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Adey21

New to sgl

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Hi, I’m new to SGL. Found it whilst searching for a scope. I’ve always been interested in the sky and space above us all and finally got my first scope yesterday. I was really wanting to buy a 8” dobsonian but i couldn’t find any in stock anywhere until late October. So I settled(for now!) for a second hand skywatcher skyhawk 1145p on a AZ goto mount. I’m basically looking for any help/ info anyone can give me to get the most from the skywatcher while I save for the next scope

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Hello and welcome.  Quick tip from a newbie like myself is ask plenty of questions on here. They're really friendly and knowledgeable and helped me out a lot also. 

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Welcome. Hope you have lots of fun with the hobby. 🙂

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Hello and a warm welcome to the SGL. Post any questions you in the getting started section.

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Hi and welcome to SGL. You've chosen a top-notch hobby.

I've not seen one, but after a quick Google, that looks like a practical telescope you've got, and quite capable of letting you see quite a number of the jewels in the sky. I started with a smaller scope and it kept me going for a good year.

Personally, I'd have a really good play with it in daylight first, to get the feel of how everything goes together and how the handset works. Putting kit together in the dark is easier if you've done it a few times in daylight.

First make sure the finder is aligned. Put your biggest eyepiece in (25mm or somesuch), aim the telescope at a distant object preferably a couple of hundred yards away, and get it to focus. If you look at objects too close, they may not come into focus properly. Then look through the finder and adjust the whatever knobs are on it until it is pointing at the exact same thing. It's worth spending a bit of time on this and getting the objects smack bang in the middle. For extra points put a smaller eyepiece in (higher mag) and fine tune the finder.  Then have a crack at slewing around, finding objects using the finder. Even though you've got a "goto" scope, it's good practice for when you get the dob you fancy.

Get a feel for how the object looks in the eyepiece (upside down, left/right inverted?). It really doesn't matter in space which way up an object is, but it does when you're moving around or comparing what you see in the eyepiece to a chart. Get a feel for how much of the object you see (field of view) and the size (magnification) as you switch eyepieces.

Get yourself a good sky atlas, or possibly an app, and learn where the constellations are - particularly those that are "up" at this time of year. Getting the lie of the land, or indeed sky, is the first step to finding objects. The online or downloadable apps such as "Stellarium" allow you to watch the constellations move in more than real time, which is great for working out what might be visible at any one time (and not behind the house/shed or whatever). Choose a few (the Moon and Mars are great choices right now) and make them your first targets. Maybe have a look at "Albireo" a beautiful double in Cygnus, which is nearly overhead at the moment. Also try the globular M13 in Hercules. The "double cluster" between Perseus and Cassiopeia is a beautiful view. Obviously none of these are going to look like the images in the book, but they should look quite reasonable in your scope.

In due course, you'll want to be learning how to collimate your telescope to squeeze the very best view from the optics, and learn to perform alignment to the night sky to use the goto efficiently, but first I'd suggest just going out and playing with your telescope. Unless the collimation is very poor, you should still enjoy the view.

One thing that often doesn't occur to new astronomers is that it's much more comfortable sitting down to observe. It's also a lot easier to watch an object for a while without crunching over the telescope.

Other things that help is being warm, especially head and feet. Observing whilst feeling cold isn't fun. A red light for reading maps, making notes etc., will protect your precious night vision.

Above all else... enjoy yourself.

Cheers,

Mark

Edited by Starwatcher2001
typos
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Welcome to SGL.

I agree with @GMX76. Do use the "lounge" and ask a lot of questions, you will get great help and advice. Makes the hobby so much more fun!

Clear Skies!

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On 03/10/2020 at 17:33, Starwatcher2001 said:

Hi and welcome to SGL. You've chosen a top-notch hobby.

I've not seen one, but after a quick Google, that looks like a practical telescope you've got, and quite capable of letting you see quite a number of the jewels in the sky. I started with a smaller scope and it kept me going for a good year.

Personally, I'd have a really good play with it in daylight first, to get the feel of how everything goes together and how the handset works. Putting kit together in the dark is easier if you've done it a few times in daylight.

First make sure the finder is aligned. Put your biggest eyepiece in (25mm or somesuch), aim the telescope at a distant object preferably a couple of hundred yards away, and get it to focus. If you look at objects too close, they may not come into focus properly. Then look through the finder and adjust the whatever knobs are on it until it is pointing at the exact same thing. It's worth spending a bit of time on this and getting the objects smack bang in the middle. For extra points put a smaller eyepiece in (higher mag) and fine tune the finder.  Then have a crack at slewing around, finding objects using the finder. Even though you've got a "goto" scope, it's good practice for when you get the dob you fancy.

Get a feel for how the object looks in the eyepiece (upside down, left/right inverted?). It really doesn't matter in space which way up an object is, but it does when you're moving around or comparing what you see in the eyepiece to a chart. Get a feel for how much of the object you see (field of view) and the size (magnification) as you switch eyepieces.

Get yourself a good sky atlas, or possibly an app, and learn where the constellations are - particularly those that are "up" at this time of year. Getting the lie of the land, or indeed sky, is the first step to finding objects. The online or downloadable apps such as "Stellarium" allow you to watch the constellations move in more than real time, which is great for working out what might be visible at any one time (and not behind the house/shed or whatever). Choose a few (the Moon and Mars are great choices right now) and make them your first targets. Maybe have a look at "Albireo" a beautiful double in Cygnus, which is nearly overhead at the moment. Also try the globular M13 in Hercules. The "double cluster" between Perseus and Cassiopeia is a beautiful view. Obviously none of these are going to look like the images in the book, but they should look quite reasonable in your scope.

In due course, you'll want to be learning how to collimate your telescope to squeeze the very best view from the optics, and learn to perform alignment to the night sky to use the goto efficiently, but first I'd suggest just going out and playing with your telescope. Unless the collimation is very poor, you should still enjoy the view.

One thing that often doesn't occur to new astronomers is that it's much more comfortable sitting down to observe. It's also a lot easier to watch an object for a while without crunching over the telescope.

Other things that help is being warm, especially head and feet. Observing whilst feeling cold isn't fun. A red light for reading maps, making notes etc., will protect your precious night vision.

Above all else... enjoy yourself.

Cheers,

Mark

Thank you Mark for such an informative and clearly knowledgable response. I’ll try to take it all onboard in segments and use all the information you’ve given me as a reference point to get myself set up. 
thank you again 

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I have the 1145p and have used it with an AZ goto mount (although I have moved onto bigger things now) . I think it is a cracking scope for the beginner and is only really let down by the focus controls (they work OK, but can be difficult to get *exactly* right). 

In the beginning, don't put too much faith in the goto - it works, but in my mind you do well to learn to navigate the major objects manually before graduating to the lazier goto option. 

It won't be possible to see many of the fainter deep sky objects in a scope this small, so don't be disappointed if you can't see/find a certain object - start with the bright ones and then you will learn the limit of your equipment and viewing conditions. 

The Android app Synscaninit is an excellent free tool to help you enter the right information when initialising your AZ goto mount.

Oh, and in terms of photography you can't connect a dslr to this scope unless you do some modifications, but you can take photos through an eyepiece with your smartphone.

HTH

Ady

 

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Welcome from Land Down Under

You do travel the universe in this forum

Personally I would had waited to get Skywatcher 8" Flex Dob

Attached pic is of my 10" flex Dob, taken at a club viewing night late last year, pre-Covid

In background with shroud is a 8" Flex Dob

John

Skywatcher 10in Dob.jpg

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