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What's your name? Introduce yourself to IFAS!

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16 years 9 months ago #51853 by dave_lillis
Replied by dave_lillis on topic Re: Introductions! - Welcome to IrishAstonomy.org!
Hi Dave,
It starts at 8pm in room 206, see you then.

Dave L. on facebook , See my images in flickr
Chairman. Shannonside Astronomy Club (Limerick)

Carrying around my 20" obsession is going to kill me,
but what a way to go. :)
+ 12"LX200, MK67, Meade2045, 4"refractor

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16 years 9 months ago #51933 by Mark-Wynne
Replied by Mark-Wynne on topic Hello
Hi Guys

I am truly a beginner, in every sense of the word. I think I’ll start by giving a little introduction about myself. My name is Mark. I am 23. I recently graduated from college with a higher degree in business management. I am currently working as an I.T support coordinator for one of the main importers of motor vehicle in Ireland.

I have always been interested the night sky, I think my interest is fuelled by curiosity more than anything else. Recently I started to collect documentaries about our universe with titles such as “most of our universe is missing” and “super-massive black holes” etc etc. I am currently watching “Understanding the Universe - An Introduction to Astronomy” Which is basically 96 lectures given by Alex Filippenko. This has really given me the push to actually start observing the night sky with an aided eye.

So here’s were you guys fit in to this equation, I would like to purchase a telescope but not too sure on what one to buy or where to get the best deal. I would appreciate any words of wisdom you guys could pass on.

Thanks in advance!!

Mark

Albert Einstein "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

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16 years 9 months ago #51938 by Seanie_Morris
Replied by Seanie_Morris on topic Re: Introductions! - Welcome to IrishAstonomy.org!
Welcome to the IFAS Boards Mark. New blood is always welcome.

There will be tonnes of posts here relating to your query in the last line. I guess one thing to ask is, What is your budget like? and then What kind of scope have you got in mind?. After that, the floodgates will open! Have a look in the Links section for dealers and resellers to see the kinds of scopes out there and the likely prices you will pay for them (on most sites).

And don't be shy about asking questions. :)

Seanie.

Midlands Astronomy Club.
Radio Presenter (Midlands 103), Space Enthusiast, Astronomy Outreach Co-ordinator.
Former IFAS Chairperson and Secretary.

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16 years 9 months ago #51961 by dmcdona
Hi Mark - welcome!

Have a look at these links - they might help a bit:

www.astroshack.net/TopTips.php
www.astroshack.net/February.php

Cheers
Dave

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16 years 9 months ago #51966 by Frank Ryan
Hi Mark and welcome to the madhouse.

As you say, you are an absolute beginner, then the very best piece of equipment for you is a good pair of binoculars.
Every amateur astronomer will tell you that they are invaluable.

You may be itching right now to say 'to hell with binoculars, I want the real deal!'
but you would be doing yourself and injustice, I'll explain why,

This time of year is a very good time to take up this hobby (obsession?).
With a pair of say, 10x50's you'll get wonderful views of objects such as the Andromeda Galaxy, the Moon, Jupiter and it;s moons, the crescent shape of Venus, the Great Orion Nebula, clusters like the double in Perseus, The Pleiades in Taurus to name only a few!

If you want to print off a current map of the nights sky for this month go here
www.skymaps.com/downloads.html
Skymaps is a great site and will give you a list of naked eye, bino and telescopic targets for the month.

The binos shouldnt cost you too much,
I picked up an excellent pair of 10 x 50's in Lidil last year for 20 euro.
Keep and eye out for them coz they run that promotion quite a bit.

As for buying a scope.
I'd advise to take your time in selecting one.
Try and figure out what area interests you the most.
Most beginner scopes are dreadful and little better than toys.
Stay well away from the pharmacy or camera shop scopes.
These scopes boast huge magnifications which are useless in terms of
astronomy.
For astronomy generally, aperture (the width across the front of the scope) is king.
Reason being that the more light you can collect the better the image.

I'd also be weary shops or on-line stores recommending or
selling only one brand of scope.
There is a lot of choice and value out there right now, more so than ever
before and it'd be a pity to miss out on the perfect scope for you just because someone wants to turn a quick buck.

Be prepaired though, you'll not see the hubble type images printed on the
side of some of the boxs of new scopes....(not unless you buy a 25'' Obsession....!)

So anyway,
Ask questions and above all take your time in selecting your scope.
Oh....and don't forget the binos!

My Astrophotography
Shannonside Astronomy Club __________________________________________
Meade ETX-125PE, Bresser 10 x 50 Binos & Me Peepers

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16 years 9 months ago #52076 by Mark-Wynne
Replied by Mark-Wynne on topic Response
First of all thanks for the warm reception guys and secondly thanks for all the info you have provided.

@ Seanie Morris: I was thinking about €600?? I just got a new car and with Christmas around the corner (Sorry for mentioning it) it will be a while before I have that much to spend. Hopefully that will be enough to get me started though?? Realistically I hope to make my first purchase mid Feb.

@ dmcdona: Congratulations on receiving your observatory code, I’d say its been a while since you were in a situation like mine. The links provided some useful info.

@ Barberskum I think I will take both yours and Dave’s advice and invest in a decent pair of binoculars and not rush into buying a scope just yet. I wasn’t aware that you could get good views of the objects you’ve mentioned in your post above.

Thanks again for the response happy viewing, mean while I shall get back to my course in understanding the universe.

Albert Einstein "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

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