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At last - Saturn!


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I've been looking at Saturn just before first light - it's getting higher in the sky at that time now. It's visible as a moderately bright star to the naked eye and I can tell it's orange/brown through bino's.

If you download Stellarium, it'll show you where it is if you advance the time to morning. That program still blows me away!

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Well now clear skies are more of a possibility tonight (too tried and tired last night) and now some of you have seen what sort of 'level' I'm at are there

- any suggestions for observing targets please given my gear and skill level?!

LP is not too bad where I am, but it's not exactly dark sky.

I'm up to using the stock 10mm ep and the supplied barlow on Jupiter and am probably overmagnifying with this instrument when I do that.

I really like the 20mm ep and no barlow with this scope, so maybe a few clusters. I've been looking at the double cluster, M31, Pleiades, Great Orion neb and even just found the ring nebula.

Maybe a bit of star hopping to get used to that!

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I love Jupiter, myself. Always something to see and it's different every time :)

I would also recommend the relatively easy targets of the Orion Nebula, the Pleiades, Mesarthim (nice double in Aries), M36, M37, M38 in Auriga, M35 in Gemini... NGC 457 (Owl or ET Cluster) in Cassiopeia, Almach in Andromeda (very nice double), the Andromeda Galaxy...

Canis Major doesn't get very high in the UK so this might be out of your range, but try the Tau Canis Majoris cluster and/or M41. Those are also quite nice.

If you're looking for a beginner's challenge, try the Crab Nebula or M78.

Lots of other stuff out there but off the top of my head, that'll do for starters.

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Many of us have fond memories of a 'scope like that - usually a Tasco LOL I remember having a little 'scope on a tiny tripod. I would open my bedroom window, plonk it on the sill and point it at whatever I could see. My bedroom faced east so I remember looking at the Pleiades in the autumn and Venus and (sometimes) other planets in the early dawn sky :)

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Had my Tasco 60mm frac until about five years ago - why oh why didn't I just fix the sheared bolt connecting the body to the mounting. Would have used that for a spotter and the tripod for bins! That was all something to do with a woman and a house move.

It was progressively more cloudy here last night and is cloudy this am (truck battery being put in again). Don't mind the -6C but don't do the cloudy :) It makes me rip satellite dishes off of walls. But all for a scientific cause ;-)

Did try for a hour with the newt around 8pm last night - just the moon and Jupiter really visible in deteriorating seeing.

Found two parallel ridges on the moon and I've no idea what they were, so something to look up. The outer two Jovian moons were waaay out away from the disc. Maybe the furthest I've seen them.

And I nailed Auriga down. Just, by finding Capella which was about the only star visible at the end of the session.

My lady wife had bought me a chineese meal for when I got in from work. But no, that got reheated later because I had to go outside to observe anything I could. Insanity strikes again!

M1 sounds like a challenge! Maybe the scope will do it but maybe I need to be at a dark site for that...

We've got a good 4by4 if anyone around here is reading... Well it works, and goes anywhere but smells of kids and has spanners all over the carpet. Muddy boots are no problem!

Edited by Altair40
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Oh, one other thing. Obviously, I'll need a spotter scope at some point but I don't find the red dot finder that bad. Maybe because I used to shoot full bore rifles over iron sights for about fifteen years on and off.

Once entered the British Open at Bisley. I came 275th. Result!

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Thanks there, Umadog and all others. Well done you!

Well - Stellarium will tell me where he (Neptune) is! It's only 8th mag and I know I can get there.

It'll look like a star to me if lucky. No disc....

Boing boing then ice dive, if I find that one ;-)

Edited by Altair40
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Went after Neptune this evening!

I honsestly didn't think I found it but did familiarise myself with the stars in the general area. I'm scoped into the area! Bins, eyes, scope in that order, oddly.

I'm amazed at how this scope can cut through light cloud or fog when you can't see the stars in question by naked eye. Still using the bins as a finder...

Sooner or later, I will find it. I will not claim it until I'm 100% sure. Pity I am not allowed to demolish the house next door for a better view! I will cut a branch from one of own tree's to get a better target area to the east...

Still, noticed how close Uranus was to Jupiter - I even had it in my 10 by 50 bins. Had another look through the scope. Jupiter, Uranus a star and the Gallilean moons all in one 20mm FOV.


Then had a general look around at any doubles I could find and of course, the full moon.

I'll try again.

A Question if I may?

Can you see any colour at all through a newt? I'm sure I could see at least oranges but I'm red green colour blind...

Oh, while I was messing about a satellite whizzed through my ep. That's another first!!!!!!!

Edited by Altair40
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To answer your question about colour, it really depends on what you're looking at. For example, Almach in Andromeda and Albireo in Cygnus are both examples of double stars with excellent colours.

Likewise, you'll see colour in the planets - Mercury adn Venus are usually slightly off-white, Mars usually appears a kind of salmony colour, Jupiter is a very pale vanilla colour (the bands will appear brown), Saturn is a very pale yellow, Uranus is kinda aquamarine and Neptune has a distinctive blue tint to it (which is how I pick it apart from the surrounding stars :))

You'll see some colour in a few DSO's too, although it will depend upon your vision, your skies and your equipment. I can easily seen green in the Orion Nebula with my 4.5" XT Dob under suburban skies without a filter but many other faint fuzzies simply appear grey to me...

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Thanks a lot for that info - I was sure I could see various coloured bright stars the other night.

I'm still after Neptune - I'll try again and again until I find it.

BTW, I'm hoping for either a coffee can or a pie dish of a certain size for Christmas. Then I can look a the closest star through Baader film...

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