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Having Some Trouble!

Started by RobbiePackers, 01/06/2005 08:25AM
Posted 01/06/2005 08:25AM Opening Post
I got a telescope and have not got a clue how to use it, I can focus on the moon and it looks great but i cant seem to get a good look at any stars.

I think It is the way I am setting it up. I am just going outside and Putting it anywhere, is there a way to know what direction you are pointing in and what is your longitude and latitude etc

I also would like to know where to look for the various different planets?

Thanks Rob
Posted 01/06/2005 08:43AM #1
focusing on stars, etc. should be no different than doing so on the moon. Use lower power to find things though.

Saturn: the bright star almost straight overhead before you go to bed.

Jupiter: early pre-dawn sky, to the south -- the REALLY bright one.
Posted 01/06/2005 09:02AM #2
Rob,

Take a look at www.telescope.com and go to the learning center. There is a bunch of fairly easy to understand information there.

In general, your telescope will be mounted either in equatorial fashion or in altitude-azimuth fashion. The latter is basically identical to a camera tripod head, in that the telescope just moves up and down or left and right. With this type of mount, it doesn't really matter how you orient it during set-up, unless it is a computerized GOTO mount. The former variety (equatorial mount) is similar, except that the azimuth axis has been tilted up at an angle so that it points at either the North Celestial Pole (basically the North Star (Polaris)) or the South Celestial Pole; the NCP in your case. This type of mount follows the apparent motion of the stars, planets, moon, etc. with movement about a single axis (called the Right Ascension axis). You then just have to turn a single knob or motorize one axis to track the star movement and keep objects centred in the field of view as the Earth spins.

Anyway, check out the Orion website and bounce around on the web a bit and you'll find a whole lot of useful info for beginners. And as previously mentioned, use your lowest power eyepieces (highest focal length numbers (in mm) written on the eyepiece) to find items with. You'll fall in love with Saturn when you see it for the first time. It is currently directly below two bright stars, Castor and Pollux, in the constellation Gemini and looks just like a similarly bright star to the naked eye. With binoculars, you'll notice that it looks different than a star though, and with a magnification of about 25-50x through your telescope, you should clearly be able to make out the rings.

Enjoy your new scope and take the time to learn to use it! Clear skies!

Tim
Posted 01/06/2005 11:37AM #3
Rob,

Can you give details on your scope - brand, model, size, focal lenght, EP sizes ...

Can you descibe what you expect to see? Most pictures you see and the telescope view will be drastically different. Knowing your scope will help people descibe what you should expect.

Ed
Posted 01/07/2005 07:11AM | Edited 01/07/2005 07:13AM #4
Get this month's skymap - a very helpful, 2-page sheet with an
all-sky map, info on astronomical events and explanations - at
the Skymaps download page:

http://skymaps.com/downloads.html

You may need to download and install Adobe Acrobat Reader to open this sky map;

http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html

Also of help is the Abrams planetarium Skywatcher's Diary:

http://www.pa.msu.edu/abrams/SkyWatchersDiary/Diary.html

If it's clear Jan. 7, 8 where you are located, try finding
comet Malchholz. Try finding it with binoculars first - it's
located right next to a very easy to see cluster of stars called the Pleiades/Seven Sisters/M45. It's a cluster you've probably already noticed in your sky, even though you may not have known what it is. Then try finding it with your telescope, Info at:

http://skyandtelescope.com/observing/objects/comets/article_1396_1.asp

For the next couple of days this comet will appear as a small, but fairly easy to see fuzzy patch of light next to M45:

http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2005/05jan_machholz.htm