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Guest General Cluster
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Guest General Cluster

Hi everyone,

complete newbie here: I've always preferred to look up rather than down and have decided to take the plunge even though I suspect this may lead me over to "the dark side!"

Like a lot of people growing up I had a small refractor which was aimed at the moon on a few occasions. I can't wait to see what some decent aperture will reveal.

Sounds like there's a dark sky site 20 mins up the road Minninglow, Pikehall (DE4 2PN) which will give up more than my paved South facing garden!!

In the next week or two my first scope should be on order (after a large amount of unused fishing tackle hits Ebay). In the mean time I'm off into the forum for some advice on a first scope.

Tight lines.

No, hold on: Dark Skies ;-D

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Hi, welcome aboard. Never underestimate a south facing vista, that's where the best bits are;-). Get along to a meet if you can before you start spending money. Getting a look and feel for some of the kit available could save you alot of money in the long run. Dark skies are Coming slowly but surely and then everyone starts to come out a bit more.

All the best.

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Hello and welcome to the forum.

I see you have a pair of bins already so that's a good start for a nice wide FOV.

With regards to a first scope, I echo what has been said before, are you looking to do visual, astro photography or a bit of both?

That coupled with cost and portability all add up to helping you decide what to get.

If you have any questions fire away in the relevant section and someone will be along to give you an answer.

Unfortunately the forum seems rather quiet these days, I'm sure it will pick up once the long dark nights draw in (I can't wait).

Hope you enjoy the forum.

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Guest General Cluster

With regards to first scope it will be purely visual, and as I don't really know what type of visuals will grab me I'm looking for a bit of an all rounder: decent focal length for planets and a reasonable aperture for the brighter nebulae, etc. Portability & cooling time are the main factors affecting any decision. Although my garden's South facing, there's fields behind my house, and there's dark skies 20 minutes away, I spend 95% of my time working away. This means two things:

1. I have access to some very dark skies,

2. My scope will live in my van.

With what should be somewhere in the region of £1,400 to spend on starting up I'm thinking along the lines of a Celestron C6 on an equatorial mount, saving £300-£400 for eyepieces, dew shields, etc - eventually I want a motorised mount but not sure about GoTo although if using in light polluted skies may be tricky to locate stars to navigate.

I like a challenge, get bored easy and I'm a sucker for punishment btw.

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Guest Tweedledum

hi Mark,


 


Warm welcome to EMS..That's a great budget, aim higher, have a look at a c8 on a wedge, though others will advise to go down the apo refractor route for imaging. It really is up to you depending on your leaning to the dark side. Minninglow and other places on the high peaks trail especially where the car parks are out of the way are great sites.


 


But before you part with cash come down and have a look at what others have and what might suit you best. When you have ten mins download a planetarium program, plenty out there but try Stellarium, its great and free to be found here :-- http://www.stellarium.org/


 


Also have a look at 'turn left at orion' and 'sky&telescope pocket star atlas' these will help guide you round the sky. But do invest in 'making every photon count' this will save you cash & tears if your bent is imaging.

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Welcome to EMS Mark.

Your binoculars are going to be very useful before and after you have a telescope.

You are not far from our Belper dark site, where you can learn a lot by looking through other people's equipment and chatting to us.

Cheers,

Pete.

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Hi Mark,


 


i went up to the Minniglow site to take a look, if you have a 4 wheel drive jeep you will be OK :lol:  there are no car parks that i could find.  Well there


was one a little way away but it was surrounded by high trees.  If you find anywhere that I did not, please let me know as its not far to travel especially as our dark site


at Belper is not really available in the summer months due to the cricket..  When I went up there the sky looked really dark :D


 


welcome to EMS :)


 


Sheila


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Hi Mark, a warm welcome to EMS.


 


I can only echo other comments, come along and have a look at some kit, the pictures don't always give you the full story with regard to size and weight.


Most of us chose the wrong scope to start with, spending time before money is a good investment.


 


Feel free to ask any questions you have, and someone will be along with some help.


 


Enjoy the forum. :)


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Guest Tweedledum

@Sheila,


 


If you go to Pikehall and go up the marked  P site there is a reasonable parking spot there. Also good sites on the road down 'rook avenue' so you have good car access.


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Guest General Cluster

Thanks everyone for your advice and welcomes. I'm off to check out the Pikehall area tomorrow morning for future excursions, I'll check Rook Avenue too and post info back in here - thanks for the heads up Tweedledum.

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Guest Tweedledum

@general cluster, roook ave is the road at the other end of the 9m round walk....it gives access to a farm, if you turn right at the farm you can drive to a little hill! Excellent all round views, but under flight path to mchester airport.

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