how do i find objects in space?

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ste_06

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im new to this and iv got myself a telescope but i dont understand how to find objects in space. it got dials on it so if anyone could let me know how i use them and maybe afew co-ordinates to interesting objects to get me started that would be good. thank you. im from the uk.
 
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eosophobiac

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A good star guide would be a great place to start. I'd recommend, "The Stars: a new way to see them" by H. A. Rey. It was recommended to me by a fellow SDC'er (forget who) but it's a very basic, easy to understand book, with illustrations that are easily interpreted. <br />Plus, as everyone always suggests, try going to a local astronomy club and get some help from the members there.<br />I'm sure someone with more ideas/suggestions will be along shortly; good luck with your telescope!<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> </p> </div>
 
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CalliArcale

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What kind of mount does it have?<br /><br /><b>Alt-Az</b><br />This is short for altitude-azimuth, and it's a very old style of mount. Galileo's telescope was a refractor on an alt-az mount, which itself was adapted from artillery useage. When the telescope is correctly aligned, you can use the altitude and azimuth settings to aim at an object identifed by those coordinates.<br /><br /><b>Ra-Dec</b><br />Radial Ascencion/Declination. Equitorial mounts are usually annotated in this format. This is another system of astronomical coordinates. With these, you can set to a particular coordinate and there you go.<br /><br />There are drawbacks to using these settings, though. It is only as accurate as the telescope's settings, and as accurate as your positioning of the scope. If you're a bit off of true north, it'll be useless.<br /><br />So most backyard astronomers don't bother with either of these systems except as a guide to finding really difficult targets like faint nebulas or Pluto (often after checking accuracy on an easy target). Instead, they use starmaps and eyeball it. "Star-hopping" is a popular strategy: you find a star that's easy to spot and identify, then use it to help get you to a harder-to-find star that's nearby, and then use *that* star to get to an even tougher target, and so on.<br /><br />The best thing to do is get some starmaps. You can get them online from a variety of sources, such as Your Sky or you can get planetarium software to generate them for you.<br /><br />Start with easy targets, to familiarize yourself with the process of aligning your telescope. The Moon's a great place to start, since it's hard to miss, but be warned: it's painfully bright except when it's just a thin crescent. Next, try to find some of the major planets. Right now, good targets include Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars. (Saturn and Mars are approaching conjunction.) Mercury is also visible in the evening if yo <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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ste_06

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thank you people. its a equatorial mount. i'll check out the moon tonight. thanks again from both of you!
 
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ste_06

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i checked out that bbc site. its been helpful! thanks for the link!
 
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doubletruncation

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<font color="yellow">i'll check out the moon tonight</font><br /><br />As Calli mentioned - the moon can be painfully bright if it's not a crescent. If you find this to be the case, one very simple trick you can do is to just put your hand or a sheet of paper in front of most of the aperture. Don't worry, if your telescope is focused on the moon you won't see your hand just like you don't see the secondary mirror for a reflecting telescope, it'll just make it dimmer and easier to look at. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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agnau

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Or if you got that attachment I mentioned in your advice post you could just dim the display.
 
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ste_06

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its been very cloudy recently so havent had chance to use the scope yet but tomorrow looks promising according to the weather on tv. i will try that trick doubletruncatirn if thats the case. is the attachment ideal for planet observation too? and another question; when looking through a telescope is it correct for the object to be upside down? iv been aligning the finderscope and the images are upside down.
 
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Saiph

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just a basic tip: During daylight, get used to how the scope moves, and <i><b>absolutely</b></i> make sure the finder scope is aligned properly and it won't get messed with too much when the real viewing begins. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p align="center"><font color="#c0c0c0"><br /></font></p><p align="center"><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">----</font></em></font><font color="#666699">SaiphMOD@gmail.com </font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">-------------------</font></em></font></p><p><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">"This is my Timey Wimey Detector.  Goes "bing" when there's stuff.  It also fries eggs at 30 paces, wether you want it to or not actually.  I've learned to stay away from hens: It's not pretty when they blow" -- </font></em></font><font size="1" color="#999999">The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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ste_06

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iv worked out how the scope moves, thats not a problem. thanks for the tip!
 
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