Re: (IAAC) FWD: What should I buy? (rich field scopes)
Don't be too worried, Luis! A 4.5" Newtonian reflector can be a fine observing
instrument... But as you discovered, the MOUNT that your 4.5" reflector is
resting on leaves something to be desired!
If you're having trouble finding deep-sky objects, don't despair: finding your
first galaxy (no matter how bright) is a WHOLE LOT tougher than finding your
100th (no matter how dim or isolated!)
It *is* possible to find many galaxies with a 4.5" though: the wobbly mount
makes it more of a challenge, as does trying to do it alone! And if you add on
to that trying to do it from the City or suburbs... frustration!
Are you aware of any other observing groups in your area - or even of any
individual amateurs you might be able to observe with? Learning the techniques
for finding things in the sky can be a whole lot easier if someone is actually
present to help you. Of course, if you DO live in a darker, more isolated area,
there may actually be no experienced amateurs nearby...
Also, have you tried using the telescope to find objects that are easier than
most galaxies - like nebulae, globular clusters, and ESPECIALLY open clusters?
These objects are frequently much brighter than most galaxies (bright enough to
be seen in a small instrument even from the City!), and are also more likely to
be in the vicinity of brighter naked eye stars - making them easier to locate!
And once you've started finding these brighter objects, two things happen: you
become more confident and start having more fun, AND you begin learn the whole
sky and its navigation better.
Well, hope this helps some! Write back, and don't be afraid to ask us any
question! That's what this list is here for: sharing the wonder (and sometimes
the frustration) of Deep Sky observing! :)
Lew Gramer <firstname.lastname@example.org>