Bolton Astronomical Society
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Hello
http://www.boltonastro.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=232
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Author:  poconnell [ Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Hello

Hi

I'm a new member to the society. I don't yet have a telescope so I'll hopefully be picking all your brains in the coming weeks with questions about what to buy.

I've been interested in Astronomy for many years. I did do an Open University Astronomy course over 15 years ago but thats long been forgotten and I've never really pursued it since other than casual observing with a pair of 10x50 binoculars in the back garden from time to time.

Recently on a clear night when I was out with my binoculars and a DSLR on a camera tripod, none equatorial, I started playing about trying to catch star trails and such. I spotted Jupiter and decided to try and image it. I knew it wouldn't show any detail and would end up as a trail if I used a long exposure but at least it would my first picture of Jupiter :) I did a few short exposures and then several long ones where I played around to see what I could capture. It was on these longer exposures images when I viewed them on my computer screen that I noticed I had also managed to capture the four moons. I hadn't been able to see them with either my naked eyes or with my shaky binoculars so I really was amazed to have them sat there on my screen in front of me. It was then that I decided it was time to get a telescope and to start to see things properly.

So in the weeks and months since I have spent a lot of time trawling the internet in search of what to buy and I'm still on that search. Its a bit of a minefield for a newbie and I just seem to be going around in circles at the moment deciding on what to buy. So I hope to pick up some useful tips from you guys which might help me make a decision.

I did sit in on the last meeting where Dean and Mike did their "Starting Out In Observing" talks and I found them both really useful and very enjoyable. I'm also looking forward to the next one on Building a Home Observatory which weirdly for someone without a telescope seems to really appeal to me. I've often found myself following peoples blog and forum posts describing their builds, some of them really are amazing.

So I'm look forward to the future meetings and getting to know you all whilst I learn this fascinating hobby.

Phil

Author:  rwilkinson [ Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hello

Hi Phil, and welcome aboard!

Since you already have a DSLR, you should try borrowing one of our driven imaging platforms: either the AstroMount or the "Scotch-mount" - see our "Loans Book" section: http://www.boltonastro.org.uk/forums/viewforum.php?f=17.
You'll be amazed at what you can pick up with just an ordinary lens on the front of your camera.

You'll also see that we also have some telescopes (a couple of old Newtonians and a new Maksutov) available for loan, and after trying them you may have a better idea of what to buy for yourself.

Dean is in charge of our Equipment Loans: see the procedures here: http://www.boltonastro.org.uk/members_area/Documents/BASLoansRules.pdf.
Note that we'll ask for a deposit for the more expensive items.

See you on Tuesday.
Regards from Ross.

P.S. as you're interested in Jupiter, you can download a copy of the slides "By Jove - guide to observing and imaging Jupiter" which Keith and I presented in January: http://www.boltonastro.org.uk/members_area/Workshops/jupiter_v3.pps
and look out for our talk on Mars in April.

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