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Thread: Avid space geek!

  1. #1
    Mariposa's Avatar
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    Default Avid space geek!



    hello all

    i dont know much about astrophotography but i want to learn. Like alot of people, i got a telescope for xmas last year and i joined my local Astro group. I dont feel as advanced as them so i seem to have stopped going as much. im still struggling to set up my telescope

    I have a few wonderful photos of the moon but my obsession is wanting to see Nebulae and the planets. How do i do this?

    I have a skywatcher 130/900 with an EQ2 tripod and motor. I have taken the motor off as id prefer to learn without it until i get better. I have the generic off the shelf eyepieces, 25mm wide, 10mm and 12mm, 2x barlow and 3x barlow. I recently bought a celestron 15mm (love it). I have a T ring and Nikon Camera. I want to know what i need to use out of these eyepieces, to see planets? and secondly how do i see nebulae? can i see them with out doing all this stacking and dark frames stuff people chat about?
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    Default Re: Avid space geek!

    Hi and welcome to the forums!

    I would suggest you aim your scope at Jupiter and then Saturn(it rises a bit after Jupiter).
    With the eyepieces you have they should be readily visible. Most of the other planets will be a small coloured dot in the scope.
    As for nebula, these can be tougher and are dependent on how dark your sky is. Most of the bright nebula do push through the light pollution.
    Nebula are best viewed with no moon around.

    Stacking and dark frames are for astrophotoghraphy and have nothing to do with visual.
    Your scope is not ideally suited to AP.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Avid space geek!

    Hello and welcome! Getting familiar with the night sky...and your scope...are important first steps. Also, I wouldn't give up on your local club to help you in your learning process. Most of the members are willing and able to help.

    Dave
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    Default Re: Avid space geek!

    Hi there welcome to the forum.
    Andy
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    Default Re: Avid space geek!

    Hi there, Welcome to the forums!
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    Default Re: Avid space geek!

    Hello Mariposa! Welcome to the forum and thanks for joining us! Excellent advice from Dave and Clinton.

    As for nebulae, these can be tough, especially at first. With the fainter stuff (nebulae, galaxies), these are largely an acquired skill that comes with practice and experience. In other words, the more you see the more you learn how to see. There are some nice brighter examples out there to cut your teeth on, however. For us folks in the northern hemisphere, the Orion Nebula (Messier 42 or M42) is the best and brightest, but it has unfortunately just slipped into the west for the season. It should return 4th quarter to wow us again though.

    The summer months do bring some other nice examples for us to observe in Sagittarius and surroundings. The Lagoon Nebula, the Omega Nebula, and the Eagle Nebula are nice targets (though they may be a bit low in the south from your latitude). Also the Veil Complex in the Cygnus constellation are fine targets if one is not suffering from too much light pollution. There are several brighter galaxies available right now in Virgo and Coma Berenices, Ursa Major, and Canes Venatici (all in the Messier catalog of objects).

    Not sure how impactful your local light pollution is, though. The darker the skies, the better these things are to see.

    Were I you (and I were you a few years ago ) I would start off with the Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn, and get a good feel for the scope and its capabilities, as well as those of your eyepiece collection. Learn what each can do for you and how they each change the view through the scope. The 3x barlow can go in the sock drawer for now. In addition to these solar system objects, look for open and globular clusters (M13 and M92 in Hercules are fine targets). These will start breaking you in on deep sky stuff. Study the Messier catalog and see how many of these objects you can locate.

    As Clinton mentions, your scope is not suited for astrophotography. Reflectors such as yours typically will not bring a camera sensor to focus unless the scope is specifically designed as an astrograph. Plus an EQ-2 class mount is not especially suited for the long exposures required to image nebula and galaxies. It would be an exercise in frustration for you.

    The Moon is a rather easy one to image since it is so bright. Deep sky objects are another whole ball of wax to contend with.

    Your club can be an excellent resource. Yes, the membership is likely further along and more advanced in the hobby than yourself, but do not let that intimidate you. Advanced or newb, we all put our shoes on one foot at a time just like everyone else. Besides, there are likely skills that you possess (hobby or work-related) that these folks do not have.

    Ask them questions. Raise your hand. I've yet to meet another amateur astronomer that wasn't ready and willing to share information and help out the new guy. Sure, there are some out there that are grouchy and curmudgeonly, but by and large this is a community that loves to help, build knowledge, and share expertise.

    And of course, you are most welcome to ask any questions here on the forum as well.

    Last edited by bladekeeper; 05-23-2019 at 12:57 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Avid space geek!

    Welcome to AF
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    Default Re: Avid space geek!

    Hi Mariposa (borboleta em Portugues). Your telescope is most suited for the moon and planet observing. You can always add a second telescope for the wide field DSO observing later. Welcome to the forum Mariposa, and the best of wishes on your astronomy hobby pursuits.
    - Marshall
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    Default Re: Avid space geek!

    Hi Mariposa! I am not familiar with the particular model, but the advice you are being given is very good. A five inch scope can pick up a lot of things, under the right conditions and with a good collimation. Doing a lot of observing can help train your eye and optical part of your brain to see more and more as time goes by.
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