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Well,  finally took the plunge and ordered a telescope  (skywatcher Evostar 150 +Eq6 mount) but nobody  can supply one till December / new year!! 

where have all the telescopes gone???? 

I  live on Exmoor 1000ft above sea level so it'll be a bit chilly on clear nights (approx 3 degrees C cooler than at sea level) but amazing clear nights with no light pollution,  hence why buying a (hopefully)  decent scope.

Done loads of research for observation targets,  anyone any thoughts on what the real potential could be in reality???? 

If all goes well I hope to progress towards imaging and remote control  - so I can drive it all from the warmth of my shed. 

Any thoughts comments advice gratefully received. 

Thanks. 

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You could do far worse than try the targets described in this review of the 150 by Sky At Night magazine.

An obvious target right now would be Mars, it'll still be around in December only dimmer and smaller than right now.  By the time you get your scope the main feature of the sky will be Orion, perhaps one of the most interesting targets for most amateur telescopes, spend plenty of time exploring the nebulae and surrounding objects.  Look out for Alberio, the yellow / blue double, explore Cassiopeia too for plenty of great looking clusters.  In the new year Auriga will be rising high, some very nice targets there too. 

Mars is pretty much stealing the show as far as planets are concerned, the others are languishing low to the horizon so not that great at the moment.  Worth seeing if you can spot Neptune and Uranus though, they should still look the same (small coloured dots or tiny discs), and Saturn despite the atmospheric shimmer.

Whatever you look at, depending on how you want to approach observing, I'd say try to keep some variety to your sessions and plan ahead by season / month.  I recommend picking up Philip's Stargazing Month-by-Month Guide To The Night Sky, The Works usually have them in at a good price.  Make sure you get the 2021 edition though as it sounds like the 2020 book will be obsolete by the time you get your scope.

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Hello Jim,

1000ft above sea level and no light pollution, what took you so long to buy a telescope?

Just kidding and being jealous about your seeing conditions (sea level and bortle 5 over here ...). I hope your gear arrives soon!

AstroRookie

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Welcome aboard SGL Jim. Good to have you with us.

While you're waiting for your new scope to arrive, now would be an ideal time to familiarise yourself with the sky, if you're not already.

Armed with a sky chart, or perhaps an app like Stellarium or SkySafari, a flask of coffee and perhaps a pair of binoculars if you have some, spend some time under the stars and get to know your way around and how the constellations move during the night. From your location, with dark clear skies, the amount of stars can be overwhelming. Get a feel for the relationships of objects to each other, and the names and positions of the brightest stars. By Dec/Jan, they will have moved of course and the winter favourites like Orion will be up, but that adds to the fun. All of that will help you hit the ground running when your kit turns up.

It also gives you time to sort out other essentials like red lights, warm gear, maybe an observing chair, table to put all your kit, scope accessories (dew shield, power supply, eyepieces etc).

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Hi Jim and welcome.

There are many on this forum who would kill for a location like that!   Some have invested in kit like yours just to be able to see anything at all through the city murk. The truth is that you would be able to see quite a bit from there with a more modest scope, so you should be very well set up indeed.

The availability has certainly been hit by manufacturing/shipping difficulties with Covid, and also I suspect because of an uptick in demand due to the lockdowns.

As others have said, do invest the time to find your way around. The comment above about being overwhelmed by stars sounds odd but is very true. You will be seeing so many of the fainter ones that it can be harder at first to identify the main constellations. The better software allows you to set the "limiting magnitude" for your location - so that it will display what you actually see in the sky - have a play with that.

Software will also often include lists of suggested targets that are tailored for your location and time of year (when set up). That's either software that comes with goto mounts (if you have one) or additional apps like SkySafari. Apart from that, there are many other ad-hoc sources of lists, including:

Member contributed observing lists (on this forum)

The Astronomical League (contains several lists, categorized by type of object)

Jarek's observing lists for Northern Skies

Turn Left at Orion website (this accompanies the book, which is well worth buying as an introduction to the more accessible targets, but the lists themselves are available online)

Hope your delivery arrives soon.

 

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Hi,  thanks for all your comments and encouragment.

I have been reading up and looking up!!! 

Also built myself a battery box for powering my gear..... Once it arrives. 

I could have bought a decent power supply for a similar price to my DIY unit but I wanted my own spec.... 

Lithium iron phosphate, 17ah, isolator switch,  4x USB sockets,   2x 12v sockets, individual  fused and switched feeds, and red light in lid.  

Some of the commercial unit seem to have unesessary gaskets that I don't need..... Radios,  inverter,  torches etc.  I just wanted max amphours.

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Wow...just wow 👍 You will need the usb points, its amazing how much it takes out of your phone if you are using things like the synscan wifi adapter. If its not one battery that dies, its another. Nice.

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Hi All...... Still awaiting the arrival of my Skywatcher Evostar 150 and eq6.......but just in case Santa is listening I have a few questions regarding useful additions. 

I hope to do planet and Deep Sky Object photography. I have a Nikon D7100 but would like advice on if the Nikon would be better than a dedicated eyepiece ccd camera (£150 range). 

Also your thoughts on the Orion zoom eyepiece.

Also thoughts about upgrading the standard skywatcher 9x50 finder scope  to maybe the Skywatcher Evoguide 50ED.

Also Remote focus controller 

Also the 90deg adaptor for the polar scope 

Thanks All

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