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Complete Newbie from Notts

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Hi all!

I'm pretty new to all the stuff, I got my first 'proper' telescope this christmas (skywatcher 150p dob) and I've been having a great time with it. There's quite a bit of light pollution where I live but I've still managed to get some nice views of brighter objects - certainly better than my shaky hands and binoculars!!

Attended a Nottingham Astronomical Society meeting in December (great talk by Prof Lucie Green!), but haven't been able to go to another one since. I'm looking forward to the next one, I'll most likely be registering as a member.

I think I'd maybe like to learn about astrophotography further down the line, but for the time being I'm enjoying just observing and getting more familiar with the sky. All seems very complicated, I'm having a great time exploring and hopping between objects. Taking a few pictures of the moon with the scope and an iPhone has impressed my family though!!


Any one got any advice for things I should invest in? At the minute I've got the two eyepieces it came with (10 & 25mm) and a cheap 2x barlow, do I need to get any more bits or should they be good enough for a while?

 I've seen people online making adjustments to the mount to make movements more smooth, might take a stab at something like that. 


This has gotten a bit long, oops! Looking forward to meeting people 

- Siobhan

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Hi all! I'm pretty new to all the stuff, I got my first 'proper' telescope this christmas (skywatcher 150p dob) and I've been having a great time with it. There's quite a bit of light pollution w

Welcome to the forum  Siobhan, You've come to the right place for information and help.

Quite a lot of folk on here use Dobs and have modified them in different ways.

As far as gear goes a Telrad red light finder (Check it out on First Light Optics website) 

and an eyepiece upgrade would be my first thoughts but others may offer better suggestions.

Good luck


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Hi Siobhan and welcome!

The best thing about online forums is when you get to meet face-to-face. 

When weather permits we get out to one or other of our dark sites (Alderwasley, near Belper Derbys. or Wymeswold, Leics). 

This would be a good way to meet up with other active astrofolk, sort out hassles and get advice.

Keep an eye on the Meets sections to see what's happening.



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Hi Siobhan, a warm welcome to the group.


That's a great scope and will give you some great views of what is up there. There are some modifications that can make viewing more comfortable straight away without getting the tool box out. A RACI  (Right Angle Correct Image) Finder saves your back and neck no end, this fits straight into the finder shoe. 

Something like this.  https://www.firstlightoptics.com/finders/skywatcher-9x50-right-angled-erecting-finderscope.html


Another upgrade to the experience would, as you mentioned, be some better eyepieces. Again these don't need to cost the earth and you really need to have a look through one before buying as they are subjective to the user.  The BST Starguider eyepieces are well regarded for the money, I had some when they first came out and had them for a good while.




I would suggest you keep to something like you have at the moment, ie. a 25mm and something like a 8-10mm. After that start finding ones that suit your eyes and allow you to see what you want to find.

Deep sky objects are great, but in a light polluted spot, don't forget the Moon, there is loads to see on there and that can keep you busy for a good while.


Make yourself at home and ask any questions you might have.



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Hi and welcome to EMS.


As Martyn has said you have a great scope which under dark skies will show you almost everything out there that's worth looking at. You need to know where to look of course as your dob is not computer controlled. This is where a planetarium software comes in, take a look at either Stellarium or Cartes du Ciel in google. There is also a great book called Turn left at Orion.


Also come along to dark site meet, then you will be able to chat to like minded people, try looking through different scopes and eyepieces.


Take time and look through the forum, theres loads of helpful advice and hopefully we will see you soon.

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Hi Siobhan, welcome.


I can recommend 'Sky Safari' which is a Planetarium app for your phone or tablet.


Theres so many really good eyepieces out there these days you are spoilt for choice.

Also consider buying used if you can.......most people in the hobby really look after

their astro gear, and some of the things you can buy used (like eyepieces) are literally as good as new for loads less money.

I've brought plenty of stuff second hand over the years, and never been disappointed.


Hope to see you at a meet someday 🙂

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  • 2 weeks later...
Barry Gowans

Welcome Siobhan.


I’m also a bit of a newb (only started up a year ago) but I’ve found the dark site meetings really helpful.  Learned loads from the guys I’ve met there. All really friendly.


I’m a member of Notts Astro society too but I’ve only ever managed one meet there. The talks look decent though 



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