughts from more than 200 years of collective experience answering the phone

This floored me until I realised that the end of the sentence qualified the beginning and should have been started on a new paragraph.

So ignore the syntax on that article and extract the good intentions.

Good intentions which I find a little unrealistic, I'm sad to say.

Enthusiasm is one of those things that makes and urges us to make, instant decisions about what we want.

Telling us to go to the library is going to make us stop reading the article almost immediately.

I'd say, to be fair, that most people make the usual error in buying a cheapy "to see if they like it" and end up even more frustrated because it is awful to use and of awful quality.

My advice? Go to a club and ask someone what they recommend. They'll only be too happy to indulge you with their unique perspective. Tell them how much you want to spend. They may well say they have something that they started with and will loan, sell or give you said machine.

Go to a proper telescope store (not National Geographic or similar stores that stock mostly toys with pretty pictures on the box and x750 claims of fantasy) and ask the owner for a rundown. He isn't going to stock rubbish and he wants you to come back time and again to buy the next level as your knowledge and interest increase as they usually do.

Go to the library sure, but don't become a recluse trying to learn the universe from your suburban backyard, because you probably can't see much more than a sky lit with a million HP Sodium lights and maybe the main constellation stars (sometimes -  if it is clear and cool).

Edited by Carina Lass
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For someone just starting out i found it interesting and helpfull.

Thank you

Cylon

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For a newbie I found this really helpful, thank you! 

i know i'm in the £2.000.000  monthly draw and guaranteed a piece of that just dont know how big a piece yet :eek:  :eek:  :eek: i will have to wait until saturdays presentation at vale resort hotel hensol,and i've only been playing for 4 months!!!!

I hope you won big  :)

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Thanks for all the info in this thread from a complete novice, a real eye opener and has changed the path I was going down.

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Hi all Thanks for the thread.

Before the Internet got really going the two books that I used extensively for amateur astronomy was written by a Terence Dickinson: The backyard Astronomer’s guide ISBN 0-921820-11-9

And: Night Watch an Equinox Guide To Viewing The Universe ISBN0-920656-89-7

I found Night Watch in particular, an excellent companion during night outings with a small red night-light and my 4.5 Newtonian poking around the universe.

With its coil bound back I could open to numerous charts to focus on sections of the sky that presents itself. It is tailored to viewing with whatever you have for equipment. I'll have to check out Turn Left at Orion.

Cheers, and Clear Skies.

Thomas

I was given good advice regarding turn left at oriion, buy the copy with 'ring binders' pages stay open better when outdoor .

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Really nice article and as a beginner there are really great pointers. Before I bought a scope I spoke to an experienced astronomer /colleague/member of SGL. I had limited budget and opted for a second hand skywatcher 150p and EQ2-3 mount. Nice piece of kit and really delighted.

I am a beginner and joined my local society (WADAS) last month, which is solid advice for any beginner, find and join your nearest society, reading up on astronomy is essential, but not as essential as choosing your kit to start observing, look around, listen to others, do some research(LOTS), look on SGL, and then decide what you want your telescope etc to do for you. I have found that the discussions for a starter in astronomy on what  telescope and to a lesser extent what eyepieces to buy is very subjective and can be confusing, yes there are basics to consider, but at the end of the day its your enjoyment and interest that matters and what you feel comfortable with.

I eventually want to get into astrophotography, but not for a couple of years, so its out of my mind at the moment, the number of nights we actually get outside in this country makes it sensible to just start with observing and learning something each session by yourself or in the company of more experienced observers, its trial and error but fantastic!! when you have a bit of success and your confidence starts to develop.

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A very good find that John (Jahmanson)!

Yes, it would be an idea to point ALL newcomers to this guide, as the most common question from them seems to be "which telescope should I buy?"

We have all been there haven't we! We can see that the night sky looks very interesting - even with the naked eye, so the very next thing we want to do is rush out and buy the biggest and most sophisticated scope we can afford, giving no consideration to any other aspect of the hobby (i.e. will the scope be easy to use, portable, or even suitable for me in particular!).

The final result can mean spending a huge amount of money on an instrumant which is hardly ever used, and ends up on e-bay!

So to repeat - the guide you found is excellent John.

Regards,

philsail1

philsail

Just a mention on 'goto' scopes, as stated there is divided opinion and I can only say from my own beginners experience that the system I developed really did help me locate and identify quite a few night skies wonders!, on a couple of  sessions I would use 'goto'  to find my planned objects for the evening viewing, on the next couple of sessions I dont use 'goto' I would use a Star Map and knowing approx where and at what time the objects I had viewed previously on 'goto' were located I began to  find them by ' star hopping',so much so that I only use goto now to find something new to explore in the night sky and then making notes I repeat the process as mentioned, this way I get the best of both worlds not much frustration and the ability to locate via a star chart at the same time.

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Thankyou... Iv always wanted to do this... The beginning guide is good and grounding... I paid £30 for a second hand 80x800.. Set it all up and am a bit disappointed to be honest I what the knowledge you guys have today

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I have been deciding on my first telescope for over a year, I am drawn to the dobsonium but I will probably buy a decent pair of binoculars first ,help and advise is always welcomed.

Anyone with advice on binoculars I am listening.

John.

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I'm sorry if there is an answer to this question in this thread, but I don't have time to read all 9 pages:

I'm looking to get a book on the subject, you know which one :), but can't decide.

It's between Turn Left at Orion and Astronomica. Which one should I get first? Any help greatly appreciated.

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On Friday, January 02, 2009 at 22:31, John said:

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 :) :

http://www.wwnorton.com/college/astronomy/astro21/sandt/startright.html

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

That was so helpfull thanks...great read

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I just joined this site not too long ago, and I read this article, definitely helped me a lot! I was one of those guys who WAS looking to just buy scopes and other essential gear, but now I am actually going to buy BOOKS! To help better understand the constellations before I invest.  

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On ‎23‎/‎02‎/‎2016 at 14:07, Mafisen said:

I'm sorry if there is an answer to this question in this thread, but I don't have time to read all 9 pages:

I'm looking to get a book on the subject, you know which one :), but can't decide.

It's between Turn Left at Orion and Astronomica. Which one should I get first? Any help greatly appreciated.

You will find answers to more question than you may have in the Beginners Forum under the section of "Primers and Tutorials".

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On 22 March 2015 at 22:48, peeceeTal2M said:

i know i'm in the £2.000.000  monthly draw and guaranteed a piece of that just dont know how big a piece yet :eek:  :eek:  :eek: i will have to wait until saturdays presentation at vale resort hotel hensol,and i've only been playing for 4 months!!!!

I came here looking at the beginners guide and stumbled across your story about the postcode lottery.

I'm curious, how much did you win in the end? Did you ever get back into astronomy?

 

Thanks

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Out to eat currently, but really looking forward to coming back and reading the article and some of the comments!

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Omg.. 10mins in and i am already a fan boy here.. Very solid advice right there, i was so much in hurry to buy a telescope by the metrics of how deep I can see, ignoring. G other factors, now I will start with a sky map and locate objects with my eyes, the widest view there is.. And move to binoculars, will save up for a good telescope when I am ready

 

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