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Looks like there are a lot of new folks on these forums lately. Hello, I am Dan, and I have been lurking around for a while reading and gathering.

See I have always been a science and math guy, All through school. I only recently inherited an Orion Starblast 4.5eq reflector. I dove head first into learing about star charts, or sky charts and how to read them. Also, what is the proper term on the boards most use for said charts? I then checked the mirror alignments and they were quite off, I followed close instructions, got everything all lined up, the sighting scope on and lined up, wife and I were ready to look into the universe.

Though the telescope only came with the 6mm eyepiece, the relative I obtained it from has sent the 15mm eyepiece that goes along with it, I am sure it will help a little more in finding certain objects.

On our first beginner-Amateur night of star gazing, we managed to locate saturn from the charts, and able to see its rings. That was the first real excitement, then, I am 95% sure I located M35 in Gemini! Our first star cluster! Sorry, it was so exciting and to me, quite rewarding. Until the next evening- At first, I was sure that I located the Orion Nebula, but after further research, i cannot be sure as I found there are about 3 similar nebulae in the area. Either way, yes, u guessed it, First nebula!!!! It was gorgeous, and some descriptions say, not much in the eye to behold, hah! It was total Joy!

Thanks for reading my very first 2 stargazing attempts! And there will be more. Looking for a decent set of eyepieces and a barlow to extend my viewing pleasure. Hope to have a nice home here and learn tons more along the way!

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Hi Dan, Welcome to SGL :D Congrats on a great first light.

Star-gazing is a fascinating hobby, but it can all seem overwhelming with all the info, choices and kit .

SGL's forum search tool and Google are your friends. But if you can't find something, or don't understand after researching it, then it's daft not to ask. Somebody on here (can't remember who) once said that the only stupid question is the one that you don't ask.

There's a wealth of info in here and there's are always folk around willing to share advice and tips 'n' tricks

Here's hoping you have clear skies to go with your 'scope.


For the ins 'n' outs of choosing EPs, you might find these posts : "Eyepieces - the very least you need" and "Understanding and choosing eyepieces" a help in guiding you through the basics.

I'd be tempted not to buy anything for now, just use what came with the 'scope. With eyepiece time under your belt you'll know what needs replacing or if there's a "gap" that needs filling.


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Hi Dan, welcome from me too, if you can buy an eyepiece with a smaller focal ratio, say a 25mm or 32mm, one of those those will help you at the start of any observing session and will aid you in locating objects a bit sooner so once found you can "zoom in" with a higher power, ie your 15mm, and then a bit higher if conditions allow :D

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Thanks for the warm welcomes!

David o- Those 2 threads were the reason I stumbled across the site! They really helped educate me quite a bit on Focal Length and the fact that a 6mm EP is higher power/more zoom than a 12mm. I have read them I think twice now, probably take a few more times too!

Nexus 6-Thanks for that, its a good tip for sure, and is added to the list. I was surprised I got as lucky as I did in finding m35 and the Orion neb. with the 6mm from the get go! Conditions are so/so here, moderate light pollution, and my neighbor across from my best viewing location has the brightest flood lights on the eastern coast of Florida.

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Wow! Thats a lot of welcomes! Thanks all, I notice the majority of the forum is in the UK or europe, I am just beginning my day at work now 5 hours behind everybody!

there is a fair amount of us lot all over the place, quite a few state side too

dont forget were all up during the night, unless its cloudy :)

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