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Hi Chris

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Posted by Bob Sal on September 30, 2003 16:11:14 UTC

Good advise from danieldgi there. Let me add a few more things. Pointing and observing with a telescope is a skill. You can't expect to point it anywhere and see everything. One of the first thing you'll need is a starter astronomy book. There are lots out there, your local large book store will usually have a few. Let me suggest SkyWatching by David Levy whcih is usually found in the Science or Astronomy section of a loage book stores. It gives you maps of all 88 constilitations and shows you where to find the best objects. Just about every object in the book is visiable a 16" telescope. It's a great book to help you learn the sky. The Cambridge Star Atlas is also good and the Cambridge Star and Planets Handbook is also good. There are many more, just make sure you get one with sky maps to use in finding Deep Sky Objects (DSO's).
One of the main problems with new backyard astronomers is over anticipation. Nothing will look like the pictures you see in magazines and books. Even in a 16" telescope. Check out the planets and the moon first. Note: you'll need a filter on the moon with that big a scope. A moon filter or a red filter will be good. Next look for the Messier objects. These and the ones labeled with an M. Like M31 the Andromeda Galaxy, M13 the Herculese cluster, etc. There are 110 Messier objects and they should all be easy bright targets for that size scope. There are over 7800 NGC object and just about all are visible in that scope as well but not all from the northern hemesphere. Start with the Messiers so you get a good feel for what your looking for. Get a copy of Sky & Telescope or Astronomy magazine, there are lots of help in these magazines. I can go on and on but that should give you a good start so keep us posted. Good Luck.
That's it;
BOB SAL

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