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Full Version: New skywatcher help
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Hello all,

My name is Ed. I live in Upstate NY. I have always been fascinated with what we cannot explain. I am not sure what I believe yet but I am wanting to figure it out.

I have wanted to really watch the sky for awhile, and my interest has picked up after stating to listen to Darkness Radio with Dave Schrader.

Anyway, it's a nice night here and I thought tonight would be good. We recently took a tree down and it opened up a good portion of the sky in our yard. We live in your average rural neighborhood. We have a corner lot so we have lots of open sky on the one side of our house. About the last month, I have been drawn to this one patch of sky, and I am not sure if it is me doing this subconsciously or something else.

So, I make a cup of joe and head out to enjoy the night. Where we live, we have some neighbors who are kind of obnoxious and it raises some difficulties for the neighborhood sometimes. So, I am relaxing, enjoying the sky, and the night. Then the yells and animal noises begin from the windows of their house. Ugh, so much for peace. I try to ignore but they continue.

I move over to the other side of house, and the sky is really obstructed by a bunch of trees and I get blinded by the motion lights when I more. Not a great first night out, I gave up after about 20 minutes.

So, I am really excited to be here and to learn a good way to do this skywatching. And to hopefully how to deal with neighborhood distractions. They will do it all Summer, they just don't care.

I haven't ever had an experience or saw anything for that matter, but I cannot dismiss the plethera of material out there. I welcome any comments or suggestions as I am just starting. I really just want to sit in the woods and wait for something to fly by or hear something. Patience is the key! Talk to you all soon!
Keep looking up & down! I think most sights occur when not waiting for them. You could set up a camera or two? I had neighbors who were night people and would sit out all night with a gun in the back yard. They said you would not believe what you see in the sky and in the streets. Do not let your neighbors discourage you.
Perhaps you ought to get Stellarium for your smartphone or tablet. When you are familiar with what"s supposed to be in the sky, it's way easier to recognize when there's something unexpected in your field of view, this also tends to eliminate certain misidentification problems involving planets. At one point, I had a friend who became terrified of the planet Venus appearing in the same spot several nights in a row (at least until I disambiguated her). Constellations make pretty good markers for describing the locations of other things "up there" so long as you are aware of the date and the time. Hope this helps!