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Hi

After many years saying to myself that I want to get into astronomy my wife has bought me a telescope and I'm keen to get started. I'm after some advice:

1) Any ideas on books, websites, courses etc offering tutorials for the absolute beginner

2) any websites, apps etc for weather, seeing conditions etc

3) I  like to plan ahead and have an ambition of trying my hand at astrophotography at some point. I'd therefore appreciate any views on imaging software. I have a Nikon DSLR that I'd like to try out first before venturing further. Previous recommendations pointed towards astrophotography tool but my camera isnt compatible. Ideally open source software, and capable of remote camera control. I just would like to start doing some homework on the subject so that at the right time I have already thought about how to approach photography. 

 

I live in London so choice of objects to look at is a bit limited.

Any ideas, recommendations greatly appreciated.

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Hi Ozzy,

Welcome to SGL, what telescope do you have?

Here's a few suggestions to get you started

Turn Left at Orion is a good book for beginners.

Philip's 2021 Stargazing Month-by-Month Guide to the Night Sky in Britain & Ireland will show you what's in the sky each month.

Stellarium is a free planetarium software

For weather forecasts Clear Outside is pretty good. I also use Metcheck and Meteoblue.

Making Every Photon Count - Steve Richards is a great book for those wanting to look into astrophotography

Good luck & clear skies in your astronomy adventures

Cheers

Dave

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38 minutes ago, OzzyT6 said:

Hi

After many years saying to myself that I want to get into astronomy my wife has bought me a telescope and I'm keen to get started. I'm after some advice:

1) Any ideas on books, websites, courses etc offering tutorials for the absolute beginner

2) any websites, apps etc for weather, seeing conditions etc

3) I  like to plan ahead and have an ambition of trying my hand at astrophotography at some point. I'd therefore appreciate any views on imaging software. I have a Nikon DSLR that I'd like to try out first before venturing further. Previous recommendations pointed towards astrophotography tool but my camera isnt compatible. Ideally open source software, and capable of remote camera control. I just would like to start doing some homework on the subject so that at the right time I have already thought about how to approach photography. 

 

I live in London so choice of objects to look at is a bit limited.

Any ideas, recommendations greatly appreciated.

Greetings !

There's more free information about astronomy on the internet than anyone could study in a lifetime, you could always start here :

https://stargazerslounge.com/forum/43-primers-and-tutorials/

for you tube vid.s, search out an entertaining chap called astrobiscuit who will surprise you with what can be seen from London ...

Heather

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If on Facebook then follow BBC sky at night . The website itself is handy . They also do a YouTube summary of things to see in the month ahead.

I found a really good guide to solar system by looking up Patrick  Moore on YouTube. 

Astrobackyard website and YouTube has good photo advice. As a start you could try just using the dslr on a tripod. 

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1 hour ago, OzzyT6 said:

Hi

After many years saying to myself that I want to get into astronomy my wife has bought me a telescope and I'm keen to get started. I'm after some advice:

1) Any ideas on books, websites, courses etc offering tutorials for the absolute beginner

2) any websites, apps etc for weather, seeing conditions etc

3) I  like to plan ahead and have an ambition of trying my hand at astrophotography at some point. I'd therefore appreciate any views on imaging software. I have a Nikon DSLR that I'd like to try out first before venturing further. Previous recommendations pointed towards astrophotography tool but my camera isnt compatible. Ideally open source software, and capable of remote camera control. I just would like to start doing some homework on the subject so that at the right time I have already thought about how to approach photography. 

 

I live in London so choice of objects to look at is a bit limited.

Any ideas, recommendations greatly appreciated.

Welcome,

which scope do you have?

Light pollution won't help, but this book has some good advice on technique and suggestions for suitable targets from urban locations.

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Many thanks for all the advice, really appreciate it. Have had a good look at various places on the internet and it either makes me want to go out and spend vast sums of money on bits of kit or leaves you with a feeling of not knowing where to start so the ideas suggested will hopefully make things a bit easier to just get started.

 

Thanks all!

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First off, your wife needs congratulating for being able to find any sort of telescope at this time, unless you have a bottomless budget hen's teeth are probably easier to find 🤣

+1 for stellarium and the sky at night magazine 👍 Have a look for a planispere too. I must admit that I find the "turn left at orion" book a good reference tool, however it did take me some time to understand what I was looking at, so don't get discouraged. An app for your phone is pretty useful as you can look at the stars on your phone to identify them. I use sky guide as I find it quite user friendly but there are lots out there. 

Once you get into it, you can get a "T" ring adapter for your camera to bolt your camera to the telescope so you can share what you can see. Enjoy 

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Welcome Ozzy to SGL

Yes the "we want it all now and hang the expense" is a common symptom of a budding astronomer- to be fair when the bug catches that feeling never goes away its just that we learn to deal with it better- "Hi my name is Alan and I just want a bigger scope, better eyepiece etc etc"

Imaging can become very expensive- you will be amazed what you can achieve with a simple mount and a smartphone just now.

 Best advice I could give is spend time on the forum , look at the primers suggested earlier ask questions and go out and use your scope. Don't get too disappointed if your first light experiences do not measure up to Hubble'esque expectations. Time and patience is required here- look in your scope , report back , ask your questions... hopefully the bug will bite and you will be lost forever 

keep us informed how your quest is going

 

J

 

Edited by jacobingonzo
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Great advice! I'm very much an 'I want it now and I want it to work according to my expectations' type, but know I need to patient and realistic so appreciate views and recommendations. Will give them all a good look. Looking forward to reading more and hopefully sharing some experience. Just hope the cloud clears soon!!

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20 hours ago, glafnazur said:

Hi Ozzy,

Welcome to SGL, what telescope do you have?

Here's a few suggestions to get you started

Turn Left at Orion is a good book for beginners.

Philip's 2021 Stargazing Month-by-Month Guide to the Night Sky in Britain & Ireland will show you what's in the sky each month.

Stellarium is a free planetarium software

For weather forecasts Clear Outside is pretty good. I also use Metcheck and Meteoblue.

Making Every Photon Count - Steve Richards is a great book for those wanting to look into astrophotography

Good luck & clear skies in your astronomy adventures

Cheers

Dave

Thumbs up for Stellarium

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Studying the Night Sky in most parts of the UK is a challenge on its own due to the weather, bear in mind the number of clear nights we get and of course the fact that you are living in London with its Light Pollution issue, find some reasonable targets that your set up allows and work from them to start with, its very easy to throw a wad of cash at this pastime/Hobby, so take your time and see what you evetually would like to get out of it.

If there is a local Astronomy Club contact them (Covid precaution), on this site there is a realistic explanation of what you can  expect to see when beginning in this great pastime, its in the beginners section, have a read, good luck.

EW

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