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1st time


Timmo
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Since early Jan when I got my birthday pressie I have been waiting for a clear sky. Last night the sky was clear as crystal, but I had something arranged I couldn't get out of. Tonight I was driving home looking at the stars in the sky, finally my chance. Providing I got home without crashing into something, and they say mobile phones are dangerous. So, a quick check with my books which said that the scope may need 15 Min's to acclimatise. I set it up and went to find a suitable target. At this point I was gloating as my garden is almost perfect not affected by street light, it was pitch.

Two coats a hat and gloves later I went outside, a virgin. I found a target Aldebaran, ( I think) Orion was blocked out by trees.

So here goes; firstly, I was unable to see anything as there was a streak of light right across my view, it took 20 Min's to work out that my neighbour had turned on their bedroom light. I moved my scope under a tree to block out the light. Then I couldn't work out the barlow, Ill post what i am sure will be a succession of stupid questions on the beginners page. In the mean time I will revisit the text books on that one. Still I had three Ep to choose from. By this time I had lost the cluster I found earlier. I couldn't find sod all.

So, by this time the wisps of cloud had blocked out all but the brightest stars, even those were in a haze.

45Min's later I give up, the best sight was through the view finder. Clouds incompetence and stupidity got the better of me this time but ill be back . So, still a virgin I'm afraid but the quick grope with this hobby has made me more determined than ever. But those blumming clouds

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:laughing2:

You are not alone this site has seen quite a few virgins of late and they all ask the same questions as you. We were all beginners once but it doesn't take long to get going.

Post some questions in the beginners forum and I'm sure you will get loads of help.

Anyway welcome to this great hobby if only the clouds would part.

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Hi Timmo,

You just made me scream with laughter, its as if you had been looking over my shoulder the 1st time I set my scope up, I'm sure almost everyone who reads this will think been there, done that.

It does get easier, the only problem is the clear skies are so far apart, I forget what to do !!!!!

Trudie

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Sounds quite familiar :)

Next time your be more confident and set up time will improve.

Just make sure that you align the finder scope (that you can do roughly in daylight), if you don't finding stuff will be a an absolute bitch.

From around 11pm Saturn is visible in the east. Although not it's best at the moment.

Just to top right and up a bit fro aldeberan is M45 - easy naked eye. Through you lowest power eyepeice (the one with the highest number) will look very nice indeed.

Good luck

Ant

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Timmo, as long as you keep your sense of humour mate, you will certainly triumph.

Most of us have had a night like yours, and more than once. Don't ever let it get you down, because the night will come when everything goes right, and you will forget the bad ones.

Ron. :thumbright:

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Timmo, if you want to give the Skywatcher a rest just for now (and it's a new scope to you, and Newtonians take some getting used to) you could always have a few nights out with two of the best telescopes in the world. The ones right there in your head! They don't need focusing, they don't need collimating, you don't have to worry about apertures or alignment, they have a built-in GOTO (your brain)... Then if you can get hold of a pair of reasonable binoculars (10x50 is about right) use them! You will have a lot of fun!

Have a good look at the Pleiades, as someone already suggested (M45). If you fancy waiting up later in the night, look for the Beehive M44 over to the east (a bit harder - fainter - but good in bins). If you can pick out Cassiopeia (the 'W' high in the northwest) use two of its stars as pointers to try for the Double Cluster. And of course once Orion clears the trees go for M42 the sword, again you'll get a good view in bins. There's so much to look for: I've only touched on a few obvious things visible at this time of year.

Then get the Newt out, and once you've got yourself comfortable with it there's a whole new world opening up!

Hope this helps, and doesn't seem too patronising. Happy skywatching!

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hahaha... sounds like me last month.

1 month later I'm setting my scope up in the garage early evening ready to acclimatise .If it does clear fine the scope was ready :)

When it does clear I'm all excited and make silly mistakes one after the other. I've just got to slow down.

When it does all come together it is well worth it 8)

.

Guy

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Yup, sounds familiar. I just got a new scope (12" flextube to upgrade from my old 8") and took it into the back garden the other night to get used to it before heading for darker skies. Only served to remind me how hellishly frustrating it is, using a scope in the garden. Neighbours' lights? Yes, reflections everywhere (including off the eyepiece - couldn't see stars for all the glows and flashes). Trees? Everywhere - especially in the direction I wanted to look. Can't wait to get that scope out into the countryside to find out what it's really like!

But if I had to stick to the garden then I'd concentrate on Moon and planets, double stars, and bright star clusters (Cassiopeia's full of them - just sweep the area). I'd try and park the scope out of direct view of bright lights, maybe even putting up a screen if necessary, and perhaps a hood over my head. With an open-tube scope I'd get a light shroud.

Acclimatising the scope isn't such a big deal - I prefer to use that time for observing, even if it's not up to top notch. After all, my eyes aren't either.

I managed a lovely view of the Orion nebula from the garden in the short time before rain clouds drove me inside so I shouldn't really complain. I just know what a difference it makes, getting away from all the aggravations. But get to know your scope first - if anything's going to drop off then it's best for it to happen at home.

Andrew

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:)

Welcome to the club.

My first time out with a telescope, I couldn't find the full moon. Seriously. I had much to powerful an eyepiece in and couldn't find anything. Twelve months on, it's all changed. Now I can find the moon at least four times out of five.................

TJ

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Hi

I am so glad it's not just me. I am just back into astronomy now what with new scope and everything which you lot are probably sick of me mentioning now, but since I've started going out again I've managed to avoid making the same mistakes which I did when I first started, just like you. The only change I have made is to get organised, keep everything to hand and have a good idea before you go out of what you are going to try and look at.

My next door neighbours have the most ridiculously bright arc light in their back garden which kills the conditions. The first time I went out with my scope I knocked on the door and they turned it off, but I can't keep doing this if they are going to then put it back on at a later date, they would get sick of me. I'm not sure how to approach it without the use of a knife, balaclava, and/or air rifle. There is no need for the light, and definitely no need for it to be so bright. How about I start an internet blog called "My neighbour's light" which gets picked up by the papers so that slowly the message dawns on the neighbours that it's them I'm posting about? I can imagine the blog entries now....

Day 1

On

Day 2

On

Day3

On

Day4

On

Day 5

Off! (but cloudy)

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So, still a virgin I'm afraid but the quick grope with this hobby has made me more determined than ever.

D'you know, I think you should try playing hard to get.

Chase it too much, and it'll back off. Play it cool.

Just got to let that clear sky sort of....happen.

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So, still a virgin I'm afraid but the quick grope with this hobby has made me more determined than ever.

D'you know, I think you should try playing hard to get.

Chase it too much, and it'll back off. Play it cool.

Just got to let that clear sky sort of....happen.

Your going to live until your 105 :)

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I suppose I can usually find my target now in the 10" newt, but then I've had four years to practice!

Being without GOTO, I have a very crude technique to get started. Star-hopping won't work unless you have good skycharts and 'know where you are', which in my case means starting with a reasonably bright star. The finderscope is good and fairly wide field (9x50) but not wide enough to star-hop from a random position towards this starter-star; the fact that it is inverting only confuses me more... So for me it's the time-honoured lying down on the ground, squinting along the top of the OTA, and aiming it by hand.

Anyone else do this? :oops:

Perhaps I ought to get myself a red-dot finder after all...

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So, still a virgin I'm afraid but the quick grope with this hobby has made me more determined than ever.

D'you know, I think you should try playing hard to get.

Chase it too much, and it'll back off. Play it cool.

Just got to let that clear sky sort of....happen.

Your going to live until your 105 :)

:laughing3:

I spend all day doing the headless-chicken-thing: I refuse to be wound up about one of my hobbies.

And as one of my hobbies is tropical fish keeping, I've always got an indoor alternative which involves sitting still and watching carefully. Drops the blood pressure a treat. Very Zen.

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Hi Timmo and welcome!

Yep, fairly typical first time! As others have said, it does get easier. A couple of bits of advice though...

To line up the finder scope use a distant TV aerial centreing on the bit where the pole joins the aerial itself.

Don't use the barlow (at least for now) or you'll never find anything. Magnification is not what you need. As one of the other posters said, just use the eyepiece with the highest number. The barlow will come into play later and is very useful on planets.

As a general rule, find the object first with a low power eyepiece and then step up using other eyepieces and then use the barlow if you want a much higher power.

Hope this helps and enjoy...

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So for me it's the time-honoured lying down on the ground, squinting along the top of the OTA, and aiming it by hand.

Anyone else do this?

I do - though not lying down. And if my finder is out of alignment and I want to find the moon or a bright planet in the main scope quickly, I aim the scope as near as I can, look down the focusser tube without any eyepiece inserted, and sweep gently until I pick up glare. Then home in until I've got the object shining brightly in the secondary, pop in an eyepiece and I'm there.

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D'you know, I think you should try playing hard to get.

Chase it too much, and it'll back off. Play it cool.

Just got to let that clear sky sort of....happen.

Lulu you were dead right.

got my first notch on the scope post tonight.

Didn't realise there were so many stars looking in our direction. It made identification of my target a little harder than I thought. Neither did I understand how quickly the stars move out of view.

Anyway got to see a some magnificent sights and got to practise with my scope too.

PS I didn't have any red film for my torch but if you eat one purple sweet from the quality street tin and one orange sweet put the wrappers together and you get red light. turned out i didn't need it as there was just too much to look at without me getting hooked on what it was, I am sure that will come later.

Now for my post virgin cigar

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Just had to tag on to the end of this to say I'd just managed to get out for a couple of hours tonight with my new scope and was absolutely blown away by M42 and then the double cluster. Well worth the wait. Also joined in on the cigar front too!

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