Thanks for your guidance
To others out there, my biggest learning in the 10 months or so since purchasing is that:
- Getting to know the constellations and ecliptic and zodiac and all the other out wordly geometric things going on has been the single biggest thrill. The scope pushed me into doing that, but that was very important.
- The lack of goto on my computer has probably been a benefit and not a detriment so far. I can see someday I would want the scope to follow the object, but for now, just telling me where it is and letting me muscle the scope around has been great fun and faster and more rewarding than a goto.
- The faint fuzzies are exactly that out there, fuzzie, even in my 10" Dob from decent skies (there are cows here). Some of the globular clusters are cool, and the planets are very cool. I guess everyone really starts with the planets and goes from there.
- You really can get into this with a pair of binoculars and star charts. I kind of went from "what bizarre thing can I see" to "how is the sky layed out and where is everything and THEN AND ONLY THEN can I see it. My personal opinion. Your milage may vary.
- Things like the zodiacal lights have become incredibly intriguing to me, but that had nothing to do with the reason I got into this (and I still am waiting to seem the lights).
Have a blessed life and family and hobby.
That's great and glad to help. Your expereince is very typical of most serious astronomers. You are definitely on your way, there. To paraphrase Terence Dickinson, you cannot become comfortable with a telescope until you know your way around the night sky. Computers can be either a good learning to tool to that effect or they can be a crutch.
By all means, continue to post and share your expereinces.
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Now, I use my green laser and it is fun fun fun!