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IB20

Learning the night sky.

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Since getting my telescope in May I’ve had the pleasure of spending most of the time with Bootes, Ophiuchus, Serpens, Hercules and Lyra as I’m south facing. Tonight I’ve plonked myself on a camping chair and I’m just learning the new constellations as they roll round the sky with my 8* bins and a few beers. It’s fantastic; for anyone who has never done this, I recommend it whole heartedly. Ain’t Delphinus cute?!

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Posted (edited)

Binoculars, a sun lounger and a few beers. That should encourage anyone into astronomy... Unfortunately drinking too many may result in forgetting what you have learnt, requiring a repeat remedial lesson very soon after. Science sometimes requires hardships.😉

Edited by ScouseSpaceCadet
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Can’t fault the methodology!😁

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The first telescope was someone looking up through the bottom of the bottle wondering where the contents went.

John

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The beauty of it for me, is that there’s a lifetime of new wonders to find and explore. It’s the learning aspect that motivates me. I think at first I was a little overwhelmed, but slow persistence, certainly is helping it fall into place. 
The best aspect in this age, is no doubt the ability to tap into all of the experience here. It’s a rarity these days to find knowledgeable people that genuinely will point you happily in the right direction. 

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I used to occupy my time when taking the dog out for his evening walk, back when it was dusk. I'd try and spot which stars appeared first. These were obviously the brightest, and main star-hopping stars. Capella, Arcturus, Vega, Sirius, Procyon, Castor & Pollux. Like IB20, my main view is S (well, SE) so these constellations have been the main ones since I started with my scope this year.

Before then, though, I used my bins to observe, so I'm pretty familiar with the main constellations. But I notice that I am very familiar with the winter ones, but less so the summer ones. My theory is that I grew up learning the sky. I was always interested as a kid and was lucky enough to be in what must have been Bortle 3/4, so could see the Milky Way from the back garden. Evenings spent in the garden was usually looking up. So come the summer months, I was in bed before it was dark!

Slightly older and more light pollution and then more indoor evening pursuits - so I was never as familiar with the summer sky. But I'm making up for it now!

 

Oh - and Sky Safari helps!

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This does sound like a very enjoyable summer evening pursuit  and shamefully not one i’ve ever done- I skipped the recommendation to start with binos and  consequently my sky geography is lacking and I should remedy that! I’ve been obsessing over vintage binos lately so most surely will!

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There's one more item to enhance the experience... good music.  My preference is ambient stuff like the appropriately named Red Shift, or Cosmic Smokers, or maybe some Jean Michel Jarre or Tangerine Dream. One ambient artist who I enjoy star watching to, is "Ian Boddy", who's also a fellow observer and has performed at our local planetarium.

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