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SlipperySquid

First light part 2! This is what I want!

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Ok so my first night in the garden to put it bluntly was a disaster....and I have always been told "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail". So I decided what I was going to look for before I ventured out!

Totally clear skies in Hull last night so I knew it was now or never,this evening would either break or make the hobby for me, so here goes.

Get the scope out....get the pre printed star chart out of the area I want to look at (Andromeda) and lots of coffee on tap.

I started viewing at about 1730hrs and to be honest it was still a bit to light in the sky to see everything with the naked eye, so it gave me time to check out stellarium and see what was in the area...anyway...after an hour or so I started trying to find M31 (Andromeda galaxy for noobs like me) and with my crappy finder scope(rigel quickfinder is in the post) it was hard searching the sky but I persisted and boom...there it was in all it's glory filling the centre of my EP!

I felt so chuffed.....like a kid riding his bike without stabalisers for the first time...it was freezing...I couldnt feel my toes or my dangly bits...but it was worth it just to see that fuzzy ball of light.Changed EP's used my barlow and everything in between ...I was mesmerised,probably more by what I coudn't see.....mind filling in the gaps of knowing what Andromeda looks like...I must have looked at that fuzzy ball for about an hour.....how sad am I :)

With the views of Andromeda still fresh in my brain, off I went hunting other celestial bodies, but alas my searches where not rewarded, though I did find a double star that I coudn't see on my star charts. Tried searching Cassiopeia for objects but with it's height in the sky I found it really difficult.

Well witha few more coffee breaks and watching Orion rise in the east I thought I'd give the nebula another shot with my new (but cheap) Celestron 8mm plossl and meade barlow.

Another major "Wow" moment there to! the other evening it was oooo..a fuzzy bit.....but last night must have been very clear skies for me as the nebulas cloud filled about 1/2 of the EP and I could see more detail than the other evening plus I was getting better focus! (Though I stil lthink the collimation is out on my scope and I have to get a tool to sort this) I could see what was four stars at the centre or the nebula, is this right? anyway it was great!

Towards the end of the evening the dew was forming on everything and I was ready to go to bed when I noticed on stellarium that mars was in the East so out I popped and there he was!!! plus a small dot to the left (suppose this is the right as it's reversed?) was this a moon?

Only problem I had with Mars was I couldnt get it in focus to be a nice round ball (is this normal?) Is it atmospherics? There was no detail showing but knowing I was staring at Mars was enough to bring a massive smile on my face!

So all in all a fantastic night...finished about 2am when the ice on my scope was getting to cold to touch :icon_eek:. Really enjoyed it.

I still need to get in touch with experienced astronomers in my area as no matter how much I read I still feel a bit lost at the moment.

So now on my christmas list...are...thermal socks...and thick World War 2 pure yak wool underpants!

I know you've all read stuff like this a thousand times from us Nooblets but I really had to share!

Clear Skies!

Edited by SlipperySquid

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Sounds like you had a great time....

The four stars you saw is the Trapezium, there's actually alot more stars to it but they are hard to see.

There's loads more up there and I would get a copy of Turn left at Orion, thuis is a great book for beginners and will show you the way to at least another 50 objects.

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That's a great report, sounds lke you are now officially hooked! Staring at fuzzy patches for hours will not be "sad" from now on, it'll be your new routine :)

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Thanks for sharing your experience. Most don't get tired of hearing this type of enthusiasm, as everyone has been there at some point.

Just think of all the sights you have in front of you. Each one will be as exciting as the last. How about trying the three main clusters in Auriga? They are well placed at the moment, no cricking your neck trying to view directly above you!

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".....how sad am I :D"

Not at all!!!

SUPERB, nice write up bud - thanks for sharing it...

...nothing wrong wi staring at fuzzy patches;)

...M

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Sounds like the bug has really hit.

Nice write up. Thanks for sharing your thrills.

I hope they continue.

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What a productive night, great to hear your feelings and this reminds us all of our first go. John.

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Hi there

Great post!

I live near Hull too, and the skies were fantastic on Thursday night. I was on a works Xmas night out and was tempted to get the scope out when I got home at 1am. Wise move not to however, considering the amount of red wine consumed:D. So last night I had it all planned out - first view of Mars at 10pm, then up at 5am to see my first view of Saturn and......

Cloud, cloud, and more blooming cloud!! Hope tonight is better.

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Good oh, slippery one! I'm gaggin' to get home and get the scope out. I've ordered a cheshire collimator (knowing my luck, I'll already be bang on and have no immediate need for it). Hoping for a few gemminids before bed tonight, seen a couple of iridiums this week and an unknown satellite.

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I know you've all read stuff like this a thousand times from us Nooblets but I really had to share!

Clear Skies!

After the depressing weather we have had over the last few weeks, Its a joy to hear about a newcomers adventures in the freezing cold.

A great report and where does one buy YAK WOOL UNDIES ? :)

Bob

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Slipperysquid,

Great night under the skies,huh. Yeah, i know the feeling.

Next time perhaps try the great open clusters in Auriga : M36,M37,M38. Expescially M37 is stunning through a 8 inch scope and all are not that difficult to find.

A bit lower you can see also M35 in Gemini, a big cluster

All in the Easter sky in the evening, with a proper starchart easy to find. You can also see and find them all in 10x50 binos.

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Andromeda is superb, and I think you hit the nail on the head " ...I was mesmerised,probably more by what I coudn't see.....mind filling in the gaps of knowing what Andromeda looks like...I must have looked at that fuzzy ball for about an hour.....how sad am I "

I remember my first look at Andromeda. A fuzzy patch in the eyepiece, inky black background, silence all around apart from the sound of me breathing. That image will stay with me forever!Everytime I take the scope out, I look at it and everytime I look at it, it gets better!

I can recommend the Yak wool underpants too.....

Allan

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