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First night out with my new scope. Wow.

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#1 elzopilote

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 04:35 PM

Just got back from a camping trip with my family at a very dark spot in Nevada with my new scope (Apertura AD8). The entire drive back home we were savoring and talking about how awe-inspiring it was to see the night sky. I had never seen the Milky Way like that, in its true grandeur— like looking at Stellarium in real life. There were so many stars out that sometimes it was difficult making out the constellations the way you learn them in books. Turn the scope and there's M13 in Hercules, turn it over there and it's the Lagoon Nebula, there's Andromeda, there's the Ring Nebula, Jupiter and the moons, Saturn and the rings, Antares, and the list goes on. Just delight after delight. Just as fun was simply perusing the sky with simple 7x35 binoculars while laying down on a blanket, imagining what's out there. As a beginner, some things really stood out to me:

 

1. I am so glad I bought "Nightwatch" and studied the stars before venturing out, so I was oriented. It's a gem of a book and I can't recommend it enough. I also have "Turn Left At Orion" but I feel Nightwatch was much better for someone starting out and the star charts made things relatively easy to find.

 

2. Star-hopping and manually finding these objects was half the fun. I definitely think all beginners should experience it instead of jumping immediately to a computer that does it all for you. If you are a beginner and you get a GoTo scope, you are missing half of the fun (and learning). 

 

3. Binoculars are just as fun and telescopes, and for some situations, better. 

 

4. Light pollution really is terrible. To think that most living in cities never get to feel the awe from looking the sky like that is a sad thing. 

 

5. Camping with an 8" Dobsonian was surprisingly workable. A wonderful addition would be a collapsible Dobsonian base. 


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#2 MalVeauX

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 04:51 PM

Those dark primordial skies are fantastic away from civilization! Don't even need a telescope for that! Amazing what you can just see with your 6mm natural binoculars.

 

Very best,


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#3 bridgman  Happy Birthday!

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 05:01 PM

Sounds like a great trip, with just the right scope.


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#4 Forward Scatter

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 05:28 PM

Congrats on the new scope and an ideal astro trip!
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#5 Jethro7

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Posted 12 August 2020 - 05:50 PM

Hello Elzopilot,

It is Beautiful. 

 

HAPPY SKIES AND KEEP LOOKING UP Jethro


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#6 MaknMe

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 05:03 AM

What a wonderful report! I hope it is only the beginning,
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#7 FlyerOne

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 07:50 AM

The problem with your second point is, as a beginner in a light polluted area I have no stars to hop! Can only see down to mag 3.5. Without the GoTo I wouldn’t have seen a quarter of what I’ve observed. So everything has its place :)


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#8 Richie2shoes

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 07:55 AM

Great report!  You can order a custom/collapsible base from Astrogoods.com.  I plan on ordering one soon since the base for my AD12 got some water damage on my last camping trip!


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#9 aeajr

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 02:32 PM

The problem with your second point is, as a beginner in a light polluted area I have no stars to hop! Can only see down to mag 3.5. Without the GoTo I wouldn’t have seen a quarter of what I’ve observed. So everything has its place smile.gif

An alternate to GoTo and to Star Hopping is using AltAz coordinates to find targets.   This is my main method for finding targets with my manual scopes.  Not affected by light pollution. 

 

Using an angle gauge to help find targets – AltAz coordinates - Quick and Easy to do
https://www.cloudyni...y/#entry8120838


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#10 RockyMtnRR

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 06:15 PM

Your experience mirrors mine here in the great basin. Amazing outside the cities. Garbage in the cities. Makes me glad we live in a place where you can drive away from the light pollution in less than a day.

#11 Gary Riley

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 08:42 PM

The Apertura 8 is very good scope. It can show you multitude of objects for many years to come. I envy those who live in nice dark skies. Mine are not too terribly bad. I can generally see down to about 5th magnitude overhead most nights.

#12 rocdoc

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 08:56 PM

Sounds like an awesome experience. Reading this made me happy :)

#13 elzopilote

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Posted 13 August 2020 - 09:39 PM

The problem with your second point is, as a beginner in a light polluted area I have no stars to hop! Can only see down to mag 3.5. Without the GoTo I wouldn’t have seen a quarter of what I’ve observed. So everything has its place smile.gif

Great point. 

 

Great report!  You can order a custom/collapsible base from Astrogoods.com.  I plan on ordering one soon since the base for my AD12 got some water damage on my last camping trip!

That is fantastic, thanks for that link. They products look great— I think a collapsible base purchase is in my near future.



#14 MaknMe

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 11:14 AM

The problem with your second point is, as a beginner in a light polluted area I have no stars to hop! Can only see down to mag 3.5. Without the GoTo I wouldn’t have seen a quarter of what I’ve observed. So everything has its place :)


Most people (in the US) live with light polluted skies. My eastern skies look like gray milk.

Last night (actually early this morning) my GOTO found Uranus when there wasn’t a single star visible from Cassiopeia (high in the Northeast) to Saturn (Southwest). The only bright object in the entire eastern-southeast was Mars.

If you live in a dark sky area, GOTOs might not be as useful. Where I live, whole sections of the sky would be inaccessible without one.

For many, the key to continuing with the hobby is seeing things. With a GOTO, you see more. Maybe a lot more.

I like seeing things. That is why I am out every clear night.

#15 ShaulaB

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 11:18 AM

It is so nice you had this experience! Hoping for many more good nights of good observing.

#16 Book66

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Posted 16 August 2020 - 01:04 AM

Those are the times you live for. :)


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