I was in Target today looking over the array of rechargable batteries and want to use the best batteries, but the "read this first" manual doesn't say anything about Titanium or Lithium rechargables... Is it because they are no no's? Or can varying batteries be used without damaging or malfunctioning the precious H1?
NEVERMIND - I SEARCHED BATTERIES AND FOUND:
JTF! Welcome to the club!
1) Depends on what kind of battery you are using. A NiMH (nickle-metal-hydride) needs a few recharge/discharge cycles to perform to full capacity. They do need to be periodically discharged fully for best service. They can be charged when not fully discharged with less memory effects than a Nicad. (Memory effects are largely influenced by the charge rate.) These will self-discharge at a higher rate than Nicads.
LiON (lithium ion) batteries don't seem to need more than one charge to work at capacity or darn tootin' close, they can be recharged anytime and have a very low self-discharge rate.
For more on batteries than you ever wanted to know, check out the Battery University at http://www.batteryuniversity.com
2) The quick start guide will be good enough to get you going on point&shoot mode. I like to read the full manual of any new piece of equipment before I start using it -- but that's just me.
I think that you are going to want a printout of the full users guide. My uncle took such a CD to Kinko's and had them print and bind it cheaper than he could have printed it for himself on his inkjet.
3) Please check out Battery University. Info' overload awaits.
4) Can't say much about this. Does your camera have a "Bulb" setting? That's where the shutter stays open as long as your finger is on the shutter release button. Maybe use that and the largest aperture (smallest f/number) that you can.
There may be other sections on this forum where you could find better information, or try a few astronomy sites. They would likely have generic advice on astrophotography.
Above all, have fun!