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Any budding astronomers?

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Re: Any budding astronomers?

Stellarium. By far the best astronomical free software I've ever seen. It was recommended on this forum some time ago.
It can be downloaded here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/stellarium/
If you haven't already got it Mav, highly recommended.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Re: Any budding astronomers?

Further searches (for Meade) brought up Opticon telescopes:
Any knowledge of these? Are they, perhaps, re-badged Meades?
TELESCOPE OPTICON 114F900A and Telescope OPTICON DISCOVERY 900/114 .
I had thought about buying a new Meade similar to that in Journey's link then thought I may as well buy from eBay and pay the petrol to collect it. Not sure if I really want to do the journey, though.
New ones are around the £150 mark.

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Re: Any budding astronomers?

Check this one out: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Telescope-OPTICON-Sky-Navigator-700-70-3-LENSES-525x-HD-FILM-2-ATLASSES-/2...
The mount while still alt azimuth looks as if it will be easier to use with its worm drive controls.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Re: Any budding astronomers?

From what I have been reading it appears that a larger diameter allows more light offering greater clarity.
I'm now leaning more towards the OPTICON DISCOVERY 900/114 I linked to above.

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Re: Any budding astronomers?

Those Opticons seem to be shipped from Poland - not sure what would happen if I had issues and I would have to pay return carriage (doubt if they are covered by the DSRs).
And with many others just too far away I am wondering about this (lots of good reviews and a few bad ones) or little more expensive (5 good reviews and 1 bad).
A Celestron was mentioned previously.
So many choices and variables Cheesy

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Re: Any budding astronomers?

Quote from: Mav
From what I have been reading it appears that a larger diameter allows more light offering greater clarity.

That's about right, it the diameter of the mirror in the reflector or the diameter of the object lens in the refractors.
@Petlew: thanks for the link, Just downloaded Stellarium, first impression is very favourable, but it is going to take me some time to wean myself off of home planet in which all the stella/sky objects are backed by a series excel (LibreOffice) spreadsheets (csv files) that can be deleted from or added to, then displayed, so recent and future satellite launches or crashes can be included/excluded.
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Re: Any budding astronomers?

Two of your links are the same telescope.
Think I'd go for the Jessops, the aperture size is bigger than the Celestron <more light gathering> and at least you should have some come-back with Jessops in the event of a problem.
Possibly the Jessops is a re-badged Opticon on a different (better) mount certainly some of its spec is similar.
Didn't you say earlier on you'd read a poor review of the Jessops? maybe not.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Re: Any budding astronomers?

Quote from: Petlew
Two of your links are the same telescope.

Oops, link for the first changed.
Edit: I think the £79.99 may be OK based on what I've been reading and advise given here. Need a starting point - see my last comment in this message.
Quote from: Petlew
Didn't you say earlier on you'd read a poor review of the Jessops? maybe not.

That was the Vivitar.
Looked at so many they're all beginning to look the same now Cheesy

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Re: Any budding astronomers?

Yep! quite right, go for the 1100 102 if you're going down the Jessops route.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Re: Any budding astronomers?

Mav do you know where to find the Pole star? it will help you considerably to set up if you do.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Re: Any budding astronomers?

Quote from: Petlew
Think I'd go for the Jessops, the aperture size is bigger than the Celestron <more light gathering> and at least you should have some come-back with Jessops in the event of a problem.
Possibly the Jessops is a re-badged Opticon on a different (better) mount certainly some of its spec is similar.
Didn't you say earlier on you'd read a poor review of the Jessops? maybe not.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20958659
They clawed their way back to become a shadow of their former selves... Cheesy

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Re: Any budding astronomers?

Quote from: Petlew
Mav do you know where to find the Pole star? it will help you considerably to set up if you do.

Nope Wink
It's something SWMBO and I can work together on once the telescope is bought and set up.
But any pointers (pun intended) would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Any budding astronomers?

An pastime you could try is spotting satellites (artificial ones).
When the sun is setting the light illuminates the satellites.
You need patience and reasonable eyesight.  Cheesy

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Re: Any budding astronomers?

@Mav, finding and using the pole star for setting a telescope is essential knowledge (especially for equatorial mounts) The star <proper name Polaris> which is not especially bright lays in the constellation of Ursa Minor <the Little Bear>. Look directly north and the pole star will be very roughly a bit over two thirds of the distance from the horizon to the directly overhead, for telescope setting you will need to know your latitude as well. Take a look at some of the photo's of telescopes around this thread and the angle of the tubes to the horizontal will give you an idea as they will be set to the pole star in one of their axis.
Many people are aware of the much brighter constellation of Ursa Major <the Great Bear> better known in the UK as the Plough (but known as the Big Dipper in the USA if you happen to be reading American material). Fortunately these two constellations are loosely similar "shapes" (the Little Bear looks like a smaller version of the Plough) and are fairly close together, so if you can recognise the Plough finding the pole star is easy then, following a line through two of its stars will take you to the pole star.
Casually drop a few of those names around SWMBO and impress her with your knowledge.
Since the Earth's north pole points (almost but not quite but not enough to bother the amateur astronomer) directly at the pole star, everything else you can see in the night sky from the northern hemisphere "seems" to rotate around Polaris.
On the other side of the pole star lays the easy to recognise constellation of Cassiopeia shaped like a quite bright lop-sided W,  Polaris lays between Cassiopeia and the Plough. Its odd but once you know where the pole star is it becomes very easy to spot it even if some of the pointers to it are cloud covered.
Here is a simple if not actually astronomical description of finding the pole star http://survivaltopics.com/how-to-find-the-north-star/ Patrick Moore's book you ordered will also have this information.  
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Re: Any budding astronomers?

I have Google Sky Map on my android smart-phone which is very useful for guiding me to star and constellation locations.
In it you can do a search for a particular star (Polaris) and it will guide you to it.

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