You’ve just bought your new telescope, and you’re excited to try it on your first night. The first night can be daunting, especially if you aren’t sure what to observe. Celestron is here to give you 12 targets to view with your telescope of amateur astronomy.
Solar System Objects
- The Moon
For most people, Earth’s Moon will be their first target for your new telescope. It’s visible most nights of the year and viewed in many phases. Spend one lunar cycle gazing at the Moon night after night. Mean that you’ll see many changes in the details of the Moon.
Jupiter is the King of the Planets and is relatively easy to locate in the sky, and appears large and bright through any size telescope or binocular. One of the most exciting features includes the cloud bands (the dark stripes), the zones (the lighter regions), the four Galilean moons and the Great Red Spot (visible in larger telescopes).
The second-largest gas plane in our Solar System, Saturn, is another accessible object to find your new telescope. Its most distinctive feature is its systems of rings. We recommend that you try to view the Rings of Saturn quickly as, by 2025, the circles will appear around the edge. Because they are so thin, they’ll disappear, leaving Saturn’s appearance as a lonely orb.
4. Venus & Mars
Neighbouring planets of Earth are a favourite for amateur astronomers. When visible in the sky, these two planets are quite bright and easy to view through your any size telescope. Like the Moon, Venus goes through phases, and it is interesting to consider its various stages. As for Mars, you’ll be able to observe features like polar ice caps, Maria, and dust storms.
Any given moment, several faint comets litter the sky. Though most can only be seen by giant and professional telescopes. Bright comets like Hale-Bopp and NEOWISE are mostly uncommon. If you want to hunt for comets, use planetarium apps like SkySafari, which alerts you to any comets that may be visible on the night.
6. The Sun
IMPORTANT: Before viewing the Sun, you must equip your telescope with a separate safe solar filter. It should also be certified to the latest ISO standards and cover the entire aperture of your telescope. Viewing the sky without a proper solar filter will cause permanent, irreversible damage to your eyes and equipment.
Now with the proper solar filter equipped. The Sun is a fantastic object to observe. It’s incredible to see the surface of the Sun continually changing. If you want to monitor the current activity of the Sun, use the website spaceweather.com.
Deep Space Objects and the Messier Catalogue
While you can view some deep-sky objects visible from the sky, traveling to a place with a dark atmosphere will vastly improve your views of all deep-sky items.
Make sure to set your sights on the Great Orion Nebula, aka M42. It’s a good observation item due to its brightness and size. You can also try Eskimo and Crab Nebulae. Make sure you check your computerized telescope’s hand control or a planetarium app to help you get these objects’ location.
A galaxy is a gravitationally bound system of stars, stellar remnants, interstellar gas, dust and dark matter. There are four types of galaxies that are visible: spiral, lenticular, elliptical, and irregular. Some galaxies can be small and faint; others are huge and breath-taking to view. One of the highlights is the Andromeda Galaxy, and if you want to, you can even observe our galaxy and, of course, the Milky Way.
9. Globular Clusters
These are spherical collections of stars that orbits a galactic core. The gravitational bonds within clusters give these objects a unique shape and density in the centre. A good example is The Milky Way Galaxy is full of globular clusters to observe. Check your telescope’s hand control or planetarium app to find out which ones are visible from your location.
Here are a few favourites: M13, M5, M3, and M92 in the Northern Hemisphere and Omega Centauri, M13, 47 Tuc, and M22 from the Southern Hemisphere.
10. Open Star Clusters
It’s a group of up to a few thousand stars formed from the same giant molecular cloud and are still loosely gravitationally bound to each other. Our Solar System has about 30 Open Star Clusters to observe. Make sure to check your computerized telescope’s hand control or a planetarium app to their locations.
11. Capture an Astroimage with your Smartphone
If you’re photography, they might be nothing better to capture than space itself. Due to smartphone camera technology advancements, you can capture pictures of celestial objects and instantly share them with friends.
The process couldn’t be more straightforward. You need to add a smartphone adapter to your telescope, make sure that it’s centred on the eyepiece, and you can start astroimaging. Mess with your phone’s camera settings to get the image you want.
Here’s a tiny tip that uses a remote shutter release or timer to avoid shaking the camera when you press the button. Another one is that you can use video calling and live streaming to share your view through your telescope in real-time.
12. Astroimage with a DSLR or Astroimaging Camera
If you genuinely want a breath-taking picture of space, you can try it with a DSLR or astroimaging camera. You try it by attaching it to your telescope. To use a DSLR camera, you’ll need a camera adapter for your camera. For an astroimaging camera, you’ll need to download appropriate software so you can view it via your computer.
These are just a few things that you can view in space with your brand new telescope. Be it a beginner or veteran, viewing space has never been more accessible.
Original article: celestron.com
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