General advice

Andy Wilson

Hi Donald,

May I also welcome you to the BAA. I became seriously interested in astronomy at around the same time as you, just over 30 years ago when I was 11. Jeremy has given you some excellent advice which I completely agree with. I find being involved with observing sections to be the most rewarding part of my BAA membership. You certainly don’t need to be an expert and there are plenty of people in the sections willing to offer help and advice.

As a variable star observer myself I concur with Jeremy that your equipment is ideally suited to making variable star observations. Although much useful work is done with CCDs and DSLRs, variable star observations made by eye are still of immense importance and value. Indeed the Variable Star Section has more active visual observers than CCD/DSLR observers.

Using binoculars or a small telescope to observe variable stars is a great way to use and improve your knowledge of the sky. I have a few variables that I follow with binoculars when I don’t have the time to do imaging or just want a relaxing observing session looking at the stars.

I’m sure any other section would welcome you too. The Comet and Deep Sky Section spring to mind with your equipment.

It is worth pointing out that next Saturday, 27th June, is the Exhibition meeting in Cardiff. If you are able to attend then it is a great place to see the work of the different observing sections and discuss how best to start contributing observations. That is how I started out in variable star observing, when I attend an exhibition meeting at Cambridge back in 2001, if my memory serves..

Best wishes,