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Help! Need good beginners targets!


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Here's a few suggestions:

- The double cluster in Perseus (formally known as NGC 884 and NGC 869).

- M31, the Andromeda Galaxy in, errr, Andromeda

- M81 and M82 galaxies in Ursa Major

- M15 globular cluster in Pegasus

and there are lots more of course. If you don't already use it, download and install the free planetarium software "Stellarium" - it's great for finding out where things are and what they look like (use the zoom function).

John

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Can't help much as I am new to all this myself. Best advice I can offer is, download stellarium. Locate the more obvious targets on stellarium and then try and find them in the sky.

Not as easy as it sounds but very rewarding when your target suddenly appears in the eye piece. Try to enjoy the journey and what you learn along the way, as much as actually viewing an object. ;)

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I actually have a great planetarium on my iPhone, which has the advantage of portability, and is fast becoming one of the most useful tools whilst observing. I even posted this thread whilst I was out in a field with my dob! Also got a surprisingly good image of the moon with the 2.3mp camera on the thing, through the clouds! Will try and post it actually......

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my personal favourite is the pleiades. if it's visable i always make time to look at it and it always makes me go "wow". if i have any visitors who fancy a look through a scope i make them do the "count the stars" routine of seeing how many they can see with their naked eye. you always get a reaction after they're convinced they have counted all stars and then look through a scope to see that number increase somewhat.

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The Pleidades (M45)

Orion Nebula (M42)

Double Custer in Perseus

Andromeda Nebula M31

Hercules Cluster (M13)

Those are the easiest ones to find I think for a beginner. Get a copy of stellarium and also buy a few magazines. Sky at Night usually has a good night sky guide with tips on how to find whatever is available for the month.

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