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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbiegirl View Post
    I never realized they had that. I just signed up for email alerts! Thanks!
    What did you set for how long in advance you'll get an alert email sent to you? I figured I'd like to not get an alert to far in advance because conditions can change but I also want the alert to come with enough time for me to decide if I'm gonna set up and then set up. With all that said I get alerts sent to me 6 hours in advance. But truth be told, when I'm hoping to set up later in the evening, I'm keeping a close watch on the weather all day, so when that alert does come I usually just delete it since I'm already on top of the situation. But there was one time where the email alert caught me off guard because the forecasts had been predicting clouds all night but the alert said clear skies. So one time the alert did the work for me and I ended up setting up that night and had perfect conditions all night.

    This is for the OP: You can go to websites that tell you everything overhead on a certain night and for a certain amount of time you'd be out. Plus you can add filters so you can only see galaxies or nebulae and so on.

    The one webpage I use is: www.Tonightssky.com
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  3. #12
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    Default Re: Strategy For Beginners

    Hello.,I suggest that you get a planisphere.,and get out under the stars and learn some of the constellations.,no scope needed.,, that way YOU know what you're looking at.,,and your not trusting a computer to always be right.,my unplugged 2 cents worth.,O+O
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    Default Re: Strategy For Beginners

    Quote Originally Posted by Jameedon View Post
    This is for the OP: You can go to websites that tell you everything overhead on a certain night and for a certain amount of time you'd be out. Plus you can add filters so you can only see galaxies or nebulae and so on.

    The one webpage I use is: www.Tonightssky.com
    Thanks for the link Jamee. Sometimes I like to know what's out there without having to scan Stellarium.

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    Default Re: Strategy For Beginners

    At the risk of sounding like a curmudgeon (Where's OldCuss when we need him.), I'm reminded of the golfer who is constantly buying new clubs because he thinks he can buy a golf game.

    I'm an old country boy who is as technically savvy as just about anyone on the forum... I have and use all the "toys".. That said, one has to learn to "play" this game. Depending on an app to tell you when and where to look for a target, as well as when to set up your scope is no way to learn anything in this "game". If one is looking for success in anything, there are no shortcuts. There are modern "tools", but my hammer doesn't tell me when to drive the nail.

    Quote Originally Posted by craterdavy View Post
    Hello.,I suggest that you get a planisphere.,and get out under the stars and learn some of the constellations.,no scope needed.,, that way YOU know what you're looking at.,,and your not trusting a computer to always be right.,my unplugged 2 cents worth.,O+O
    We have a Bingo!

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    Quote Originally Posted by craterdavy View Post
    Hello.,I suggest that you get a planisphere.,and get out under the stars and learn some of the constellations.,no scope needed.,, that way YOU know what you're looking at.,,and your not trusting a computer to always be right.
    I think this is a waste of time. With today's technology you don't need to know the constellations. With the majority of us having a smart phone in our pocket, using one of the many night sky apps that you can hold your phone up at the sky and right on the screen you'll see the name of what you're looking at (I prefer StarWalk), that makes things much easier than the way things used to be. Once you have your scope aligned, the mounts goto capabilities will do the rest of the work for you.

    Once you've spent enough time using you scope, you will learn the constellations anyway.
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    Default Re: Strategy For Beginners

    Hello Jamee.,,,I guess it is to each his/her own.,,when I'm out observing I'm really not in any hurry.,,and when my target is in my EP I know "I" put it there.,,and that I can get back to it anytime.,., and that makes me happy.,,O+O

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    Default Re: Strategy For Beginners

    Quote Originally Posted by Jameedon View Post
    I think this is a waste of time. With today's technology you don't need to know the constellations. With the majority of us having a smart phone in our pocket, using one of the many night sky apps that you can hold your phone up at the sky and right on the screen you'll see the name of what you're looking at (I prefer StarWalk), that makes things much easier than the way things used to be. Once you have your scope aligned, the mounts goto capabilities will do the rest of the work for you.

    Once you've spent enough time using you scope, you will learn the constellations anyway.
    We all have our own way at going about this hobby. As long as one enjoys the sky, there's no right or wrong way, just your way. Some of us enjoy star hopping or "the hunt" as it's commonly refereed to while others want a bee line to their target. However, it's amazing what one can see when in pursuit of a target - some of us like to stop and smell the flowers (in a manner of speaking) along the way. I have no goto anything yet and I've gotten pretty good at finding my targets with the use of Stellarium and I live in a white zone - my naked eye sky can be horrifyingly barren at times. But this system works for me and many of us still enjoy it Perhaps when I'm older and have less patience I'll end up with a goto system but at 66 years, I'm too young for it and would be perhaps too bored.

    As I said, to each his/her own
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbbN View Post
    We all have our own way at going about this hobby. As long as one enjoys the sky, there's no right or wrong way, just your way. Some of us enjoy star hopping or "the hunt" as it's commonly refereed to while others want a bee line to their target.
    Quote Originally Posted by rnorman3 View Post
    I just got a Celestron 130 SLT and i love it!
    Now remember, referring back to the OP, he has a goto mount. And if you read the rest of his post he's talking about using computer programs to help him find "awesome stuff", so I was giving him advice based on his best interest. So in this case there is a wrong way of doing this and that is pushing around a goto mount by hand.
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    Default Re: Strategy For Beginners

    Quote Originally Posted by Jameedon View Post
    What did you set for how long in advance you'll get an alert email sent to you? I figured I'd like to not get an alert to far in advance because conditions can change but I also want the alert to come with enough time for me to decide if I'm gonna set up and then set up. With all that said I get alerts sent to me 6 hours in advance. But truth be told, when I'm hoping to set up later in the evening, I'm keeping a close watch on the weather all day, so when that alert does come I usually just delete it since I'm already on top of the situation. But there was one time where the email alert caught me off guard because the forecasts had been predicting clouds all night but the alert said clear skies. So one time the alert did the work for me and I ended up setting up that night and had perfect conditions all night.

    This is for the OP: You can go to websites that tell you everything overhead on a certain night and for a certain amount of time you'd be out. Plus you can add filters so you can only see galaxies or nebulae and so on.

    The one webpage I use is: www.Tonightssky.com
    I set it for two hours. Yes I agree about the weather changing on a whim. LOL. My dark site is right out my back door so I don't have to worry about drive time etc.
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    Default Re: Strategy For Beginners

    Quote Originally Posted by rnorman3 View Post
    Hi All, this is my second post so i'm a newbie! I just got a Celestron 130 SLT and i love it! So my second post question, what's the best strategy for someone new for them to observe awesome stuff???

    I came up with this:

    1. Install google sky on your phone
    2. Use google sky to determine what is visible from where you're telescope is setup
    3. Skyalign your scope
    4. Use the menu's in the telescope to find the planets / named stars etc...
    5. Find an email alert that'll tell you when to setup your scope.

    What do you think, any better ways?
    Thanks!
    My #1 greatest piece of advice is simple- Learn your scope and learn the sky in a way that speaks to YOU.

    To this day, Stellarium resides on my toolbar largely unused (I find it cumbersome; and only use it to determine how much of my FOV an object might consume), and the astro-app on my iPhone rarely gets touched as well; except on the occasion I see something in the sky and happen to wonder what I'm looking at.

    I use the software that came with my 5SE (SkyX First Light Edition) and rarely pay attention to the weather forecast... If the sky is clear, I go for it. If I'm overly worried or know a storm is on the way, I refrain and visit this forum and ask and read and ask some more.

    Awesome stuff depends on your idea of 'awesome.' When I first got my scope a couple of years ago, it was Christmas time much like now... Awesome for me were the two brightest objects in the night sky- The moon & Jupiter. To this day, I study the moon in great detail- Still have NO CLUE as to what is what in terms of geographical nomenclature, but the topography and sheer ruggedness of the surface is just as stunning to me today as it was the first time I saw it. Jupiter is equally stunning- With your scope, you will easily be a ble to see many of the cloud bands & make out quite a lot of detail; along with the 4 Galileans (big moons Io, Callisto, Europa and Ganymede).

    Another very-easily seen object is the Orion Nebula- If you imagine Orion standing upright, you can see it as a small clump of stars between the observer's left star of the belt and the observer's left knee/foot.

    Many other nebulae require time behind the eyepiece... Believe it or not, 'seeing' thru a scope is an art that requires a bit of practice. In your neck of the woods, starting with Jupiter, the moon, The Orion Nebula and some open clusters like the Beehive Cluster and the Double Cluster would be a great start... All should be in your scope's catalog.

    Again, the best way to see awesome stuff is to get out there & do it YOUR OWN way...

    Oh, one more thing... Your scope will die VERY QUICKLY running on internal batteries. Recommend you get an AC adapter, surge protector and a power tank... Power tank is worth its weight in gold and will run your SLT all night long & then some... Running on internal batteries, your accuracy will decrease rapidly as soon as the batteries start to expend their juice.

    Hope this helps- and WELCOME to a wonderful, unique and incredibly gratifying hobby!

    Mike
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