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I got a telescope what to see?

  1. Jan 3, 2014 #1
    I got the celestron firstscope what to see now?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 3, 2014 #2


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    The universe.

    But seriously, your best bet is to get a guide to the night sky. There are plenty of books you can get. Other than that, Jupiter is an excellent target. It's about at opposition, which means that we are as close to it as we will get for the year so it will look as big as it will get until next year. You can find it in the constellation Gemini after it gets dark and it will be the brightest star-like object in the night sky.
  4. Jan 3, 2014 #3


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    With that telescope, you should be able to comfortably observe:
    The Moon - try drawing your own map of surface features, or finding all major craters and mares
    Venus - observe the planet over many days, and see if you can notice the changing phases
    Mars - not much to do here but enjoy the blurry red disc
    Jupiter - probably you won't see any cloud bands, but you should be able to see the four galilean moons. See if you can find a way to measure their orbital periods.
    Saturn - you may not be able to see the rings as separate from the planetary disc, but the non-circularity of it should be obvious.

    And finally, the Sun(Do not look at it directly! Project the image onto a cardboard screen) - you'll see the sunspots quite distinctly. Count their changing numbers and positions over an extended period. Compare with past solar activity records. Calculate their lifetime. Try to figure out the direction of the axis of Sun's rotation.

    Other than that, take a look at Pleiades and Hyades, to find out how many more stars are hiding in those clusters. See if you can observe the vague blur of Orion Nebula or the Andromeda galaxy(on the Northern Hemisphere; Magellanic Clouds in the South).
  5. Jan 3, 2014 #4

    The first things I managed to find back when I gift mine were the Gas Clouds in the Orion Belt area....and after much

    patience I found Andromeda.

    It's was incredible to see something like that.

  6. Jan 3, 2014 #5
    Gotta' know where to go first. And in that regards, there is nothing better in my opinion than the Sky and Telescope Almanac. It's a 2-page, richly-detailed mapping of everything commonly seeable in the night sky the year round, and more so, easy to follow to figure out where to look and more importantly, when to look to see it. It's about 5 dollars but should be in the January issue if it's still available.

    I recommend this thread be moved to the Astronomy forum.
  7. Jan 3, 2014 #6


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    Finding stuff in the night sky is an art unto itself, and quite difficult. All the cool stuff, aside from planets, are fainter than you might expect. It takes a practiced eye to elicit details.
  8. Jan 3, 2014 #7


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    This would be a great time to search out double-stars and see how good your optics are...
  9. Jan 4, 2014 #8


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    Jupiter is the object to observe in the coming months. It's quite entertaining. :)

    Learn your stars and constellations so you can align your mount if it's a goto. Learn how to do any maintenance/collimating/set up as well.

    Look into observing techniques like adverted vision for some of the more fainter fuzzies.
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