Greetings

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Mud
  • Member since
    February, 2014
Greetings
Posted by Mud on Friday, February 07, 2014 8:28 AM

Hello, all. My name is Bob, and I live in Gaithersburg, MD. Like most here, I've been fascinated by celestial objects since I was small. After using various cameras with a variety of lenses (including a 500mm catadioptric), I decided to get serious about my stargazing. A few weeks ago I purchased a Celestron Nexstar 8SE, along with a filter and eyepiece kit. So far I haven't been able to take it to a sufficiently dark location to allow me to perform any alignment other than on Jupiter, but at least I've gotten some nice views of our largest planetary neighbor! I've never spent much time learning how to identify the many constellations, etc., but that will change. On my second night of viewing I turned my scope to a bright star in the southern sky, and pushed the "identify" button on the controller, and the result that came back was "Urkdah" (at least I think that's what it said). It was between 9:00 and 10:00 local. Does anyone recognize this? Since I was using only Jupiter for my alignment, it's quite likely this was simply a "best guess" of the controller.

Anyway, it's good to be a member of this forum, and time to read and learn.

Everyone should be a skeptic.

 

Celestron NexStar 8SE, Canon EOS XSi.

Moderator
  • Member since
    July, 2001
  • From: PA, USA, Earth Moderator
Posted by DaveMitsky on Friday, February 07, 2014 2:30 PM

Welcome to the Astronomy.com forums!

If the star was the brightest one visible and was positioned "below" Jupiter fairly close to the horizon and to the lower left of the constellation of Orion, it was likely Sirius.

http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/cm3.html

http://www.spacetelescope.org/static/archives/images/screen/heic0206j.jpg (the three brightest stars in the image - Betelgeuse, Procyon, and Sirius - form the Winter Triangle)

http://urbanastronomer.blogspot.com/2010/03/winter-triangle.html

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

Mud
  • Member since
    February, 2014
Posted by Mud on Friday, February 07, 2014 2:58 PM

SmileDave,

Thanks for your reply. I don't think it's Sirius, as I don't think it's low enough in the sky to be. After looking at the Earth and Sky article about Sirius, I think it might be Rigel. I just don't know the constellations yet. If I get out tonight I'll try to get a useful picture (thought "useful" will likely be quite subjective Smile. There is way too much ambient light where I've been setting up so far, but I think it will be better at the park down the road. I can't wait to take the scope to my father's place out in far western Maryland!

Everyone should be a skeptic.

 

Celestron NexStar 8SE, Canon EOS XSi.

Moderator
  • Member since
    July, 2001
  • From: PA, USA, Earth Moderator
Posted by DaveMitsky on Friday, February 07, 2014 3:00 PM

You may find some of the information on astronomy and amateur astronomy presented in my post entitled Advice for Beginning Amateur Astronomers under General Stargazing helpful, especially the link to the free planetarium program named Stellarium.

http://www.stellarium.org/

http://cs.astronomy.com/asy/observing/f/1/t/49111.aspx (previous posts will no longer hot-link here since the last forum upgrade)

Dave Mitsky

Sic itur ad astra!

Chance favors the prepared mind.

A man is a small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.

Mud
  • Member since
    February, 2014
Posted by Mud on Sunday, February 09, 2014 8:06 PM

Dave,

I was mistaken as to which star I was viewing. I realize I wasn't looking at the brightest star in the southern sky, but one near it. I walked to a darker location Friday night, and realized I had been looking at Columba. Once I knew what to look for, I was able to easily identify Orion's belt and Sirius (OK, Sirius is easy :-)). At least now I know a good nearby location for viewing.

Thanks,

Bob

Everyone should be a skeptic.

 

Celestron NexStar 8SE, Canon EOS XSi.

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