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Stargazing Looked through an observatory telescope for the first time today

  1. Jul 19, 2008 #1
    ...and it was INCREDIBLE! Here in Gilbert, AZ (basically on the outskirt of Phoenix) by the bird riparium there's a small observatory with a 16" telescope. We went up there and looked at Jupiter, Saturn, the moon, some stars, and the moons orbiting Jupiter and Saturn. I was stunned to actually see the rings of Saturn, and the moons orbiting it. The moon was breathtaking, too, but supposidly it's better to look at it when it's a half or quarter moon (so the craters have shadows). Definitely a big step up from my crappy little 114mm Meade. Do you have a telescope or go to an observatory? If you have a telescope, what kind? A guy could really get into this astronomy thing...:biggrin:

    I can't wait to go out to California in fall and take a peak through the 200" telescope out there.:wink:
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 19, 2008 #2
    There is an opportunity for me to visit our schools observatory. I was considering it. But im curious, do you just see the white dots as bigger white dots, or can you actually see anything like galaxies and stuff?
  4. Jul 19, 2008 #3
    With my 4" I could only see dots when looking at Jupiter or Saturn, but with the 16" you can actually see the planet. I asked the operator of the telescope if one could look at Andromeda through it and see amazing detail, and he said you wouldn't be able to recognize much because the telescope would be focusing on the stuff half a degree wide, and Andromeda is 2 degrees wide (you wouldn't know what you're looking at because it's too big to fit in the telescope!). He said to look at that galaxy you should just use a good pair of binoculars. I didn't ask about other galaxies, but I might tomorrow or the next time I go.
  5. Jul 19, 2008 #4
    I have a pair of binos at home, but where in the sky do you look? I want to see a galaxy, with spiral arms, and UFOs and possibly a death star and destroyer battle ship.
  6. Jul 19, 2008 #5
    Sorry but you can't see the arms with binocular resolution! you can however see Andromeda galaxy as a better blur patch than what you eyes can see at dark site (Andromeda is a naked-eye object at sufficiently dark sky!).
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