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Me the absolute amateur

  1. Jul 1, 2009 #1
    Well, I am an absolute beginner at astronomy, but I'm really very interested..I want to start stargazing and observing space and studying space and stuff. can anybody help me? I dont have a telescope or any written material or guides or anything related to space...so any suggestions will be of great help! ( also i'm from mumbai , india. so if anyone knows about any local help, that would be great!)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 1, 2009 #2
  4. Jul 1, 2009 #3


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    If you want to go stargazing, Sky and Telescope (http://www.skyandtelescope.com/) is arguably the best amateur astronomy magazine. It has a basic beginner's guide here: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/howto/basics/How_to_Start_Right_in_Astronomy.html. I'd recommend going out on a night when the moon is up and using the star charts in the guide to learn the constellations. Once you spend a day or two on learning how to navigate around the sky, actually finding objects of interest will become much easier.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  5. Jul 2, 2009 #4


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    Online telescopes are a new and fun place to poke around. The NASA site also has a terrific selection of Hubble photos. You dont absolutely need a telescope these days, although it is fun. If you are serious about observing, AAVSO is worth looking into. It is one of the most highly respected amateur associations.
  6. Jul 4, 2009 #5

    This site will get you started in stargazing. they have .pdf star charts and they list some handy facts on each one.
  7. Jul 5, 2009 #6
    Thanks wil3!
  8. Jul 5, 2009 #7
    yash25, binoculars are a great way to start. There are very good binoculars for under $300 (and many under $100), and it's a great way to learn the skies (and a lot cheaper than a telescope).
  9. Jul 5, 2009 #8


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    When the moon is up? Far easier to see stars and constellations when there is NO moon!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  10. Jul 5, 2009 #9
    hey im planning to take a telescope..a good one..im getting it under 200$..and it's looking good...well can u choose a specific model for me anyone??
    the salesman there suggested this model for me, STARTRACKER EQ1,D=80mm,F=800mm.
  11. Jul 5, 2009 #10


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    When the Moon is up, you can look at the Moon on the star map, find a bright star beside it, and find the same star in the sky. That will give 2 reference points for finding other stars and constellations. When the Moon isn't up, it's much harder to find 2 ref points.
  12. Jul 5, 2009 #11


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    Meh, what if what you want to see is nowhere near the moon?
  13. Jul 5, 2009 #12


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    The moon isn't shown on printed star charts, since it is in a different place from minute to minute.

    To the OP: a decent but inexpensive set of binoculars, and a red flashlight (to preserve your night vision) and a set of printed star-charts will keep you busy for a very long time, as you learn your way around the sky. If you decide that you "need" a 'scope, please get into a local astronomy club (even if just as an associate or visitor) and go to a few star-parties so that you can see how the equipment operates, and what it can show you. Get there early, and pay attention, so you will know the transport/storage requirements associated with the equipment, and so you can see how involved the set-up, alignment, etc is.
  14. Jul 6, 2009 #13
    Yeah, I posted a question about my first telescope a while ago in this forum (look into the archived early June 2009 threads). I would definitely recommend going with binoculars and skymaps for a while before you look into telescopes. I believe that the Large Magellanic Cloud is visible from your location, so binoculars would offer a very cool view on a dark night.
  15. Jul 7, 2009 #14
    i also started sky gazing a while ago....first started with naked eyes.....visibility gets better as we spend more time under the sky watching it.......then got on to some binos....and yes they give quite a good view of clusters which might seem like some cloudy constellation otherwise.....and m also frm india....shimla
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