Beginner Astronomer

I’ve finally decided to take the next step in my astronomy interest. List night I went to the first meeting of the Palmerston North Astronomical Society up at the Palmerston North observatory. Half the time was mainly meeting formalities and a short presentation by the Chairman on a gathering they have each year called “Star Date”. After the we moved up to the telescope dome to get some viewing done. I can’t remember the exact size of telescope the dome housed bit it had an aperture of around 60cm (24 inches). This was the first time I had looked through a telescope of this size, even though it was very old I was pleasantly impressed. We viewed 4 objects that night I can’t remember what the first object was, I remember it was a nebula. The second was Barnard’s Loop (I think). This is where the Horse Head Nebula and Orion Nebula can be found although the telescope wasn’t able to resolve the Horse Head.¬† Then we had a look at the comet Lulin that is at its nearest pass at the moment, it was still very faint though. And lastly we pointed the telescope at Saturn, at the time it was close to the horizon, so we were getting a lot of atmospheric interference. There’s something about seeing an things in the night sky through a telescope with your own eyes that make it all that more awe-inspireing.

I think my next step is to pick up a pair of binoculors or a cheep telescope and get out there myself

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