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#1 JR4


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Posted 28 December 2012 - 08:26 PM

After a miserable failure the other night, we finally were able to use my daughter's scope tonight and she is thrilled.

We didn't have a lot of time so I just found Jupiter in the finderscope and then lined it up, it was off but I was able to find it. My daughter was able to see 4 moons! She also saw some banding. I don't know if it was the conditions (the sky looked clear) or if we need a different eyepiece or a filter or just more practice but I expected it to be more prominent.

She didn't see much of the moon, don't know if it was us or if it was just too bright tonight.

I haven't learned the eq mount yet, too busy getting ready for family coming to visit but I just used the 2 knobs individually and it was no trouble. Only once of switching back and forth between 3 of us did we lose something.

Very exciting stuff.

#2 deepwaterescue4u



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Posted 28 December 2012 - 08:34 PM


#3 kenrenard


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Posted 28 December 2012 - 08:40 PM

That Is great Jupiter is beautiful in a scope. A full moon can be tough to view it's exceptionally bright. A crescent moon is much nicer to look at. I am good your daughter was able to find Jupiter.

Remember it won't look like pictures and you will see more detail as you see it more. If you are up very early look for Saturn she will love it.

Hope you get more viewing in.

#4 JR4


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Posted 28 December 2012 - 08:48 PM

She already set her alarm clock for Saturn LOL

Glad we tried the other eyepiece, for some reason I forgot the smaller the eyepiece, the larger the magnification. Rookie mistake :)

#5 Dennis_S253


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Posted 28 December 2012 - 08:50 PM

check your polar alignment a little better maybe. When I get a good alignment, very seldom do I have to use the dec knob once the object is in view. Sounds like you guys are going to have a blast. Happy hunting...in a few more nights the moon won't be to much of a problem. You can check out some open clusters and such. Have you downloaded Stellarium? Very nice program to see whats in the sky. Clear skies...

#6 csa/montana


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Posted 28 December 2012 - 08:51 PM

:bow: This is what Astronomy is all about! The excitement that we all feel, when we look thru that eyepiece! :)

#7 brianc99


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Posted 28 December 2012 - 09:08 PM

I've been following this little saga, and I think it's great that you're all getting into astronomy as a family. Glad you had some success last night.

Now, wait two weeks for the new moon, go outside and let your eyes get adjusted, put in the low power eyepiece and find the Orion nebula (M42). You'lll really appreciate that 6" aperture then!


#8 SkipW


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Posted 28 December 2012 - 09:37 PM

Great start! You'll see more details on Jupiter as you gain experience and learn when to use each eyepiece. As mentioned, another good target is the Orion Nebula; it's bright enough to see even in moonlit and light-polluted skies, and very easy to find. It'll look even better under darker skies, but you don't have to wait for that.

It's surprising for a lot of people, but, while spectacular at first glance, the full moon is about the least interesting time to look at it. It's dazzlingly bright and the lack of shadows means you can't make out the topography, so the craters and mountains don't stand out. It is fun to project the bright moon onto a handkerchief stretched flat a few inches from the eyepiece - just move the hankie back and forth until the image is sharp. Change the focuser to bring it in focus closer or further away, changing the size of the image.

#9 kenrenard


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Posted 28 December 2012 - 09:47 PM

One thing I forgot to mention. If you have some binoculars bring them out with you. It will help you find things easier since binoculars have a wider field of view.

Good luck seeing Saturn.

#10 Achernar



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Posted 28 December 2012 - 09:48 PM

You need at least 100X to begin to get a good look at Jupiter, and more is a lot better. If the seeing is good, that is the atmosphere is not roiled by the jet steam, a passing weather front or heat sources near you, 150X would be a good magnification to use on Jupiter. You will also need to let the telescope cool down to ambient air temperature, which a small refractor will do much more quickly than my large Dob. I'm sure 30 minutes will be enough time for most of the heat blooms from the telescope itself to disappear. Also, there is a 50-50 chance the Great Red Spot will be facing Earth. You can see within 10 minutes evidence of the planet's very rapid rotation and you can over an hour plainly see the movement of the Galilean moons in their orbits. Io moves the fastest because it orbits every 43 hours. Jupiter changes all the time, it is never the same from night to night.


#11 CJK


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Posted 28 December 2012 - 09:52 PM

Congratulations! :waytogo: We had our first light with my daughter's scope last night -- all we saw was the moon, but it was beautiful and entirely novel to both my kids! (And it had been more than 35 years since my last look through a telescope!)

Very gratifying to see the kids excited about astronomy and science!

-- Chris

#12 panhard


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Posted 28 December 2012 - 10:54 PM

You are right. Now your family has another thing to do as a group. :bow:

#13 WarmWeatherGuy


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Posted 29 December 2012 - 01:11 AM

The full Moon is not that great in a telescope. First and last quarter are way more interesting because of the shadows.

To learn how to align your equatorial mount watch this youtube video. If you're in a big hurry then just watch one minute starting at 5:00 although the stuff before that helps explain the benefit of the equatorial mount.

#14 newtoskies



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Posted 29 December 2012 - 01:19 AM

That is great that you all got to use the scope and especially that you saw Jupiter. The first time is always a big wow, and actually still is for me.

#15 Pharquart


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Posted 29 December 2012 - 09:03 AM

Also, there is a 50-50 chance the Great Red Spot will be facing Earth.

Expectation check: the "Great Red Spot" is really more of a "Great salmon pinkish, surprisingly low contrast Spot." It's there, no doubt, and fun to see. Just don't expect the deep red thing that I saw in pictures as a child. Its color has faded some.

I envy you in your stage. Everything is new and exciting! Every view is a new one!


#16 rick-SeMI


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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:10 PM

Glad you were able to get out with your daughter and located a few objects.

I noticed you mentioned the conditions of your observing site.
This will give you an idea.
Pick your State and closest location below.

Here's what the colors mean


#17 Red Shift

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:16 PM

After a miserable failure the other night, we finally were able to use my daughter's scope tonight and she is thrilled.

You have now successfully created another Astronomer that will join our ranks.

No failure there !


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