Bolton Astronomical Society

Hello from Eric & Sue
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Author:  EKent [ Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Hello from Eric & Sue

I was fortunate to grow up in an area where we enjoyed clear skies and no light pollution. When I was 10 I became interested in astronomy and soon learned to recognize the constellations, and did some observing with a friend who had a small telescope.

Now I live in Horwich, where only the brighter stars and planets are visible. However, I've maintained my interest in astronomy, and I would like to do some observing, even if only the moon, planets, star clusters etc, and I hope to buy a small telescope soon.
My wife Sue and I have joined Bolton Astronomical Society to learn more about the practicalities of observing.

Author:  rwilkinson [ Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hello from Eric & Sue

Hello to you both, and welcome to our Society.

Yes, the light-pollution does make seeing faint objects through the eyepeice very difficult, yet it's still possible to observe them in great detail (and colour) using astro-photographic techniques. Fitting a sensitive electronic camera (often a Canon DSLR) and light-pollution filter to the telescope (or even a camera lens) and taking a series of long exposures is just part of the story - it's the subsequent post-processing of the data on a computer which can really bring out the latent details.
Just have a look through our Gallery section to see the images that our Members have captured from their back gardens (within a few miles of Horwich). Admittedly some of our contributors have decades of experience in astrophotography, but many others have only been at it a few years and have been helped enormously by learning from our more experienced fellow-members.

You're right that for visual observing, the Moon and planets are probably the best targets. The other morning I made a quick tour (with binoculars) of the Moon, Venus, Mars and Jupiter in the bright sky shortly before sunrise: And Jupiter will be appearing in our evening skies later next Spring.

It's a good idea to talk to other members before you splash out on a telescope of your own. We'll all tell you that a sturdy mount is at least as important as the optics, so no telescope will give decent results when mounted on a "whackery" tripod! And have a look through the Equipment - Discussion section of the Forum.
We also hold regular "workshop" sessions to facilitate these discussions - our next is on 5-Jan.
And the Society also has some items of equipment available for loan (see the Loans Book section of this Forum), so you may be able to "try before you buy".

Author:  bchamberlain [ Sat Dec 12, 2015 11:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hello from Eric & Sue

Hello Eric and Sue. Welcome to the society. Ross's comments and advice are exactly right. I joined the group three years ago starting from scratch. I've still a way to go but I've had a lot of advice and practical help from the experienced members. Engineering, electronics, image processing, even 3 D printing are all here within the society.

We don't have anyone who can shift the clouds however which is a bit of a let down. Bill C

Author:  rwilkinson [ Sat Dec 12, 2015 11:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hello from Eric & Sue

bchamberlain wrote:
We don't have anyone who can shift the clouds however which is a bit of a let down.

It's not just in Bolton, Bill - even the iTelescope sites in New Mexico and New South Wales have had poor weather over recent nights!

Author:  DRatledge [ Sat Dec 12, 2015 9:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hello from Eric & Sue

Good to have you join us Sue and Eric. There's quite a contingent from Horwich now.
This winter you would need a radio telescope - and preferably a waterproof one.
We do have a several scopes for borrowing which is good way to find out what suits you best - it must stop raining soon.

Author:  ANuttall [ Sun Dec 13, 2015 12:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hello from Eric & Sue

Welcome eric & sue

Author:  bbones [ Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hello from Eric & Sue

Welcome to you both, if you need any help let me know



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