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Thread: A few questions

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    Cool A few questions



    1. How do you find certain objects accurately in deep sky? charts and graphs etc?
    2. Where could I find a catalog of all know galaxies, nebulas etc?
    3. Can you recommend a good beginner deep sky scope with some attachments that would be useful?

    All wisdom is appreciated!

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    Default Re: A few questions

    Not sure about all known galaxies and Nebulae, but download Stellarium and start there. It is a great freeware Planetarium. As far as Deep Space viewing, I'll repeat what Lowjiber always says "Aperture is King".

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    Default Re: A few questions

    Regarding your second question, the SIMBAD catalog is a good source. It contains about 7.5 million objects.

    SIMBAD Astronomical Database
    James Schrader

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    Default Re: A few questions

    For 1 and 2, the Cambridge Star Atlas. It won't have all known objects, but has plenty to keep you busy. Online sites like Wikisky can be helpful. For 3, I'd recommend a basic Dobsonian scope.

    But you'll want to do some basic research... folks here can refer you to many resources.
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    Default Re: A few questions

    Charts and graphs are a bit outdated, there are fine cell phone apps such as SkEye on Android that will return equatorial and Alt/Az coordinates. Or Stellarium will, if you have a laptop handy. These coordinates can be dialed in manually using setting circles. Many modern computerized mounts have these objects in a database and will guide you or just go to them.

    For beginner DSO viewing, nothing beats a Dob for the price. It does not track but all the money goes into the mirror because of its simplicity. I suggest an 8" or 10" Dob (Zhumell Z8/10 or Apertura AD-8/10, or Orion XT8/10). Orion also has push-to and goto Dobs.
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    Default Re: A few questions

    I totally agree with Rick and all previous replies, besides books and chats Stellarium and Cartes du Ciel are totally free and complete Planetarium progs with remote mount/telescope integration and lots of other capabilities.

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    Default Re: A few questions

    Stellarium is good for showing you where things are, but you you have to tell it what you want to see. If you don't know what you want to see, it is useless.

    Those phone apps are also good, but they ruin your dark adaption, especially if someone sticks it in your face unexpectedly.

    If you are a beginner, invest in "Turn left at Orion" by Guy Consalmagno

    If you are a bit more experienced, invest in "Celestial Sampler" by Sue French
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    Default Re: A few questions

    I would also add the Sky and Telescope Pocket Sky Atlas as a resource in addition to Stellarium - it shows all of the Messier objects plus a good chunk of NGC objects as well, enough to get you started with deep sky observing. With regard to a scope, I would recommend an 8" Dob to start out. They are not too expensive and can show you a great many of the DSO's plus the planets and moon. Good luck with your choice.
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    Default Re: A few questions

    Thanks for all the info! I am not yet observing, but gathering knowledge for the future. I will be having a daughter any day now and I will be buying one sometime in the next year. I want to save as much as I can and be ready for my daughter before I worry about buying a nice shiny telescope :]

    But honestly I deeply appreciate the wisdom you guys have and give to me.

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    Default Re: A few questions

    If you prefer old-school stuff to computer gizmos, also look into the 16 inch diameter "Guide to the Stars", the pizza-sized planisphere. Somewhat inconvenient to carry around because it's so big, but it shows way more detail and info than the average star wheel. A great tool for planning your night.

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