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First time observing :)


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Hey guys, went out a couple of nights ago and done my first session of observing with my Bino's. I will not get my scope till end of month so am trying to get myself used to the skies around me at the moment so when my scope finally comes i will be away!

They are a pair of 8x30's, not that high a mag, but still allowed me to make out quite a few constellations with little trouble.

First was orion, and i easily recognized the belt, Betelgeuse and Rigel. I look down from the belt and saw that Faint "Fuzzy" (M41) cannot wait to look at it through my scope! next i strafed left to see Sirius and then left and up to spot Ursa Major.

I also managed to get a glance at some fuzzy ball of light. I focused the Bino's as much as i could but remained fuzzy, it was above and left of Sirius, bout the same distance away as Orions belt is to Sirius? any idea what it was?

All in all, a very useful trip! was only out for an hour, but felt like i learned more in that hour that the last year i have just been gazing up at them!

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Glad you had a good evening.

The nebula down orion's belt is actually M42 (M41 is an open cluster just below Sirius).

The other one you saw, I would guess was one of the open clusters in that region that your binos could not resolve. M46, M47 and M48 are all in that sort of area. Based on your distance quote, I would guess M48.

You might find it useful to download a free copy of Stellarium, which will show you what is currently visible from your location.

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Hi Cyro

Try the beehive cluster - allways a nice object in binocs - mars is up there too (though v.small) and of course saturn (looks kinda oblate in binocs). If you're out early enough you can just catch the Pliedes


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There is a software package called TUBA (Touring the Universe through Binoculars Atlas) which is dedicated to binocular observing so leaves out anything impossible. May be worth a go.

Also if you use a Windows Mobile phone then Astronomist (Astromist, PDA Astronomy Software (Palm & Pocket PC)) is pretty good once you figure out its interface , especially the ability to find objects which are visible and to give an indication of the ease of seeing it based on your apeture.

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TUBA is a small excellent program which Phil Harrington gives away free. Phil is due to release a new book later this year,November I think.

My favourite book for my binoculars is Binocular Astronomy by Stephen Tonkin.

My favourite iPod Touch apps are SkyVoyager and StarMapPro.


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