We have recently taken up amateur astronomy as a hobby that is fun and educational for our kids and ourselves. This weblog records our observations as we explore cosmos.
We use either a 10 in. or 4.5 in. Dobsonian reflector that we purchased from Orion. The “Dob” is a rugged and inexpensive design that makes it a popular choice for beginners. The telescope came with 10mm and 25mm Plössl eyepieces. We also purchased a 2× Barlow adaptor.
We also have a pair of binoculars for casual observing that we purchased from Orion (the Orion
“Outsider” series). They are 10 × 50 (10× power, 50 mm aperture) wide angle (7.6° field of view) with 17 mm of eye relief, which makes them usable with my eyeglasses on.
Many of these observations were made in our yard in Fishers, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis. Consequently, observing conditions are far from ideal; the sky is never very dark, and trees and houses obstruct some of the view. These conditions push many interesting objects past the level of observability in a small telescope, especially in the hands of a beginner. Nevertheless, we took the challenge of determining the limits of our new hobby.