Hi all. I just recently discovered the AAVSO and I'd like to get started with observing. I've read through the manuals on visual and CCD observing. I think to keep things simple I should start out by doing some visual observations.
The first problem I ran into is which stars to observe. I found the ten star tutorial, but it appears none of them are well above the horizon tonight over southern California. Can anyone recommend some targets of low magnitude?
Then, do I need a photometry filter to get started? I have a Celestron Nexstar 8SE, a ZWO ASI120MC CCD cam, and for filters I have a Lumicon UHC and OIII filter. I'm not sure I want to drop a couple hundred bucks just yet on a specialized filter until I get my feet wet. What do you folks recommend?
Also, how much does light pollution matter? I'm in a suburban area so the light pollution is pretty bad, although not terrible.
Finally, once I've found the target, and I pull up my star chart, how do I actually make a visual observation? I know I'm supposed to compare it to the nearby stars, but it seems strange that I would be able to get it down to 0.1 magnitude. What are some tips to up my accuracy? And is there a graph for each of these stars that I could look at to see what the magnitude SHOULD be tonight?