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Recently retired and keen to learn about space and all it contains. Trying to navigate around this site but, technology doesn't always work as I assume it should, so struggling a little. However, practice makes perfect and, hopefully, what i'm posting will be available for others to read.

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Thanks to Ron, Doc, Clive and Baz for the replies and warm welcome. I have a feeling I should have joined EMS some years ago!  Clive, you are so right about retirement, enjoying life as much as I

Hi Brantuk, and thanks for the welcome. I followed RonC's advice and loaded Stellarium to my mobile last night, and was instantly blown away! I've been an avid bird-watcher for many years and hav

If you get 'Turn left at Orion' which is a great book by the way, i recommend buying it in 'ring  / spiral bound' format. Much better if you want to use it outside.   Take a look below

Welcome to the group Keith. If you have any questions then ask away, I'm sure someone will have an answer for you. 

 

Have you a telescope or binoculars?

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Hi there, and thank you for the prompt reply. I have no specific telescope but instead use a good quality pair of binoculars and spotting scope, which were purchased for one of my other interests, bird watching. Having once looked through a top quality telescope, I realise my equipment is a little inadequate for sky watching but, hopefully, as time goes by, and  with expert advice from members, I will be guided towards the correct equipment needed.

Regards,

Keith.

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Hi Keith and welcome to the forum. I and some others on here are also birders so you're in good company!

Ask away as someone will be able to help you I'm sure and use your bins to find your way around the sky.

One program that most use is easy to download and it's called Stellarium which you can find at

 

stellarium.org/en_GB it's a sky map in real time and quite easy to set up, but shout out if there is a problem!

Good luck and clear sky's

Ron

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Welcome Keith, I've found one of the bonuses of retirement is that you can spend as long as you like looking at the stars without the worry of not getting up in time for work the next day ☺

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Hi Keith, a warm welcome to the forum. As mentioned your binoculars and spotting scope are a great start to the hobby and will bag you a good few objects. If you are after a scope, let us know what you want it to achieve and a rough budget, we can then happily help you spend your money and try and get you the best bang for your buck. I am assuming you will be visual to start with, but some people go to the dark side and start taking pictures of stuff, which generally makes them grumpy and swear a lot! 😆

Enjoy your stay.

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Hello Ron, and thank you for the advice, I'll have a look at it tomorrow. I will say though, it will probably prompt a flood of questions. So, advance warning issued!

Cheers,

Keith.

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Thanks to Ron, Doc, Clive and Baz for the replies and warm welcome. I have a feeling I should have joined EMS some years ago! 

Clive, you are so right about retirement, enjoying life as much as I do I wish I had taken retirement at 25 , lol.

Baz, being a Yorkshireman (and a frugal one at that) prompts me to say I would like to achieve NASA quality views, and on a budget of around £5, lol.

Seriously, I really don't know what I want to achieve (as I don't know what's achievable at my level) or what level of budget I want to spend. Maybe, as I get more involved, I'll become more informed and knowledgable. Does that sound sensible?

Regards everyone,

Keith

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Hello Keith.

 

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My advice would be to start off with a small refractor like the Sky-Watcher (Synta) ST80 or ST102. They are relatively inexpensive and quite good quality for what they cost. They are light enough for a lightweight mount and tripod. A small portable scope like this can be great fun, and fairly easy to set-up and deploy rapidly before the clouds come lol. My small refractors get out far more than my larger scopes. A small refractor can help you learn the sky and pave the way for bigger and more complex scopes.

 

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T-shirt size fits all lol.

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I would suggest getting to know your way round the sky, get to be familiar with constellations and landmark stars. A suggested first purchase would be a half decent star atlas, a good few of us use the Sky and Telescope Pocket Star Atlas, it has plasticised pages so it doesn't turn soggy after a bit of dew. Some people use software on the phone or tablet, but that ruins my night vision, I don't use it unless I am desperate for specific info.

Don't forget you will need warm clothing, getting cold really knocks the fun out of it. Be comfortable, have a chair handy to have five min's and have a warm drink handy in a flask.

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Hi Keith, welcome aboard. All good advice above, but I would also recommend "Turn left at orion". Great book to get you started with lots of achieveable targets even for your bins and spotting scope. Any questions just shout.

 

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Once again, thanks to Nightspore, Bottletopburly, Baz, and Tuckstar for the fabulous advice. 

Busy providing Covid-necessary education to two of my Grandsons at the moment but, after 'school', I will definately be seeking out and exploring the many snippets of sound advice that I've received in the time since I first posted (less than 12 hours!).

Thank you all.

Regards,

Keith.

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Hi Keith and welcome to EMS 🙂

 

Bins are a great way to learn the constellations and start finding your way around the sky. Jupiter is a smashing first object with bins - spot the 4 moons and their changing phases, and also M44 (Behive Cluster) currently in the sky. Have you ever looked at the moon in your bins?  Also - M31 (Andromeda galaxy) will knock your socks off in bins once you know how to find it.

Google Stellarium - it's a very user friendly way of discovering what's in the sky over your location any time of the year. Just set your time and location and away you go - and it's totally free to download!

 

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Hi Brantuk, and thanks for the welcome. I followed RonC's advice and loaded Stellarium to my mobile last night, and was instantly blown away!

I've been an avid bird-watcher for many years and have accumulated a decent arsenal of top quality bins, scopes and camera equipment, but it's never dawned on me to utilise any of it for astronomy purposes. I can think of a number of descriptions that former pupils would use to describe this omission and can only blame old age and mental infirmity, lol.

However, things will change drastically when I get home and sort out my equipment (based in Sheffield at the moment, due to Corvid restrictions). I can see that retirement is going to become even more exciting from now on, especially as I'm invariably drawn to the dark side.

Cheers now,

Keith.

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Good evening Kev, and thank you for the welcome. I first posted last night and have been awed by the warm welcomes and extremely useful advice that I received. I have spent some time today navigating around the site and reading items on the forums.

Looking forward to subscribing and, hopefully, making use of the two dark sites. 

Cheers now,

Keith.

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Hi and welcome from a dark sider. Learn all you can first with bins. Talk to folks a lot. Then decide how you want to proceed. The dark side is very rewarding but can prove expensive. You start small and then get sucked in to bigger and better things. Lol

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Hello Sheila, sorry for the late reply. Thank you for the sensible advice, I'm sure it will save me lots of money when I eventually sign up to the dark side, lol.

Kind regards,

Keith 

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Welcome Keith. As you can see, you have come ti the right place for advice, there,s not much more I can add to the already sage advice except to highlight hiw good binoculars and a goid star atlas are for finding your way around. Learning the sky seems daunting at first but once you have the main constellations bagged, things get easier.

I have various scopes and cameras but still love to sit and observe with my 10x42 birding binos. In fact a few years ago, these were tge only kit I took to a large star party, Kelling, and it was refreshing and reminded me where everything was.

When restrictions ease and the dark sites are allowed to open I would recommend coming along ti a meet and having a look through various scooes.

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Thanks Phil Jay, only been posting two days and already feel part of something exciting. As soon as restrictions ease I can get home and start using all the birding bins and scopes that I have. Maybe, as vaccines are rolled out and encompass our age group, I may not be that far away from being able to meet with all  you good people and subscribing to the group.

Cheers now,

Keith.

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Good afternoon all,

Browsing book sites with a view to purchasing the Sky and Telescope Pocket Star Atlas. It's printed in two formats; Pocket and Jumbo.

Any advice on which of the two is preferential in use (In practical terms) would be very much appreciated. Also, would the purchase of "Turn left at Orion" be an added accompaniment, or would it repeat the same information?

Cheers now everyone

Keith.

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