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Thread: Relative coming to town, suggestions needed.

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    Default Relative coming to town, suggestions needed.



    I have a relative coming to visit who is really interested in space. He's also from the DC area, so he doesn't have many opportunities to see a dark sky. I could use some suggestions on what I should show him with my 10" telescope. My plans so far are: the planets, M31 and its local neighbors, possibly that supernova that just popped up, orions nebula, vegas double double and some other double stars.

    If you have a couple of colorful double stars that you'd suggest looking at I think that would be cool. Also, I really love when a star cluster has a cloud look when viewing with a lower power, but then the stars pop out when you up the power. Any suggestions for those? Sadly most of the ones I found were in scorpio and I can no longer view them. Thanks for the help!

    P.S. I live in Ohio, and we will probably be viewing pretty early in the night.

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    Default Re: Relative coming to town, suggestions needed.

    Here is a great website for answering the very question you just asked. I use it all the time.
    Tonight's Sky Main Page

    Cheers,
    JT
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  3. The Following User Says Thank You to jaetea For This Useful Post:

    gcnadam2906 (11-11-2016)

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    Default Re: Relative coming to town, suggestions needed.

    Wow that site is pretty neat! Thanks for the help

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    Default Re: Relative coming to town, suggestions needed.

    You'd be moving that scope around a bit:

    NGC 457 (ET Cluster) through your Dob will be another good one, easy find in Cas.

    Also, NGC 1342 in Perseus through a Dob as it looks like the United States (well, to me at least).

    NGC 6705 (Wild Duck Cluster) is one to just let soak in.
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    Default Re: Relative coming to town, suggestions needed.

    Don't let him touch the screws....

    That's my advice.
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    Default Re: Relative coming to town, suggestions needed.

    Lol, have a bad experience? I'll make sure I'm behind the drivers seat for sure.

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    Default Re: Relative coming to town, suggestions needed.

    I'll check them out tonight, should help me find them tomorrow when I'm showing him stuff! Thanks!

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    Default Re: Relative coming to town, suggestions needed.

    LOL I just heard a story about a guy who had his brother in law over. The Brother in law told the guy "Hey I noticed these screws were loose" pointing at the collimation bolts.

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    Default Re: Relative coming to town, suggestions needed.

    Whatever you decide, be sure to be able to tell him about what he's looking at beyond Messier numbers. I remember one of my first visits to a star party. Everyone was eager to show me M-this and M-that, but all I could see were "faint fuzzies," and their catalog numbers meant nothing to me. Now that I know what I'm looking at it's much more meaningful. Have some stats and some mythology available; perhaps the history of their discoveries, too. Don't forget the major constellations and their stories as well. SkySafari is a good resource for that stuff.
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    Default Re: Relative coming to town, suggestions needed.

    When I show others things in the sky, I try to find an example of each of the major celestial targets. Planets are a reasonable starting point if you can find them. Right now Venus is high in the sky to the west, it's a good starting point, very easy. You won't see much detail but you may be able to appreciate the phase of the planet and discuss how it was one of the major points of evidence that Galileo used to rationalize his heliocentric argument. Uranus is also up in the evening sky, but a little tricky to find. Your friends might get bored while waiting for you to find Uranus or Neptune. Other planets are not in an ideal location presently.

    Galaxies are right up there as far as worthwhile targets, and right now Andromeda is high in the sky and a useful target, visible to the naked eye and binoculars which might be a fun exercise for your friends. The companion galaxies M32 and 110 are easy secondary targets worth a glance at the same time, offering some depth of experience for your friends as far as the variance in how galaxies look. Open clusters are next, and there is none brighter than the Pleiades, presently visible high in the evening night sky. Next on the list are globular clusters. There's a definite seasonal pattern for viewing those, with plenty of options when the Milky Way is high in the sky. At this time of year, you might try for M15, options are fewer than they are in the summer. The brightest, M13, is not in an ideal location right now where I live. Then comes planetary nebulae. If you can still find M27 or M57 before they set in the west, they are worth a try. When I can, I try to end a viewing session with a look at the Veil nebula under low power with an OIII filter. It sets a little earlier now but I think it's still visible for the next few weeks, although with the washout of the moon now your better chance was in the summer.

    Don't forget to give a nod to how the stars rise and set, just like the Sun does. You could spend a little time discussing how the Moon position shifts against the background of stars each day, and how the phase is determined by the relative position of the Sun and Earth. Although it may seem very elementary, many people don't understand the difference between the first and third quarter, and the difference between a waxing and a waning moon. With more time you could point out the zodiac constellations and spin that off to discussion of the ecliptic and how all the planets walk along the ecliptic, gradually shifting each month.
    Dave

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