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New to skywatching


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Hi all,

I am new to this site and would like some general advice on what to look at. I have been using a pair of my dads old binoculars for a while now and was thinknig of buying some better ones. The Celestron Skymasters seem to have some good reviews. Does anyone here have an opinion or any suggestions?

Also, I would like to get some advice on what is best to look at with binoculars at this time of year.

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Hi Colonel and welcome to SGL :icon_salut:

I have the Celestron 15x70's (currently on offer from FLO). They're very nice but you'd need to keep your elbows propped up and neck craned upwards which is quite uncomfortable over long periods. An adaptor and camera mount is a good idea for them due to the weight. Hope that helps.

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Also, I would like to get some advice on what is best to look at with binoculars at this time of year.

Jupiter is very prominent at the moment, if you have decent binoculars on a stand you should be able to see the Moons as well.

The Moon of course and the Orion nebula is up in the early hours and will be visible at a more reasonable time by the end of the year.

Pleiades. You can just about see Andromeda throught binos.

Not sure what else, but I am sure others can tell you.


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Hello & welcome to the Forum.

I use binoculars all the time, for spotting objects before I train the scope on them, and Love the binocular view of M31 Andromeda galaxy, wide field shows it best! and also star cluster, love star clusters in the binocular FOV (field of view).

Take your time and learn the sky, you won't regret it, and choose 1 new object to find every time you go out, even if it's a planet.

As stated earlier though, binoculars are sometimes difficult to hold for long periods of time, so in the future you may need to look at mounts.

Welcome and above all have Fun, remember it's a hobby! Enjoy it.


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Hello Colonel,

Depending on what size or quality binos you have you could look for:-

The North america nebula and the adjoining pelican nebula in Cygnus the swan, if your sky is reasonably uncontaminated by light pollution. I saw them from Snodonia last year with my 15 X 70's. (Large but faint) Also:-

Albireo, the lovely double in Cygnus (Try to estimate the colours)

M27 (the dumbell neb.) in Vulpecula, (pretty easy to see)

M57 the ring nebula in Lyra, (small and fairly faint)

You could look for Uranus near Jupiter (fairly bright & greenish-blue)

Checkout different star colours, you could look at the yellow supergiant Deneb in Cygnus, Aldeberan - a red giant in Taurus or the garnet star in Cassiopeia. Lovely bluish-white (& relatively young & nearby) Vega in Lyra.

Checkout variable stars and track their change in brightness by comparing them to other stars near them of known brightness & writing the estimations down. E.g. Algol in Perseus

Of course it helps to have a good map, others should be able to recommend some plus you could download the free stellarium.


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Wow, thanks guys for a really warm welcome. There is lots here to be considering. I think I may go with a pair of Celstrons as they are pretty cheap and most people seem to like them.

Wobbly Bob. Whats a pantograph by the way?

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