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Stars?

Started by RobbiePackers, 01/13/2005 06:10AM
Posted 01/13/2005 06:10AM Opening Post
Hey everyone,

Iwrote a post here a whileago and got some great tips and have followed all your instructions, however , I still can't look at stars up close, i'ts just like a ball of light, is this supposed to be how it looks?

I can get the moon and some other planets but not the stars.

Any help is appreciated, thanks
Rob
Posted 01/13/2005 06:28AM | Edited 01/13/2005 06:28AM #1
Not sure what you're expecting to see when you look at stars. If it looks like a "ball" to you, it sounds like you're looking at a "blur circle" of a star, how a star looks if you haven't focused (rack the focuser in & out until the image is as 'small' as you can make it by focusing -- get it tiny, point-like. That's how you know the star's in focus).

At low to medium power, stars should just look like, well, stars: little points of light (albeit much brighter in the scope). At VERY high magnifications (higher than you should be using) a star can appear as a 'ball' if you've magnified it so much you see the Airy disc (which is a property of the telescope's limit of resolution, not an indication of the star's actual shape).
Posted 01/13/2005 07:15AM #2
Rob,
What telescope are you using? If it is a reflector, perhaps it is very far out of collimation, or you just aren't at the proper focus. However, if you can get a nice, crisp view of Saturn and the moon, you should be able to see stars without adjusting the focus. Sounds a bit strange? Any chance that there are bright lights (e.g. streetlights) shining above you and reflecting into the top of the eyepiece? Try using your hand to shield your eye when it is at the eyepiece if this is the case. But if you are seeing blurs for stars, not sure what the problem would be. Make sure that you leave the scope out for a little while before you start observing, so that it has time to cool down.

In any case, if you tell us what scope you have, that might help us give a bit more specific info...

Best regards,
Tim