Dark sky, cheap telescope, totally inexperienced operator. What can I see?
June 19, 2012 8:14 AM Subscribe
Astronomy/Skygazing Beginner: I'm gonna be camping out in a dark place
, and I have access to a cheap low-consumer-grade telescope
. Is it worth it to take it? What could it see? What could I reliably find? Three technically-competent operators, but zero experience/familiarity with the use of any telescope.
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj to science & nature (14 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I'm going camping. I looked up the location
on the great "Dark Sky Finder"
website and saw that it's quite favorable for stargazing.
I remembered that my pops got a cheap telescope
as a retirement gift -- the quality is probably very low, and it wouldn't surprise me if it was manufactured so as to be nothing much more than a prop. I was wondering if it'd be worth it to take it.
I'm a technologically competent person who can follow directions/procedure and RTFM, but please assume zero experience/familiarity with the use of any telescope.
I've just finished a few long audio lectures about astronomy and cosmology, so I'll likely be familiar with the objects you might recommend; but I know nothing about the process of viewing them. Kind of a "I know what's on the menu, but I have no idea how to go about ordering it"
sort of thing.
The questions that occur to me offhand:
- What objects is this telescope capable of resolving well? Adequately?
- What are the "go to" objects for beginning skygazers that combine "simple to find" with "crowdpleasing"?
- What (preferably "simple", "free") reference materials should be taken along to help find objects? (Please assume no internet/electronic/satellite access.)
- New moon? Full moon? Does it make a difference? (Seems like the new moon would make looking at other things easier... but then again: if there was a full moon I could look at the moon -- which I bet I could find.)
- What am I not asking that I should?
Many thanks for your expertise and advice.