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(IAAC) "Dear Stargazers": HOW TO GET STARTED!



Hi, Greyowl... Great question! The first and best suggestion most
people usually give on how to get started with telescope observing
is to join a local club! Find people near you who you can meet up
with in person to learn more about: observing, what's to see, how to
see it, where to observe from, and all the other worrisome questions
we amateurs always face.
As for how to begin posting to THIS list, EASY! Grab your LX10 (or
even a simple pair of binoculars), get a decent star chart (even
the sky map in the middle of Sky&Telescope or Astronomy magazine),
and learn to locate some of the celestial wonders in the night sky!
In fact, I'm about to post an observation I did last night of the
gorgeous open cluster M11, in the constellation Scutum. I did it from
my light-polluted backyard (5 miles from downtown Boston!), with a
pair of crummy 7x50s! That observation may not be too interesting to
deep-sky mavens, but it sure shows how little you need to get started!
Anyway, if you have any other questions about deep-sky (nonplanetary
and nonlunar) observing, post them to "netastrocatalog-announce". If
you're interested in other kinds of observing (lunar, planetary, comet,
meteor, etc.), send me a private email and I can point you a few places.
Clear skies, and good observing!
Lew Gramer
At 10:06 PM 4/15/97 -0700, you wrote:
>Dear Stargazers,
>
>Here's a very beginning question for you:  WHERE DO I START??  :-)
>
>I'm a new owner of a Meade LX10, and I just joined the American 
>Association of Amateur Astronomers.  They sent me a few "observing 
>lists," one of which consists entirely of spotting and identifying all 
>the features of our moon.  
>
>Does anyone out there know of an online moon map?  Or even a schedule for 
>best observing times for different features?
>
>Thanks!
>
>Firefly
>
>