Hello I've been getting the newletter for months now and I decided to join ya'll. I hope to expand my knowledge greatly by chatting with all of you and maybe I can help someone once in a while too.
A little bio: My 21 year old daughter and I have been volunteers at Bruneau Dunes Observatory in Idaho for 5 years now. We love what we're doing!!! I took her down there all those years ago in the hopes that she would love astronomy as much as I do and well......... We've become fixtures!! LOL
The observatory is open every Friday and Saturday evening, from mid March through mid November. We're there most of the time and love helping the public that come to visit the Park and Observatory. We especially love being able to view deep space objects through the 25 inch reflector telescope that is the centerpiece of the operation. Someday we hope to get our own 10 inch Orion.
My knowledge of all things Messier or other, is somewhat limited though. We stick with the big spectacular items first, for the visitors benefit, and don't get much chance to view a lot of the other great sights out there.
With your help, I'd like to learn more about what things to go looking for, when we can get the opportunity to do so. Thanks in advance for any guidance that ya'll can provide. I'm really glad I'm here.
Guess I get to be one of the first to say, "Welcome"! I'm sure you will find the forum here at UT to be a wonderful place full of info and opinions and plenty of people (myself included) willing to help! The topics are pretty wide ranging...and the opinions even more so (LOL!!!.
Good luck on getting the Orion scope your looking for. I'm a fan of Orion products...I recently bought one of their Apex/StarMax 127mm Mak's and I simply love it! I've found that their products as well as their service and people are just wonderful and I wouldn't hesitate to purchase from them again (I keep eye ballin that new 12" Intelliscope, but it's gonna be a very long while before I have that kind of cash to blow on a scope unfortunatly).
One of the first things I would suggest for "finding things" is a book called "Turn Left at Orion" (sorry, I forget the authors, but I've seen it on Amazon.com). It's primarily aimed at smaller scope users, but it's got some really cool stuff in there and is written in a not so techincal aproach (tells you where to look for stuff and what you can expect to see, etc). Check with your local library, there's a pretty good chance they may have a copy. I've found it very useful indeed myself being a newbie to astronomy. Another thing that works pretty well is simply a copy of either Sky & Telescope or Astronomy magazines. Both have monthly star charts that can show you where to look for "the good stuff" (but you probably all ready know this). You should also be able to find numorous references on the internet to Messier and NGC objects...just do a search on Google. Lastly, if your observatory has a good view of the southern skys, right now Sagittarius is up and there's some really cool things to look at there...my fav's are M7 (an open cluster), M22 (globular cluster) and M20 (diffuse nebula). I think there's like 7 Messier objects right around the "tea pot" and all of them are pretty easy to find.
A 25" scope must be a serious joy to look through...I'd probably be a perminant fixure as well! LOL! The biggest that I've had to chance to gaze through is an older Celestron C14 at our local John D. Neilson observatory (aka a small block building with the C 14 and a 4" refractor" and a few posters on the wall), but compaired to my 5" Mak, it's still a wondeful view.
Anyways, again, welcome!
Bright Blessings & Gentle Breezes,
Welcome indeed. We really value the contribution of members such as yourself!
Thank you kashi and lomitus1. I appreciate your welcome and advice.
lomitus1: That 25" is definitely a joy to be able to use. Over the last 5 years I have had the opportunity to find a lot of wonderful objects to view. The Veil Nebula looks incredibly spectacular through this scope, as does M51; the Whirlpool Galaxy. We use a set of books printed by a company called, "Sky Spot". They are telrad maps of each of the Messier objects, as well as one for "Overlooked Objects". They're great and so easy to use. The publisher is based in Bountiful, Utah. I also use Starrynight Backyard for printing out my own star charts. It's fantastic!! I will check into the books that you suggested too. You can never have enough good reference books for this hobby. Congratulations on your new scope and happy Messier hunting with it.
kashi: Thank you very much and I value your input, just as much. One of the things I love the most about this hobby (obsession) is that I am ALWAYS learning something new and wonderful. I truly enjoy being able to share this with other people.
I apologise to our moderator for placing this post in the wrong catagory. Thank you for showing me the right place for this.