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Afternoon all, hope you're all well!! I need some help. I am a bit of an amatuar, and I desperately need a telescope! I want to know the most cost effective way of getting a decent one (I at least want to see Jupiter!) Also, does any one know of any observatory points in Milton Keynes or surrounding areas? It's cloudy here most of the time, however I am willing to travel to see the beautiful night sky.

I also have a question about the moon. You know how we always see the same face on the moon from here when there is a full moon? So when the Sun only lights up part of it (crescent moon), is the face of the moon that we always see still facing us, but we can only see a sliver of it, or is it facing the sun? Sorry if that questions hard to understand, took me ages trying to put it into words!!!!

I guess I just need some guidance, I need a 'buddy' to answer all my questions and queries as I have so many of them!!! Can anyone help???

Edited by AstroJen
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Hi Astrojen. Welcome to SGL.

Lots of questions. They will get answered. Just keep asking. We are a friendly lot.

Cloud is a curse of UK living unfortunately.

The moon always keeps the same side to us. But as the earth and moon both move about, the part of the moon in daylight changes, hence the crescent moon. much easier with models & pictures.

Don't rush into a scope. Don't buy from a high street shop. Look on SGL for other new member posts asking for advice & opinions. There are lots -posts and opinions!

Enjoy the hobby (obsession?)b.


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Google suggests you should get in touch with these guys: Milton Keynes Astronomical Society

Go to the library and borrow whatever you can about astronomy. Go to Telescope Reviews | Cloudy Nights and look at the "best of beginner's" sticky thread at the top of the beginner's forum page.

Read lots and things will become clearer. Ask here when confused.

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Hello and welcome

I'm quite new here too. Most of the advice I got told me to learn the skies first. I downloaded Stellarium on the PC and have Google Sky Map on Android and both have openned up the skies to me. So unless you have a burning desire to rush out and buy something I'd suggest get some decent bins, a sky map and use your eyes. There's lots up there to amaze however you choose to view.


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The moon allways shows the same face - but due to libration we can sometimes see a tiny bit further round one side or other. The phase of the moon depends on how much sunlight is being blocked by the earth at any given time. So when you see a "sliver" or thin crescent - the dark bit is the shadow cast over the rest of it by the earth :(

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err... actually, thats not right Kim. The shadow isnt caused by the earth (apart from lunar eclipses). Its that the sun is shining on one part of the moon, and the shadow is the part that the sun cannot reach. New moon is when the back of the moon is facing the sun (and so we see the shadowed side), full moon means the face we see is illuminated by the sun.

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Sorry... correction...

The same side of the moon always faces the Earth.

As it rotates around the Earth the sun illuminates the surface. When the moon is on the opposite side of the Earth to the Sun we see a Full Moon; as the angles between the sun/Moon and Earth change so does the amount of the visible surface. When the Moon has swung round it's orbit and is closer to the Sun - its "back" side is illuminated and we only see the dark side as a New Moon.

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Hi, I have just posted a reply and welcome to Pak and I noticed your post. This is what I posted - I have been researching to buy a telescope for a couple of months. I keep thinking I've found the right one, having raised the budget from £400 to £1000!, then something else enters the equation. Take a look at www.astro-baby.com 'So you want to buy a telescope - Part 1' great info and it might help to point you in the right direction. The author is an active and prominent member of this forum. I was pointed at it when I first joined and I am now pointing newcomers at the site as I found it so useful.

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