Author Topic: Learning a new Father/Son Hobby  (Read 1133 times)

unoritvie

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Learning a new Father/Son Hobby
« on: December 24, 2017, 09:08:18 AM »
Hello all,
I am looking for a book to help my son and I understand the night sky before we make our very first telescope buy.  We are in need of something very basic.  Thanks Beforehand.



Jim Parker

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Re: Learning a new Father/Son Hobby
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2017, 10:56:08 AM »
Get a planisphere like this one HERE, follow the directions on itand then go out at night and look up!

I would also suggest a fantastic set of binoculars, 10X50s will probably be OK, Amazon carries a nice selection.  Remember, you can spend nearly up to a bino setup as a extent, but I do not think that is necessary.

In order to get a fantastic book, I would suggest THIS.

Hope this helps!

Clear skies!

CB

Oh!  And welcome to Cloudy nights!

Matt Gibbs

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Re: Learning a new Father/Son Hobby
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2017, 05:32:12 PM »
For a book, try Turn Left at Orion: http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/0521153972

Also try the free software Stellarium: http://www.stellarium.org/
It shows you the sky as it looks from where you live. Obviously if you start it in the day, it will show you the sun and blue sky. Fast forward to after sunset.

Carl Hanks

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Re: Learning a new Father/Son Hobby
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2018, 07:06:52 AM »
Both of those books are great. the first one is more of an overview, while Turn Left is oriented more toward what you can expect to see, and where. As I say, both are very worthwhile.

sihealhdoggse

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Re: Learning a new Father/Son Hobby
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2018, 01:13:04 PM »
I don't have a book suggestion but I'll second the Stellarium free software. My 7yr old loves to play around and he even came home from school last week with a list of 4 dwarf planets to look up. Stellarium had them all. He really likes looking at the planets and the moon with it too.

Adam Mann

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Re: Learning a new Father/Son Hobby
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2018, 04:49:08 AM »
IAU sky charts can be downloaded free. The PDF files can be printed out and the GIF files work well on a mobile device.
http://www.iau.org/p...tellations/#cas

Astro League has programs and awards that you may find useful.
https://www.astrolea...rvingClubs.html 

Here are some affordable 10X50 binoculars.
http://www.ebay.com/...aAAAOSwKIpWFTUq

Justin Lewis

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Re: Learning a new Father/Son Hobby
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2018, 07:50:08 AM »
I agree, both of those books are excellent. If you would like something a little more accessible, if your son is young, 'Nightwatch', also by Terry Dickinson (author of the already recommended 'The Backyard Astronomer's Guide').

And welcome to Cloudy Nights! I hope you and your son enjoy many happy years under the stars!

crypagsperless

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Re: Learning a new Father/Son Hobby
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 03:02:52 AM »
+1 for Turn Left at Orion.

trapoutampub

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Re: Learning a new Father/Son Hobby
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2018, 07:07:27 AM »
10x50 binoculars

Nightwatch, Dickenson, has lunar, solar, and star maps that includes the constellation figures. Spiral bound and viewable with a red lens light so it makes for a great outdoors reference. I prefer it over Left Turn at Orion (also has lunar, solar, star maps but doesn't work as well at my early level, purely personal).

Planisphere.

Backyard Astronomer, Dickenson and Dyer, is my all time favorite, a coffee table sized reference and good for bedtime reading even, great advice on getting into this hobby, the one book I keep going back to (among my dozen references). Inconvenient (large) for outdoors use.

Welcome to CN.

Adam Mann

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Re: Learning a new Father/Son Hobby
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2018, 10:11:31 AM »
The planisphere is easier reading held overhead or imagine held aloft. That's why if orient N North like a map E and W inverted. Sometimes this (minor?) detail overlooked at first. Easy to get use to reading inverted map. No deadline to final test of having fun! The sky and contents will still be there. Good plan of asking questions here before first purchase of telescope or... If astronomy club close by check into night of looking through others equipment and listen. Plenty of good stuff to choose from, More important find out easy way what Not to choose.

grafpievimel

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Re: Learning a new Father/Son Hobby
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2018, 10:54:04 AM »
Quote
Backyard Astronomy, Dickenson and Dyer, is my all time favorite.
Backyard Astronomy is a great book, but I think it's too fierce for the average beginner. Certainly not "really, really basic" as requested by the original poster.Nightwatch would be a much better bet.

Marvin Neboet

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Re: Learning a new Father/Son Hobby
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2018, 09:44:10 AM »
Quote
For a book, try Turn Left at Orion: http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/0521153972

Also try the free software Stellarium: http://www.stellarium.org/
It shows you the sky as it looks from where you live. Obviously if you start it in the day, it will show you the sun and blue sky. Fast forward to after sunset.


Rather than retype it let me say that I would have made this same suggestion. I use Stellarium almost every day. And TLAO will set your expectation properly as what things will actually look like in binoculars and in a telescope. They don't look like the Hubble telescope pictures.

I started with 10X50 binoculars and spent 2 months laying out in the yard looking up at the sky and getting to know what was up there. It was exciting to start to recognize things and to feel acquainted with the stars as I walked out my front door. 10 X50s are the best for hand held. Don't be tempted to go to higher mag as you get too much shake in the image at higher mag and some people prefer 7 or 8X.

If you have the money you can get some really niceones for about $100 BUT my first pair cost me $25 from Harbor Freight. Inexpensive and Harbor Freight often has coupons so you can get them for $20. With these you can see a lot more than you can with the naked eye. I just sold mine to a friend for $10 to help him get going. I may get another pair.
http://www.harborfre...lars-94527.html

My other companion under the stars was a Planisphere. Your son will likely prefer something for the phone or tablet, like SkEye, but I found the planisphere great!
http://www.amazon.co..._=sr_1_3&sr=8-3

The binoculars will not go to waste once you get your telescope. I have 3 telescopes and I use my binoculars as much as the telescopes. For quick 10-15 minute sessions, for travel, you can't beat binoculars and they are great for daytime use too.

coreanoguf

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Re: Learning a new Father/Son Hobby
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2018, 01:02:55 AM »
All of the above and join an astronomy club If you are lucky enough to have one in your area

Jason Pederes

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Re: Learning a new Father/Son Hobby
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2018, 06:42:17 AM »
Again, Thanks for all the suggestions. I've purchased a planisphere that Viking 1 recommended. Also, I purchased a planetarium from smithsonian to get my 3 year old son's brain flowing. Hopefully this will be the start of him and I building life long memories together.

Ryan Hernandez

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Re: Learning a new Father/Son Hobby
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2018, 06:56:26 PM »
Quote
Again, Thanks for all the suggestions. I've purchased a planisphere that Viking 1 recommended. Also, I purchased a planetarium from smithsonian to get my 3 year old son's brain flowing. Hopefully this will be the start of him and I building life long memories together.


A planetarium? One that projects stars on the walls and ceiling? Brilliant move for a 3 year old. That should get him going.

A real fun tool for YOU is a 5 MW green laser pointer. As you become more familiar with the sky you can use this to point to the stars to help him see what you are showing him. I use mine during sessions where I have friends over. It helps a lot. But it is not a toy for him.