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My First Night of REALLY Seeing


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Note- Some of this is from a thread from Nightspore, but I wanted to share it in this part of the forum, too. I hope its not considered double-posting. ---------


I am a total newbie to astronomy and have only been on the forum a few weeks but am enjoying the learning and camaraderie. In particular, Nightspore has been encouraging me to use Stellarium and has also suggested some things to look at and how to do that. I have to say, that in ..... let's call it..... self help programs, I usually respond to peer pressure and accountability, and that is pleasantly happening.


I have had an earache for a while and finally went to the Dr and got some meds which not only fixed the earache, but also improved my night-time balance, which I thought was just age-related deterioration.  The improved balance tipped the scales (bad pun) for getting outside.


So again, Nightspore had been putting some mild pressure on me to get outside, (I live in the middle east coast Lat 38  in the USA) and I finally thought I had a good opportunity last night. I looked outside at about 1900 and the sky was not looking good. A few bright things out, but that's all. But around 2200, it all came to life like magic. I would look at something bright with the OrionXT6, and then look with my eyes, then some binoculars,  and then come back inside and find it on stellarium, and go back out, let my eyes adjust, find or see something else.  Certainly not efficient, but it was very cool. But actually what was the most fun, and easiest, was just looking thru the binoculars. I am a total novice about the constellations, but looking at something... anything... with my eyes and then with my binoculars, really hit me in the face with just how much depth, literally, to the sky there is. One visible star suddenly becomes 50.


But here is another  really cool part. I was mostly randomly looking at stuff to the south where I can see best, and then coming inside  and looking at stellarium. I saw Rigel, Sirus (peeking between bare branches), Procyon, and Betelgeuse, all making a nice squarish trapezoid. After I brought everything back inside and warmed up and looked at Nightspore's  stellarium screen cap that was his viewing suggestion, there were those stars highlighted by him. I found that a bit remarkable.

That was a great start.  😀



Edited by Lloyd-ss
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Well, I don't want to be pushy, but you know what they say: "who dares views" lol. I'm glad your earache is better Lloyd. You can do all the theory you want in the universe, but five minutes out under the stars will teach you a huge amount. In times past I've spent dusk to dawn outside with a scope and watched entire constellations (particularly Zodiacal) rise and set. I've watched Cassiopeia rotate from a 'W' to an 'M'. I've observed Sirius rise, reach transit, and eventually managed to catch a glimpse of the elusive Sirius B (150mm GSO Newtonian). 



Whenever you can, get out under the stars. Enjoy the beauty and wonder of it all. It never fails to amaze me. Clear skies to you. 

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