Author Topic: Newbie silly question.  (Read 2601 times)

Stumpweasel

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Newbie silly question.
« on: April 28, 2016, 08:51:09 PM »
Hi all. Total novice alert. Im having no luck in getting a fix on anything. Ive got a Celestron 114eq and although during daylight i got good views of the lambing ewes on the hill on the one night it was clear enough i couldnt see anything. As instructed by manuel i used the X20 lens to practise focusing. Even using the finder scope is proving difficult. Could someone (without visibly smirking 😀) tell me, do telescopes have a large field of vision or are they quite narrow in field? Thanks in advance  ;D

Lorne

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Re: Newbie silly question.
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2016, 09:55:49 PM »
You need to make sure the finder scope is aligned with the main tube of the scope. This is best done in daytime by choosing a distant object like a pylon or chimney - the further away the better. Use the higher number eyepiece (lower magnification) to get the alignment close - then the smaller number (higher magnification) to get it exact.(you try not to align at night as if you choose a bright star or planet they appear to move due to the earth's rotation) You will get plenty time to practice alignment at this time of year as we are losing darkness until August when our season starts again.
The scope will have a narrow field of vision like looking through a straw!  :D  You can widen what you see by choosing eyepieces with a wider apparent field of view or using 2" diameter barrel eyepieces but I'd get some use out of the eyepieces supplied first. If you get to one of our meets you can try out different eyepieces in your scope. The easy way to get a wider view is binoculars, an 8x or 10x by 40/50 will let you see a lot more than naked eye at little cost. Most of the people I've observed with in the forum tend to use a combination of scope and binoculars throughout a session.
PS... the only silly question is the one you don't ask! (That gets said a lot on this forum)
L.

iam4208

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Re: Newbie silly question.
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2016, 08:59:54 AM »
Aligning your finderscope and the telescope is not as easy as it sounds and only comes with practice.
As Lorne suggests, it's much easier to do that in the daylight.
You'll get fed up looking at the little lambs pretty soon.
When you do point it at the night sky again, locating something like the moon in your finder and getting it in the telescope's view is a good first step.
Use your lowest magnification eyepiece, which is the one with the longest focal length, to start off with.
Once you have the moon centered in the finderscope's view and the telescope's view, try and do the same with Jupiter.
If you manage that, you're doing great, as both these objects will move while you're messing around.
Moving up to the next level, try using the North Star, Polaris next.  It doesn't move, so if you do get on it, you'll stay on it.
If you get that far, you've moved up from newbie to beginner ;D
Sky-Watcher Skyliner-250PX FlexTube Parabolic Truss-Tube Dobsonian with Baader Hyperion 36, 21, 13 and 8mm EPs and a 2x Barlow.
Telrad and RACI finder scope for finding objects the good ol' fashioned way:-)

Stumpweasel

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Re: Newbie silly question.
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2016, 12:49:22 PM »
Thanks for advice. Im not sure if the finderscope is in an awkward position, im too short or just a bad workwoman blambing her tools but i even find the finderscope a challenge. (I once had a shooting lesson and was told i was left eye dominent but right handed making shooting difficult so not sure if it would be the same with scopes). I will keep practising. It may be some time before i reach the heady level of beginner!

Andy

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Re: Newbie silly question.
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2016, 12:10:38 PM »
Hey - getting some practice in with scope on some bright objects as mentioned above is a great first step. Stellarium ( on both my laptop and phone ) is really useful for getting an idea of what is in the sky at the time you are observing was really helpful when I started and still is. I have my girlfriends brother and father over from Sweden this weekend and If there is even half a clear sky I was planning to take the lad up to Harperrigg for a couple hours observing tonight ( Saturday 30th ) and you would be more than welcome to join us. I could take a look at your scope and see if we can get you started as well if you were free


Andy
300mm Skywatcher Truss Dobsonian
80mm Celestron wide field refractor
Telrad and 9X50 RACI finder
Meade 5000 32mm/Q70 38mm/Skwatcher Nirvana 82 degree 28mm, 16mm, 7mm/Explore Scientific 100 degree 20mm/ Vixen LV 9mm /Televue Delos 4.5mm/ Televue Radian12mm and x2 Astro Revelation Barlow
Nikon D5000

Beagleboy

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Re: Newbie silly question.
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2016, 10:27:20 PM »
Hey Stumpy,


I hope I'm not being cheeky here, but when looking through the viewfinder, are you keeping both eyes open? You need to kind of keep staring at the star in the sky you want to point the scope at with one eye, and whilst doing so, look through the finder scope with the other[size=78%]. [/size]You'll then see your target star as stationary against a moving background when moving the scope, and as you get close you'll see the actual target star in the finder scope and the 'real sky' view superimpose on each other in the cross hairs of the finder.


I'm a beginner myself, but do a lot of microscopy in my job, so this approach is 2nd nature to me, but I have noticed that when I show my mates stuff through the scope, they insist on approaching the thing like Long John Silver!


As the others have said here as well, I always make sure my finderscope is aligned reasonably well each time I take the scope (Skywatcher Skyliner 200p Dobsonian), out into the garden. At the moment, I use the technique I just described to find Jupiter as it's easily the brightest thing in the South at the moment. I then center him in the eyepiece and quickly check how off center he is in the finder. If he's way off, it takes seconds to adjust the screws that hold the finder in place ...





Mine are two black screws, one on the top of the finder mount, t'other one is on the right of the mount, the silver one is just a springy clip thing that keeps the whole finder from plopping out onto your feet whilst monkeying around with the screws! However, I know that my finder is reasonably well aligned already as, again like others have already advised, I set it all up and aligned it in daylight first. So the odd bump as I take it outside isn't going to put it hugely out of whack.

Stumpweasel

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Re: Newbie silly question.
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2016, 12:07:26 AM »
Im a Long John Silver type  ;D. Im going to do as you suggested thankyou very much for your non cheeky advice. I didnt realise you could adjust the screws on the finderscope either. All your advice is greatly appreciated and you can guarantee ill be at the next meet barraging you all with questions.  :)

Lorne

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Re: Newbie silly question.
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2016, 10:09:45 AM »
With the luck we've had with the skies recently it will be November before our next meet  ::)

Beagleboy

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Re: Newbie silly question.
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2016, 09:58:09 AM »
Yep, you adjust the finderscope's alignment with the two knurled screws on the mount. You can also adjust the focus of the finderscope by loosening off the big ribbed ring (oooerr matron), at the front of the finder then screwing in or out the lens holder before locking it back in place with the ring.


I keep both eyes open while using the finderscope and while looking through the eyepieces. It's less tiring than closing one eye and stops me from squinting with my viewing eye. I simply hold my hand up against my non-viewing eye whilst looking down the eyepiece. Works a treat!

Stumpweasel

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Re: Newbie silly question.
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2016, 12:34:49 PM »
Im afraid i did childlessly snort at the ooo err matron. Ive managed to separate my shoulder ac joint lambing so am on strict slinged rest just now. So cant lift the scope outside but soon as slings off it'll be outside. Thanks guys you truly are stars  ;D