What to look at?

Don't be shy! If you're just starting out, here's the place to ask that first question

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Jabber
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What to look at?

Post by Jabber »

As a newbie, I am still learning and I was out last night with my SkyWatcher using a 10mm and 25mm lens. The moon was amazing but still disappointed with what I can see of Mars (basically a very bright star with a red tint). My garden faces north and I can usually see the plough, cassiopeia and polaris very well. Can anyone point out any good deep space objects I could look at in that direction? Thanks Simon
Brian
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Re: What to look at?

Post by Brian »

Hi Simon,

what skymaps / apps do you have to help you locate deepsky objects?

regards
Brian
52.3N 0.6W
Wellingborough UK.

254mm LX90 on Superwedge, WO ZS66SD, Helios 102mm f5 on EQ1, Hunter 11x80, Pentax 10x50
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John G
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Re: What to look at?

Post by John G »

Hi Simon,

What scope are you actually using?

A good investment is a digital app like Sky Safari for mobile phone and tablets, the basic version is quite affordable and more than capable for most purposes. A good freebie is Skyportal which is a cut down version of Sky Safari.

Also have a look here http://skymaps.com/ you can download a free monthly PDF of the night sky with a very decent guide as to what is in the night sky.
John
Evolution 9.25 // OO UK VX6 // Vixen SD 81S // TS 72 Apo // Encodered AYO II // Pentax 9x50
michael feist
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Re: What to look at?

Post by michael feist »

Are you sure that you are pointed at MARS and not one of thereby 'red' stars, Menkar or Mira. Even in my x15 , 65mm spotter, MARS appears as a tiny disc, and a telescope with the eyepieces you mention, depending on the aperture, should produce a reasonably sized disc. regards mike [watcher]
Jabber
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Re: What to look at?

Post by Jabber »

I have a SkyWatcher 250p and I use Star Walk 2 on my phone. The phone app is not always 100% accurate as I think my phone compass is not 100% accurate. I use the 2020 Collins Guide to the Night Sky. I also have a PDF version of turn left at Orion. I am struggling to find stars through my finderscope. For example, I look up and see the 7 stars of the plough and then when I point the finderscope there, I see hundreds of stars and can not pin point it to individual stars.
michael feist
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Re: What to look at?

Post by michael feist »

I would suggest that you also try using binoculars or similar, something with a much lower magnification and therefore with a much larger field of view. To identify individual stars does require quite a bit of experience and even then only if they are obviously part of a small group or asterism or are perhaps a double or a distinctive in some other way. A star alone is a star is a star. If I want, for example, to look at Uranus from my back garden, it is far easier and quicker to use 8x42 monocular with a 7 degree fov and work my way through the various starfields that I know than use the larger spotting-scope with double the magnification and the much smaller field of view. regards mike [watcher]
David Frydman
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Re: What to look at?

Post by David Frydman »

The finder should be aligned with the scope, say on Polaris.

The scope with the 10mm eyepiece, or first with the 25mm eyepiece if Polaris is not in scope field.

Centre of finder with centre of scope view.

Regards,
David
Brian
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Re: What to look at?

Post by Brian »

What you describe with your finderscope is not uncommon when you are beginning observing. You might get on better with a "zero-magnification" red-dot finder such as the Telrad ( other similar models are available at a range of prices , check astro-suppliers :) ). Many observers do mount both standard finderscope and red-dot finder as a pair.

Just a thought, does your finderscope give a correct image (like binoculars) , or an inverted image (like your newtonian) ?
Brian
52.3N 0.6W
Wellingborough UK.

254mm LX90 on Superwedge, WO ZS66SD, Helios 102mm f5 on EQ1, Hunter 11x80, Pentax 10x50
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Jabber
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Re: What to look at?

Post by Jabber »

It gives a reverse image. I have bought a red dot finder and will see how I get on with this. Thanks for all the help!
Jabber
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Re: What to look at?

Post by Jabber »

OK so I bought a Rigel Quikfinder for £30 from FLO and tried it out tonight and it works really well. I can now have confidence that I am looking at the correct star.
Brian
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Re: What to look at?

Post by Brian »

Great stuff! 8) I love it when a plan comes together :D

regards
Brian
52.3N 0.6W
Wellingborough UK.

254mm LX90 on Superwedge, WO ZS66SD, Helios 102mm f5 on EQ1, Hunter 11x80, Pentax 10x50
ASI120MC Toucam Pros 740k/840k/900nc mono, Pentax K110D
Ro-Ro roof shed
Kay Burton
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Re: What to look at?

Post by Kay Burton »

I try to use star charts, but not very good yet. I have just started to get involved in astronomy, so I still know and can do little. But this makes it even more interesting to understand everything.
mikemarotta
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Re: What to look at?

Post by mikemarotta »

(1) I have turned to double stars. Many stars that appear as one the naked eye resolve into two (or more) with a modest telescope.

(2) The planets are all easy to find. Mars, however, often disappoints people because of its small size in any instrument. However, even with a small telescope 100 mm (4 inches) or so, if you give your eye and brain time to work, you will see more detail. Also, much like Earth, Mars rotates in about 24 hours and also much like Earth, its easy features are on one side (one third to two-thirds), so that you have to view it over a succession of days or on different days in order to catch the details that will stand out. But I have done it with a National Geographic 70 mm. But it is small. That's Mars.

(3) Any time of year, there is something in Deep Space for a small telescope. Right now, Orion is on the meridian at 9:00 PM. In the summer, the Scorpion is also easy to spot being one of the few that actually look almost like what it is supposed to be. To the left of the hook of the tail - a bit low, perhaps for most of the UK - are clusters that stand out. One of them "Ptolemy's Cluster" was catalogued in ancient times. So, it is one that will pop out in a small telescope. For the northern sky, the Great Bear and Cassiopeia offer deep sky targets. Perhaps a bit harder in a small telescope but almost right overhead in the summer from the north, the M3 Globlular Cluster is (I believe) 3000 stars. It is worth chasing.

(3a) RIsing ahead of Scorpio, to the right a month or so earlier, in Cancer the Crab, near the bottom is a group of seven called "The Manger" in ancient time. Galileo resolved them to 30 stars. I think that we now count 300 in "The Beehive Cluster."
=====================================
Michael E. Marotta
Editor - History of Astronomy Division
American Astronomical Society
mike49mercury@gmail.com
Astro-Tech 115 mm APO Refractor
Explore Scientific 102 mm Refractor
National Geographic 70 mm Refractor
SkyBrowser
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Re: What to look at?

Post by SkyBrowser »

For small telescopes (i.e. not some light bucket dobsonian) you really can't beat the Moon. Especially this time of year, in the northern hemisphere, when the first quarter ("half Moon") rides high in the sky in the early evening.

Get a copy of Charles Wood's Lunar 100 and see how many of the features in there you can find. It's a great way to start to find your way around the Moon, and learn a little lunar geology in the process.
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