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What do I need to buy now?


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As some of you may know (I'm gonna say it again anyway as I'm elated) I've just bought a SW Explorer 130P Supatrak Auto :) However, what do I need to buy now? I see in peoples signatures they have different lenses and whatnot. I understand I'm not gonna just look through my 'scope and see Jupiter and its Moons like you do in the mags and even on here. It will more than likely look like a dot but I'd like to make it look as best as possible with the 'scope I've got. So, how do I do that? Here's the specs of the 'scope and what's included - Reflectors - Skywatcher Explorer 130P SupaTrak AUTO

What do I need extra? Bear in mind that I haven't a clue where to start, what the different lenses do, etc. When I say I'm a total newbie that's exactly what I mean lol. I've been reading some websites but they seem to confuzzle me even more :) What direction exactly is Jupiter in? Where the heck do I point the 'scope? What kind of 'scope gets these results - http://stargazerslounge.com/imaging-solar/110422-finally-sunny-winter-day-couple-close-ups.html#post1494168 ??? Will one day I ever be able to afford a 'scope that produces images such as these lol. Arghhhh :D Sooooo many questions, this is ridiculous...

Also, is there anything else as a total newbie I need to know or buy? Any good books, etc?.

Thanks Guys, and sorry for being blonde lol.

Edited by Sirius_Starseed
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FWIW I would suggest you get used to the gear you have before parting with any more cash. You will need to "get your eye in" and you should do that first.

If you want to spend some more money, get a copy of "Turn Left At Orion" for some good objects to go looking for, and download one of the free planetarium software packages; Cartes du Ciel, Stellarium, etc

HTH

If you go out in the late evening, look south/south east for something BRIGHT ... that's Jupy. Your scope will give some nice views of it and its moons ... small but sharp is better than big and fuzzy.

Edited by Demonperformer
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Great stuff! That's more than one person who's mentioned 'Turn Left at Orion' so I'll be buying that today. Also downloading that software.

South/Sout East. That's handy to know. I just hope the blumming street lamp is not gonna be in my eye shot :D

Thanks for your help!

FWIW I would suggest you get used to the gear you have before parting with any more cash. You will need to "get your eye in" and you should do that first.

If you want to spend some more money, get a copy of "Turn Left At Orion" for some good objects to go looking for, and download one of the free planetarium software packages; Cartes du Ciel, Stellarium, etc

HTH

If you go out in the late evening, look south/south east for something BRIGHT ... that's Jupy. Your scope will give some nice views of it and its moons ... small but sharp is better than big and fuzzy.

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I just hope the blumming street lamp is not gonna be in my eye shot

My usual obsy spot (the front garden) is plagued with streetlights - Jupiter is well above them by midnight (before that it's behind a house anyway)

As a quick guide, altitudes for Jupiter above the horizon this evening:

11pm: 17.5 degrees

midnight: 25.5 degrees

1am: 32 degrees

2am: 36 degrees

HTH

EDIT: Actually those are from my location. Nottingham may be a bit lower

Edited by Demonperformer
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A Skywatcher Light Pollution Filter is brilliant value for money, even if you don't have much light pollution to talk about (I can see the Milky Way clearly where I am with no optics, for example - when it isn't cloudy, of course :)). Light Pollution Reduction - Skywatcher Light Pollution Filter

It will help with contrast quite nicely, and if your streetlights are the orange glow mess ones, they are pretty good (I held one up to a streetlight to try it and it gets a thumbs up from me).

My most used eyepiece is 30 x magnification, with comfortable eye relief, and a decent field of view (66 deg).

A good field of view (65 - 70 deg, a SWA) with around that magnification, in reasonable conditions, is capable of giving that 'space walk' effect, as some people call it.

That's worth having, and it doesn't have to cost you the earth to get it, plus it is a nice magnification for using on the search for DSO's (which the LPF will help with too).

So try and get the loan of a 20mm WO SWA or clone to try out and see if you get on ok with it (it'll give 32.5 x mag in your 'scope). I got mine for less than £30 delivered, and there's Skywatcher variants for less than £25 delivered around.

There are better EP's, but they cost a heck of a lot more, and to be honest, when viewing conditions are good, I get very nice views with mine, and when conditions are bad and the views get 'yucky', how much better is a really expensive EP going to be anyway? eta: Caveat, I haven't tried the shorter lengths of this type of EP as yet, and will definitely try before I buy, as the eye relief with those has a strong likelihood of not suiting me. Others, whose eyes aren't as rubbish as mine are, do seem to get on ok with them though.

Add a couple of others that are shorter (those Explorer EP's seem popular, as do those Planetary types - I haven't tried either yet but I do plan on checking them out), and Barlow them, and you should be able to cover the bases for UK viewing conditions pretty well.

There's always some good buys secondhand on here too remember, which you can access once you have your post count up to qualify. :D

Oh, as yours is a reflector, one of those collimation thingies might be a good idea too.

Clear skies and great views! :)

Edited by Ogri
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Download "stellarium", arguably the best freeware planetarium there is.......although if you use Vista do not download the latest version, 0.10.5.

I found that although it worked per se, all the lettering was jumbled up & completely non readable. Go for version 0.10.2 instead.

At least you'll then have an idea of where everything is & when

Something for nothing...........how refreshing!

Edited by Steve C
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Keep using your scope and get a feel for it, find its limitations and work with them. Get at least a season on it and read the forums and take your time.

New eyepieces, filters etc can come later with experience as will getting to know other factors that effect your viewing.

Stellarium is a must and its free.

Ask questions on this forum, it doesnt matter how small or silly you think it is, they are all friendly and love to help newbies like yourselves (..and me).

Might be worth using a search engine for your scope and seeing if there are reviews or write ups with viewing experiences/how to get the max from the scope etc.

steve

Edited by kidlands
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Download "stellarium", arguably the best freeware planetarium there is.......although if you use Vista do not download the latest version, 0.10.5.

I found that although it worked per se, all the lettering was jumbled up & completely non readable. Go for version 0.10.2 instead.

At least you'll then have an idea of where everything is & when

Something for nothing...........how refreshing!

I've just downloaded it and it's very cool. I now know for sure that it is the Plough I've been looking at (with the naked eye) out of my bedroom window for the last month or so :D I thought it was! Its also confirmed Bootes and Arcturus for me too. I can see that from my bedroom window also. What a fascinating program. I can just tell this is gonna make me even more obsessed with stars and constellations lol. Now to find Sirius...

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Take your time! Its easy to get over excited and try and do too much all at once! If you have a clear night (if ???) try to work out what you want to do. Eg look at Jupiter and maybe the Moon or (if the Moon is not around) a specific DSO or two.

Write a plan and some notes. Print off a map or two that will help you and maybe a photocopy (if you printer can do that) of the relevant page of "Turn Left at Orion".

Once you have achieved your planned viewing THEN spend some time "having a browse around the sky" That way you will achive something each observing session and you will quickly start to learn the sky and all the wonderful objects that you can see.

Your scope is a good beginners scope and there will be so much to do with it that it, alone, could keep you occupied for many years!! So don't go spending your money on new kit until you have some idea of what interests you most. No scope is "perfect" for all types of object. After a while you will realise where the shortcomings of your scope are for you as an observer - you can then get some specific kit to enhance your observing, it may be a new scope or just some bits and bobs to help you progress.

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