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PLEASE HELP!


MissClio
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Am i just too thick to start stargazing as a hobby? Been stargazing for a few months now from my small balcony in London, brought a book "Astronomy for Dummies" and still dont understand a thing in it! lol

Line of right ascension, declination, longitude?? I dont even know what hemisphere i'm in!

I am going to "Evening with the Stars" on Monday at the Royal Observatory. Perhaps I should just give up trying to make sense of the beautiful night sky and instead just observe it using the 28-inch telescope!

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You deffo have it right! Some people like to boggle us all with sceince but at the end of the day we are just looking up :p

Do you have a scope? The hardest thing about Astronomy is finding the things you are trying to look at and I think in London with the epic light pollution it'll be hard to see constellations never mind anything else!

And yes...28incher for the win :)

Matt.

P.S. welcome to the forum :D

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You could do worse than get some binoculars. Perhaps 7x50? The 7 magnification means you will be OK with hand held use. The 50mm lens size will gather enough light to bring up objects. You can easily carry trhe binoculars to any convenient site. A glance around the sky for some the easy sights will get you hooked. Forget the science. Look at the craters on the moon. Jupiter is the really bright object in the evening sky. You will see the (4 biggest) moons move each evening. The list just goes on.

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Line of right ascension, declination, longitude?? I dont even know what hemisphere i'm in!

Not sure of 2 myself and they keep saying Western Hemisphere which has to be wrong, it is either North or South.

Probably not worth bothering too much on the technicalities.

Have Astro for Dummies and it isn't. Took one look and that was it.

Do you know any of the constellations?

If I said "Messier objects" would you have any idea?

Have you a nice big printer?

Binoculars?

I take it 2 eyeballs, although 1 would do.

Don't use the 28 inch scope!!!

Nothing will ever compare and you will be spoilt for life.

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Yes I was worried about the same thing too, nothing will come close after looking through the 28 inch scope! Hopefully it will get me hooked even more.

Was thinking about purchasing binoculars and I will now I've had some advice from the forum. Where would be the best place to buy my 7x50? The only constellatons i know of are the 12 Zodiac, would not have a clue where they are though in the night sky only in my daily newspaper! lol And yes I do have a printer.

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Hi CLio - no your not thick its just some books are very baffling and really not for the beginner.

It sounds like your reading a really heavy duty book - I'd struggle to define line of right ascencion myself (though I have a hazy understanding of it). To be honest is not relevant to what most people do

Look at it this way you dont jhave to be a zoologist to enjoy watching animals at London Zoo, you dont need to be an acheaologist to appreciate the wonders of ancient Egypt - its the same with the stars. A bit of knowledge always helps of course and sometimes understanding what your looking at gives the object a bit more wow but you dont need to understand celestial mechanics and the conservation of angular momentum to appreciate the view through a telescope of Saturn.

It sounds like the book you have is just duff is all. Get out to a public event (like the one you mention) and just soak up the splendour of the night sky - thats hard in London so take some trips out to the sticks with some binoculars and a book of how to find things like 'Turn Left at Orion' - the rest of it can come later as and when you need it.

Oh and try downloading a copy of Stellarium (its free - just fo a Google search for it) and you can see how the sky works with that. It may help make some sense of some of it.

Mel

ps - we are in the Northern Hemisphere :)

Edited by Astro_Baby
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Yes I was worried about the same thing too, nothing will come close after looking through the 28 inch scope! Hopefully it will get me hooked even more.

Was thinking about purchasing binoculars and I will now I've had some advice from the forum. Where would be the best place to buy my 7x50? The only constellatons i know of are the 12 Zodiac, would not have a clue where they are though in the night sky only in my daily newspaper! lol And yes I do have a printer.

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LOL - keep the excitement - wish I could get to the RO session - sounds like it will be a blast.

I'll keep my fingers crossed the weather is kind to you.

If your south London and can make it as far as Dorking out here with the county set ( :) ) your more than welcome to tag along with a group I am trying to organise to do some observing around the Surrey area. I'd be more than happy to let you have a look through my telescopes.

It might also be worth you reading a few magazines - BBC Sky at Night magazine is good for beginners or Astronomy Now. A lot of the articles may go over your head but its amazing how much know how I soaked up in a few months without realising it from magazines.

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Hi Clio and welcome to SGL :)

I second Doc's advice for a pair of 10x50's and Turn Left At Orion. Also - make sure you have a red torch so you can read it and preserve your night vision at the same time. Then find the darkest nearby place you can to view from.

Maybe join a local Astro Society - and wrap up warm - the nights aren't getting any warmer :D

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Clio - my advice would be to give Steve at FLO (banner at top of the page) a call - he wont shil you with some junk and he will give you good solid advice about.

I am not related to him in nayway but always reccommend FLO because they do give good advice and a quality service and are generally less expensive than most other places as well.

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One very good book by Sir Patrick is

Stargazing - Astronomy Without a Telescope

It's an excellent introduction for the beginner who doesn't know where to start and hasn't even got a telescope or binoculars yet but wants to start learning their way around the night sky.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stargazing-Astronomy-Telescope-Patrick-Moore/dp/0521794455

Besides new they have some used copies as well.

John

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Hi MissClio and welcome to the forum.

If you want to get a handle on what all that stuff is up there in the night's sky, make sure you take up Mel's offer of joining up with her observation group - invaluable!!! All the books and lectures are great BUT they can never replace actually getting out there and having a look for yourself. Then when you return to the books it all starts to make sense- one feeds the other and onwards.

Clear skies for your trip on Monday to Greenwich and their "Evening with the Stars" (just make sure its nothing to do with Strictly Come Prancing!:)

James

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If you can get to the ROG then join their night class, O level astronomy. One of the tutors is Alan Longstaff who writes in Astronomy Now. He's a great frend of ours and a gifted and imaginative teacher. Get along there, you'll love it.

Olly

Edited by ollypenrice
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Hi MissClio, welcome to the Lounge.

I would agree with all the good advice already posted. See if you can join a local Astronomical society and most people are more than willing to help you find your way round the sky.

Don't worry too much about the technicalities, just enjoy what you see.

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