What to look at. Was : Viewing in Broad Daylight & Filters
- Hi, Sakinah,
What to look at apart from the Moon? Phew, now that's a question I keep
asking myself - there are so many beautiful objects that can be viewed
with the LX90. And they're easily found with the GOTO system.
Planets of course, with the highest magnification you can manage without
overdoing it (there's a sweet spot for different nights depending on the
conditions) - they are very small in the eyepiece. Mars in the early
evening, tho' still bright is now too small unless you have excellent
seeing conditions (low turbulence in the atmosphere). Saturn is well
placed at the moment and always awe inspiring. Make the most of it this
year- the rings are wide open and it's at it's closest approach of this
cycle. In another month or two Jupiter will have pride of place - it's
worth sketching the changing appearance and moon positions on different
Unless you have decently dark skies at your home - a good test is if you
can see the Milky Way - you'll be disappointed at the appearance of
galaxies - just a faint grey smudge for the most part. Nevertheless
when you think that the light you see even from the nearest ones started
its journey millions of years ago, it's inspiring.
Open Clusters are beautiful, and mostly well visible even with a full
Moon in the sky. For the most part use fairly low magnification. The
Auriga clusters are all gorgeous and well placed at the moment (Messier
36, 37 and 38). Nearby M35 is another beauty. GOTO M45, the Pleiades,
but don't expect to see much through the eyepiece - the finder scope is
the one to use! Don't forget Globular Clusters, although most of them
are now pretty low in the sky - best seen in the Summer months.
All the Messier objects are worth a visit, tho' some of the galaxies are
very faint. Not all the objects are visible at this time of year of course.
There are some very pretty double stars - Albireo in Cygnus is the best
known, but now setting early. Have a look at Almaak (Autostar spelling)
in Andromeda - a fairly close double with nicely contrasting colours.
One of my favourite clusters is NGC 457 in Cassiopeia. Does it remind
you of a 'Space Invader'? Here's a photo I took of it a couple of
nights ago. http://www.btinternet.com/~petevasey/MX716/NGC457.jpg
Don't expect to see the faint stars unless you have a very clear night
and are fully dark adapted.
And saving the best 'til last - the Great Orion Nebula - Messier 42. An
The Autostar has a Tour facility, and one of the options is the 'best of
the night' (or words to that effect). Worth a try.
If you haven't got a Planetarium program, download Skymap 10 trial
version from http://www.skymap.com - it has loads of objects and isn't
Keep a log of your observations! In a year or two you'll be amazed how
many objects you've looked at.
If your home has light polluted skies get a Sky Glow Filter (has
different names - Light Pollution Reduction filter - LPR etc.) Varying
opinions on their usefulness, but I've always found mine to improve the
view of a light polluted sky, particularly for nebulous objects like M42
I've barely scratched the surface here. There are thousands of
interesting things to view and you've got loads of time - the sky's the
Incidentally, if you're not sure that you've correctly gone to an
object, press the GOTO button again. The telescope will do a spiral
search, and certainly for clusters it'll be obvious when they pass
across the field of view. Pressing the Mode button will stop the
search. You should also become familiar with the High Precision mode,
particularly if you're chasing galaxies which are difficult to see. And
that mode will quickly make you learn the names and positions of the
brighter stars :-)
or if that fails, try
54º 56' 49" N, 1º 27' 39" W
> Yep, I'm 13 and a proud owner of the Meade LX90 8-i. My parents
> bought it for me (b-day present for the next 17 years I guess). I am
> thinking of joining ocastronomers, so I can learn more about my scope
> and astronomy in general.
> Other than the moon, what would you suggest I practice using my scope
- Scott~ Haha and if they ask me for a raise, I'll be like "Hey, didn't
you call me a freak back in 7th/8th grade? Ahh yes that was you.
Sorry no raise. Not now, not ever *evil laugh*." Just kidding.