Turn Left at Orion
Many beginning amateur astronomers are
in the position that I was in several years ago when I started. I had just
invested around $500 into an Orion 8-inch Deep Space Explorer Dobsonian
and a few accessories. Orion was kind enough to include a software program
to aid in locating different objects, but I still didnít know what to
look at. I could find a few objects of course. The Moon and the brighter
planets were easy. The Orion Nebula was a piece of cake. I could also find
a couple of galaxies. However, after that I ran out of things to look at
pretty quickly. It was also kind of embarrassing whenever anyone wanted to
look through the telescope, and I couldnít find very many objects.
Iím not sure, but somehow I heard of
ďTurn Left at OrionĒ. I picked up a copy and lo-and behold. It told me
how to find various objects. I would venture to say that book is one of
the most important items that a beginner should purchase. It gives
directions on finding 100 interesting objects by star hopping, along with
a section on lunar and planetary observing.
The first part of the book deals with
lunar viewing. There are a number of photographs of various phases of the
moon, along with interesting features. Another section deals with the
planets and drawings of how they appear through a small telescope.
The major portion of the book has 100
objects visible through a small telescope; which run the gamut from
multiple stars, to nebulas and galaxies. They are broken down by season.
Each object has a rating of 1 to 4 telescopes. (the higher the number, the
better the view). Following that is a star diagram, directions on how to
find the object, and a drawing of how it looks through a telescope.
I found this an invaluable book. If
you follow along, you too will be able to find the Blinking Planetary, or
M13, M81 and 97 other objects. Even
though Iíve bought 3 copies, I do not happen to actually own one now. It
seems that whenever I meet someone starting out I give mine away. However
I am planning on purchasing yet another copy soon.
Pros: Excellent book invaluable for learning to find deep sky objects.Cons: Canít seem to hang on to my copy.
Submitted by Anonymous