Author Topic: Brand new member needing some assistance with northeastern US viewing  (Read 21 times)

cokoksmarous

  • Jr. Astronomer
  • **
  • Posts: 78
  • Activity:
    52%
  • Reputation: +1/-0
    • View Profile
Hello all,

I'm new to this sight and astronomy (the real act that is, happen to be interested in the skies for 30+ years and know a fair amount the subject) and as my screen name states, I reside in Maine.  Yup.  Freezing my [email protected]& away at the minute but after many years of fighting the risk of addiction, I have bought my very first scope just before xmas... after a week after a second. . .now looking at ordering another one....  oh and one more.  Only one more!  Promise!  This will be a problem.
Anyway, I'm attempting to learn the heavens and the places of obejects I can see with a 4.5" Newtonian in addition to a 90mm mak.  Been attacking the moon now that it is back (wolf moon last night) and the planets and studying some of the stars as I go but no DSO stuff.  Mainly because I'm battling setting circles and are getting prepared to leave the little buggers for now and seeking to find star hopping.  A good deal of the things which I see listed on line and in my celebrity apps are matters that I discover AFTER searching for them that I need larger aperture to see.  Does someone have any thoughts per chance?  I'm ordering a 10" Skywatcher dob and either a 150mm mak or 180mm.  Not certain yet.  Fighting the impulse to not wimp out here and use a goto mount to find things.  Seriously, goto is not wimping out... I'm just hoping to learn old college first before going that route as I do not want to give up just yet on the manual part.  The researching is half the fun.
Thanks to some who may respond!



Steven Autio

  • Jr. Astronomer
  • **
  • Posts: 68
  • Activity:
    45.33%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Brand new member needing some assistance with northeastern US viewing
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2017, 02:32:46 AM »
I suggest that you might stop with the purchases and just spend a lot of time outside. Well, as someone who lives in Northern New England and knows how cold the nights can get, a lot of fairly short periods of time outside! For nights when the moon is down, do some advance planning and find some candidate objects that will be at convenient altitude above the horizon. Why not search for some of the Messier Objects? How many of those have you found? they can all be seen with pretty small telescopes.

Go out the next night with a few objects in mind and just try to find them. Not too many. Others will be encountered. Check out some easy double stars and see which ones you can resolve. the next time you go out, find those objects again and look for a few more. Figure out which of your eyepieces help you the most. Maybe (just maybe) you'll need one or two other eyepieces to start with, but keep the buying urge in check for now. Get a real paper atlas and pore over the charts. I'm old-fashioned and like Norton's. That alone should keep you busy for some years.

George

Jorge Herbert

  • Active Astronomer
  • ***
  • Posts: 101
  • Activity:
    67.33%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Brand new member needing some assistance with northeastern US viewing
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 02:44:32 AM »
Geovermont

I appreciate your thoughts on the purchases, however, truth be told it's not just me that I'm buying for... I have spurred quite an interest with my oldest son, my youngest and my nephew and I have been planning this for awhile now as I see the kids wrapped up in video games and never looking up. I may sound crazy but I can assure you, I am quite rational, just scratching a long term itch and bringing some kids along for the ride as far as they'd like to go. I am attempting to learn the ins and outs basics quickly so that I can continue to foster their interest as well as my own. I am planning a messier hunt challenge for the next weekend that's clear which may be this one. I am looking for some help with the easiest objects to locate with the scopes I currently have.
You are very correct on the time outside. I have been out every night that there Is anything to see even with it freezing outside and every morning viewing Jupiter at around 4 am until it fades from view due to rising of the sun at just a bit past 7. A paper atlas? What is that? I'm joking. I will admit to never using one though. I've read that until well versed in them that they can be tough to manage because of a mental jungle gym of flipping and reversing objects when tying to locate them in the sky. And yes, it's been so cold out that I can stand it for a short bit and then come in and warm up which in turn shatters my night adapted eyes. I did forgot about double stars though... good thought and I will look up these charts as well. Thank you, sir.

Brian Ross

  • Jr. Astronomer
  • **
  • Posts: 81
  • Activity:
    54%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Brand new member needing some assistance with northeastern US viewing
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2017, 11:09:51 AM »
For your current scopes and your coming 10" I recommend getting a Telrad finder https://www.amazon.c...t/dp/B0000ALKAN and a 9x50 RACI finder like http://www.telescope...Scopes/e/49.uts , if you get bases for them for each scope you can swap them out for use on a particular scope. These make navigating intuitive and easy. To aid navigation I recommend a Planisphere like http://www.telescope...c/52/p/4110.uts and a map like http://www.telescope...c/52/p/4150.uts . For this time of year, just after dark, some of the best DSOs visible with your current scopes are M31, M36, M37, M38, and M42.

unetankem

  • Jr. Astronomer
  • **
  • Posts: 89
  • Activity:
    59.33%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Brand new member needing some assistance with northeastern US viewing
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2017, 10:03:26 PM »
Thank you Justin! I was just back to the internet trying to hunt for the best (most obvious=easy) objects that I could see with what I currently have for scopes. May be some cloud breaks tonight and I can "try" my hand at locating at least one. One would be good and then being able to repeat it whenever I want to will be my goal followed by more. I have the easy finder ii on both OTA. I admit... they seem a bit chintzy but the telrad would be a great upgrade. A planosphere... now that would be too easy. I will indeed be ordering one. Thanks again Justin.

aftilicomp

  • Jr. Astronomer
  • **
  • Posts: 73
  • Activity:
    48.67%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Brand new member needing some assistance with northeastern US viewing
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2017, 10:32:13 PM »
You're welcome. You'll indeed find the Telad much better than the EZ-Finder; others prefer the Rigel QuickFinder due to it's smaller "footprint", it's good too, but I prefer the 4° reticle the Telrad has for navigation. You'll get the hang of star-hopping pretty quickly, and the 9x50 finder/Telrad combo will make it that much easier. If it's visible tonight for you, M42 will be the easiest to find: just below Orion's belt stars, which will be low in the South-East after sunset; It's one of the, if not the most impressive visual object in the night sky, you'll find yourself revisiting it often.

As far as cold weather observing, I recommend water-proof insulated boots, wool socks, "long johns" underwear, , insulated ski pants, a wool vest, oversized insulated coat, ear muffs and wool hat. Everything should be slightly loose to allow freedom of movement. I've observed with this type of get up into the single digit temps and was comfortable, a variation (more layering) will work in colder temps. A thermos of hot cocoa (not coffee) is also your friend.

Jacob Cota

  • Jr. Astronomer
  • **
  • Posts: 86
  • Activity:
    57.33%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Brand new member needing some assistance with northeastern US viewing
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 12:39:50 AM »
Justin,
I have heard that Orion Nebula is indeed just that... brilliant. I can just see the bottom of the belt with the trees on my property the way that they are. I'll have to check tonight and see where the nebula is located based on my tree "issue" and go from there... provides the clouds break.
I have heard of both of the finders you mentioned but not tried either of them but have read good of both. Maybe I'll get both and try them and see which one rings my bell. The easy finder I feel like is a child's toy and easy to break. Did I mention they seem to shift out of alignment as well? I dunno.

nasapehe

  • Jr. Astronomer
  • **
  • Posts: 87
  • Activity:
    58%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Brand new member needing some assistance with northeastern US viewing
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2018, 07:09:42 PM »
Justin,
I missed the second part of your last message, I was using my iPhone and didn't scroll far enough. Yeah, it's warm here right now and raining and in the 40's then dropping to 2F or lower tomorrow night. I am out in the cold all the time plowing etc but I'm moving when I'm out of the truck dealing with the snow. Sitting or standing still is something I'm not used to doing with the temps that low. Your ideas are all quite sound! I almost considered bringing out a propane 100,000 btu heater and aiming it as to not interfere with the OTA but as a heat source. Last week at -9F standing air temp with feels like temps close to -20F my eyes were making ice on the eye pieces.

Paul Melo

  • Jr. Astronomer
  • **
  • Posts: 76
  • Activity:
    50.67%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Brand new member needing some assistance with northeastern US viewing
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2018, 05:02:54 PM »
Provided clouds aren't in the way, M42 is worth waiting to allow it to get higher in the sky. If this your first time seeing The Great Orion Nebula (M42), I envy you, it's kin to viewing Saturn for the first time.I use both Telrad and 9x50 finders on my 16"; the Telrad to get near my target, and the 9x50 to zero in on it. As long as some pattern of ~8 magnitude stars (limit of my SkyAtlas 2000)are visible I can find just about anything visible in the 16". If I had just one or the other, navigation would not be so easy, it's the combo that allow easy finding. The Telrad is very solid, and will hardly ever perceptibly shift over the night; magnified finder scopes will almost always shift a small degree over a night of use, you just have to get used to recalibrating them every couple of hours.

Michael Litvack

  • Jr. Astronomer
  • **
  • Posts: 92
  • Activity:
    61.33%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Brand new member needing some assistance with northeastern US viewing
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2018, 07:32:57 PM »
I have never seen m42 before. When I see it, it will be for the first time with my own eyes. I tried before but nearly froze or it was snowing or ice storm but I really want to. I will wait until it's higher in the sky, no issue there. I've only seen to date: the moon (yup, even I couldn't miss that one), Jupiter almost daily, Venus, and mars as well as some individual stars of course. I am waiting for Saturn. Patiently. Too low for me to see it as the sun is hot on its heels. As far as the finders go, the one on my little mak is pretty solid but the other is, well, not.

bamrocorna

  • Jr. Astronomer
  • **
  • Posts: 75
  • Activity:
    50%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Brand new member needing some assistance with northeastern US viewing
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2018, 08:59:02 AM »
You are in for a treat. I recommend this site http://www.cleardark...scope accessory it shows you 48 hours of pretty accurateforecast, and dark skies close to you (for example Baxter State Park has excellent dark skies). It's very helpful to me to judge whether it's worth going out to the desert to observe, I don't make the effort to trek to dark skies unless the forecast is 10% or less cloudy, average or better transparency and seeing, and wind is 5mph or less; otherwise I stick to observing from home.

refiruppho

  • Jr. Astronomer
  • **
  • Posts: 91
  • Activity:
    60.67%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Brand new member needing some assistance with northeastern US viewing
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2018, 12:02:54 PM »
Well that makes sense. It must be nice not to be hampered by the cold half of the year! Baxter is a long ways from me but where I live there is no shortage of dark skies but what I do have against me is the amount of trees! They don't call Maine the pine tree state for nothing. Not a lot of clearings and this time of year it could be three feet of snow. But I am checking out the other site right now on my iPad. What is the scope that you run? Or scopes I should say.

Adam Mann

  • Jr. Astronomer
  • **
  • Posts: 93
  • Activity:
    62%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Brand new member needing some assistance with northeastern US viewing
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 05:44:27 AM »
These days I mainly use a 16" Meade Lightbridge Dobsonian. I have a Celestron 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain that I use when I'm on (non dark sky specific) road trips, space permitting, with a CG-4 manual EQ mount. If space is tight I'll take my Celestron 80mm ED refractor instead on the same mount.I also use the 8" and 80mm (mostly the 80mm) for DSLR astrophotography on my Celestron ASGT equatorial mount.

aftilicomp

  • Jr. Astronomer
  • **
  • Posts: 73
  • Activity:
    48.67%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Brand new member needing some assistance with northeastern US viewing
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2018, 11:14:58 AM »
For a simple Messier hunt there are 3 in Auriga, then you have M42 and M45.
Suggest that you use something like Stellarium, set location and then set the DSO magnitude to 6 or 8 (F4) and apply that.
All the dimmer DSO's disappear and you are left with the "brighter" ones.
Then work through the easy constellations Ursa Maj, Auriga, Cassiopeia, Perseus, Orion, Taurus and Leo makes short lists of what is in each one. That way each bunch is in one local area of the sky.

While the moon is full(ish) many will be difficult as it tends to wash them out.

If memory serves me then on THe Astronomy League one of their programs is a Messier selection for binoculars.

Not sure what eyepieces you have but for the 90 Mak if you do not have one then get a 40mm plossl and/or a 30mm one. I was using a 90mm Mak last night and the best thing I did was drop a 40mm in it.

rossbalfigen

  • Jr. Astronomer
  • **
  • Posts: 90
  • Activity:
    60%
  • Reputation: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Brand new member needing some assistance with northeastern US viewing
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2018, 03:44:55 AM »
Well I am a tiny bit jealous... telescope envy. Sad really.