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querty
2004-Dec-09, 08:20 PM
Firstly hello all - I've been lurking awhile

Secondly after being interested in astronomy for some time I have decided to stop watching it on the telly and go outside and do it for real. Things are going well and I am finding my way round the sky pretty well now dispite almost constant fog since I bought a telescope.

Consequently I have a load of dumb practical questions I can't seem to find answers for this being the first:

At 6:30 am this morning (in the UK 52lat) I could clearly see unaided Jupiter, the Moon, and I presume Venus. My software (Redshift) tells me Mars was close (too close?) to Venus but I couldn't see anything near by at all.

I was expecting to see Mars unaided. Any ideas anyone? TIA

Wolverine
2004-Dec-09, 08:38 PM
Mars is definitely there, but at a mere 1.7 as opposed to Venus @ -4 and Jupiter @ -1.9, will not be as pronounced.
As noted here (http://skyandtelescope.com/observing/ataglance/article_110_1.asp), binoculars would help.

querty
2004-Dec-09, 08:49 PM
That's what I assumed - there was quite a bit of light pollution (couldn't find Spica even) - If it's halfway clear tomorrow I'll be out with the scope :) work will have to wait.

Wolverine
2004-Dec-09, 08:54 PM
...there was quite a bit of light pollution...

Ahha... that was going to be my next question. Unfortunately, Mars' position isn't going to be terribly conducive to good viewing in the near future. I've been awaiting its return as well.

crazy4space
2004-Dec-09, 09:28 PM
To bad you didnt get out of the house sooner because this was a really good year to see mars since she was as close to the Earth as she gets for quite some time. Have some great pictures and indeed there were a lot of pics right here on the BB. Runs and hides under the sofa!!! #-o

JustAGuy
2004-Dec-09, 10:26 PM
To bad you didnt get out of the house sooner because this was a really good year to see mars since she was as close to the Earth as she gets for quite some time. Have some great pictures and indeed there were a lot of pics right here on the BB. Runs and hides under the sofa!!! #-oHmm... I believe you're thinking of 2003...

crazy4space
2004-Dec-09, 10:30 PM
Hmm... I believe you're thinking of 2003...[/quote] Yeah my bad Im still missing a few years somewhere there in the 70's. #-o

Manchurian Taikonaut
2004-Dec-09, 11:11 PM
Yes, Indeed listen to the others who post here, they know their stuff & have given some good info on finding the planets. Mars is there all right but it's difficult to spot, the sky may be bright and you'll have to rise early

Here's a shot of Venus and Mars taken some weeks back just before the Sun rises



http://www.universetoday.com/forum/uploads/post-17-1100216163.jpg

and here is a Saturn photo

http://www.universetoday.com/forum/uploads/post-17-1100216787.jpg

You will find Mars its red, small and very dim, but come November of 2005 it will be fantastic, massive and full of details
8)

jt-3d
2004-Dec-10, 02:32 AM
Fear not, next September Mars will come close again. It does look very cool too.

A Thousand Pardons
2004-Dec-10, 10:58 AM
Fear not, next September Mars will come close again. It does look very cool too.
Just a nit--November of 2005. And it will be nearly as bright as it was last year. Some appearances, it doesn't even get as bright as Sirius.

Russ
2004-Dec-10, 06:13 PM
Querty: I see you are a newbie contributor so I'll say welcome aboard. It's always good to have an new voice and point of view.

You should be aware of one of the rules of the universe that we long timers have known for... long times. :) :roll: When you buy a telescope, or any expensive jewelry for it, the sky will quickly cloud over and stay that way for a time perportional to the expense you incured. The more you spend the longer it will be cloudy/foggy. As this is a rule of the universe, there is nothing you can do. For example, when I bought my Meade LX-200, the sky clouded up the day I brought it home and stayed that way for six weeks. I was :cry: :evil: :cry:

There is also an unwritten rule here abouts you should be aware of. When you buy a telescope/binocular/stuff, you are required to come here and tell us all about it. This allows us to be duly impressed/informed/envious. ;) You are now required to tell us all about your new scope/stuff.

querty
2004-Dec-10, 09:19 PM
There is also an unwritten rule here abouts you should be aware of. When you buy a telescope/binocular/stuff, you are required to come here and tell us all about it. This allows us to be duly impressed/informed/envious. ;) You are now required to tell us all about your new scope/stuff.

Sure - it's a pretty modest Newtonian Reflector 130mm f/900 which I am very pleased with

http://www.opticalvision.co.uk/products.asp?D=20&P=9

Strictly speaking you understand it belongs to my partner as it was her birthday recently and she's interested as well (fortunately she seems to like this more than the power tools she had last year :) )

I've seen a million pictures of Saturn but it was a real thrill to locate it and look at it for real (but of course you all know that already).

Evan
2004-Dec-10, 10:16 PM
The more you spend the longer it will be cloudy/foggy.

This is not facetious but a proven fact. I spent $1700cdn on my new camera and accessories and it clouded up immediately and stayed that way for two solid months. Just to tease me it cleared two nights ago, once, on a week night. It's solid overcast again...

Swift
2004-Dec-10, 10:41 PM
The more you spend the longer it will be cloudy/foggy.

This is not facetious but a proven fact. I spent $1700cdn on my new camera and accessories and it clouded up immediately and stayed that way for two solid months. Just to tease me it cleared two nights ago, once, on a week night. It's solid overcast again...
Its specific application of the well know law that the perversity of the universe tends toward a maximum. :D

Russ
2004-Dec-11, 09:34 PM
snip

Sure - it's a pretty modest Newtonian Reflector 130mm f/900 which I am very pleased with

http://www.opticalvision.co.uk/products.asp?D=20&P=9

Strictly speaking you understand it belongs to my partner as it was her birthday recently and she's interested as well (fortunately she seems to like this more than the power tools she had last year :) )

I've seen a million pictures of Saturn but it was a real thrill to locate it and look at it for real (but of course you all know that already).

:D :D It was my first look at Saturn through a scope that hooked me too. Like you I'd seen multitudenous pictures that did it no justice. Saturn is still my favorite target in the night sky. On a clear, still night it grabs my heart strings and plays them like Segovia plays a guitar. :D :D

Almost any scope is better than no scope. Yours looks like it's worth the money paid. The E-literature makes it sound good. Two eyepieces and a barlow included, sounds like a good deal.

The fact that your partner is an astronomy buff too is the best of all worlds. My ex used to tell people that my scope kept me out of the bars and away from other women. :roll: She was polite enough to look when I was excited about something but looked at it as a duty not a pleasure. :( Hold her/him close as a rare comodity. :)