Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Stargazing What was the first object you saw through a telescope?

  1. Aug 5, 2004 #1
    The first object I ever viewed was Saturn back in about 1990 at a Field Night at a school set up by an Astronomy Club.

    I later joined that club for about 10 years.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 5, 2004 #2
    The first thing I remember looking at was Mars. Tiny, fuzzy and red.
  4. Aug 6, 2004 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    The moon. Easiest thing to find.

    I remember my first visit to a planetarium. The show blew me away. I knew from that point I wanted to be an astronomer. My dad wouldn't let me. :frown:
  5. Aug 6, 2004 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    The Christmas tree. :smile:
    First astronomical object - the moon.
  6. Aug 6, 2004 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Saturn, on what I now know to be a far from ideal night, through my uncle's home-built 6" reflector. It is one of the most intense memories I have from my early childhood.
  7. Aug 6, 2004 #6
    The Moon, back around late 1960s, through my first telescope, an Edmund Scientific 2.75" reflector (actually not a bad size for viewing the moon). I was so in awe to think I was looking at mountains on another world.
  8. Aug 6, 2004 #7
    Actually, the moon was the first astronomical object I saw.

    The first object I saw was probably the electric pole at the end of my street. I needed to aim at something definite in the daytime to adjust my finderscope. It was still really cool. :cool:
  9. Aug 6, 2004 #8
    Not the first object, but Saturn was the most eye-opening for me. In a small telescope, most other objects in the sky amount to points of light or fuzzy smudges. However, Saturn has real geometry. You can actually see the oblate shape of the rings, the planet itself, and the blackness that separates those structures. Truly amazing. All of a sudden, the solar system seems more real -- more physical.

    Jupiter was also fascinating for the first time. I could faintly make out a few bands of clouds -- surface features of another world, in my telescope. Identifying Callisto, Ganymede, Io, and Europa was also profound -- here are these other worlds, and I could track their orbits from night to night.

    Saturn and Jupiter are truly something everyone should see in a telescope. It should be a gradeschool requirement, like a zoo field trip or dissecting frogs.
  10. Aug 6, 2004 #9
    I agree completely. The experience can be very thought provoking and inspirational if taken in the proper frame of mind.
  11. Aug 6, 2004 #10
    First significant object was the cross on a steeple a mile from my house, through my brother's and my Edmund Scientific 4 and 1/2 inch reflector. We later found which church the cross belonged to (the cross had a circle embedded in it). We three kings from Orient are...

    To view the Moon we had to use a "Moon filter"!
  12. Aug 6, 2004 #11
    Full Moon

    Full Moon winter time, not long after Christmas Chicago CST 10:00 PM it was
    -30, WOW was that cold. I believe about 1964.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2004
  13. Aug 6, 2004 #12
    the moon thru a 60mm refractor lol ;)
  14. Aug 6, 2004 #13
    The girl next door.
  15. Aug 6, 2004 #14
    Women aren't objects! :tongue2:
  16. Aug 6, 2004 #15
    I find the moon to be in the way now.
  17. Aug 9, 2004 #16
    It only bothers me when it is nearly full. Then it is too bright to be interesting and too bright to allow other objects to be interesting.
  18. Aug 11, 2004 #17
    my dad had a telescope when i was young, but we barely ever got to use it, and we only ever looked at a few stars. A few weeks ago though i saw jupiter for my first time through a very good telescope at a star party. I was honestly so amazed that what to my eye appeared to be on tiny star in the sky was, through a telescope, this magnificent huge planted with large stripes and 4 moons. i couldn't believe how much it looked like the pictures and just knowing that i was actually viewing the real thing was so inspiring. i also so a few binary star pairs that night, which were neat, but jupiter definetly stands out in my mind.
  19. Aug 15, 2004 #18
    Yea........its best viewed i'd say when about 1/2 full ....the detail along the terminator with the shadows and everything is awesome.........my fav nebula is the Orion Neb. and during the winter the moon loves to kill it....and just about every other deep space object....even the planets don't look as nice. Weirdly enough i've looked at Uranus thru a psycho-light polluted part of the sky once and was still able to make out the blueish-green sphere at moderate magnification.........haven't got a nice night recently so i can bump it up on the 16" SCT
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook