Turn Left at Orion: Hundreds of Night Sky Objects to See in a Home Telescope - and How to Find Them

Author: Guy Consolmagno, Dan M. Davis


by sparker72678   2021-02-27
The recommendations about binoculars are definitely worth considering.

However, if you're ready for the telescope, my advice is to spend as much money as your budget has on getting the biggest aperture you can buy.

More light = more better.

Auto-tracking is nice, but learning how to find objects in the night sky is a fun and worthy exercise, and if you have a big aperture you'll actually be able to see the things your telescope points to.

A few things to keep in mind:

* You're not going to see DSOs (Deep Sky Objects, like nebulae and galaxies) from the middle of a major urban area. You need access to a dark site. (Search for "light pollution map") Planets are easy to see from anywhere, cities included (though the viewing is always better the darker the sky is).

* Many objects in the night sky will look like little fuzzy gray spots to your eyes, no matter how awesome your telescope is. Don't expect a Hubble experience from a 6" scope (or 8, or 12+).

* Don't expect to take photos through your telescope, either. You might manage to get some cool shots of the moon (which looks _amazing_ in a telescope, btw), but true astro photography is a whole 'nother beast (both fun and expensive).

With all that as background, I'd recommend a 6" or 8" Dobsonian if you've got the budget. Something like an Orion Sky Quest XT8 or XT6.

My favorite book, by a light year, is "Turn Left at Orion". It'll help you find thousands of cool things in the night sky, and it's great for beginners on up. — https://www.amazon.com/Turn-Left-Orion-Hundreds-Telescope/dp...

P.S. Definitely checkout r/telescopes for additional advice and info.