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Thread: Why Can't I See That Much?

  1. #31
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    Default Re: Why Can't I See That Much?



    Reading this forum really makes me feel glad I never bought a Newtonian. I keep hearing about not being able to focus with a DSLR and all the problems with collimation and the inability to use high magnification.

    I know I'm in a minority of one on this but I'm even more convinced that a small refractor is a better 'scope to start with. If you are financially gifted, you could consider an ED or APO.
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  2. #32
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    Default Re: Why Can't I See That Much?

    Everything Bryan said is spot on. Just one more thing: even if Venus is in focus, you won’t see any detail. It is a white blob, sometimes circular and sometimes crescent-shaped, because it has phases, like the Moon.
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  3. #33
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    Default Re: Why Can't I See That Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clouded Out View Post
    Reading this forum really makes me feel glad I never bought a Newtonian. I keep hearing about not being able to focus with a DSLR and all the problems with collimation and the inability to use high magnification.

    I know I'm in a minority of one on this but I'm even more convinced that a small refractor is a better 'scope to start with. If you are financially gifted, you could consider an ED or APO.
    I agree that a small refractor is an excellent scope to start with. I disagree about Newtonians. Focusing a DSLR is not a problem if you get the right Newtonian, collimation is easy to learn and takes less than a minute, and magnification is limited only by aperture.
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  4. #34
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    Arrow Re: Why Can't I See That Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clouded Out View Post
    Reading this forum really makes me feel glad I never bought a Newtonian. I keep hearing about not being able to focus with a DSLR and all the problems with collimation and the inability to use high magnification.

    I know I'm in a minority of one on this but I'm even more convinced that a small refractor is a better 'scope to start with. If you are financially gifted, you could consider an ED or APO.
    Wellsir ... I must admit it is very frustrating. I thought all I needed to do is look through the scope to see the stars. I never realize I had to learn how to view things. The collmation is something I didn't think would be a factor either. I didn't know what I was getting into until I started reading the negative reviews on the scope after I ordered it. So now I'm stuck learning how to use it. I've checked out all the videos I can find on the scope to help and joined this forum. I see I'm going to need a lot of help with this. Hopefully when the moon comes out it will help me learn how to use the scope better. I did find out I need a moon filter so I ordered one online, with luck it will be here by the time of the full moon. Cloudy tonight so no view, or practice.

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  5. #35
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    Default Re: Why Can't I See That Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by spirittoo View Post
    Wellsir ... I must admit it is very frustrating. I thought all I needed to do is look through the scope to see the stars. I never realize I had to learn how to view things. The collmation is something I didn't think would be a factor either. I didn't know what I was getting into until I started reading the negative reviews on the scope after I ordered it. So now I'm stuck learning how to use it. I've checked out all the videos I can find on the scope to help and joined this forum. I see I'm going to need a lot of help with this. Hopefully when the moon comes out it will help me learn how to use the scope better. I did find out I need a moon filter so I ordered one online, with luck it will be here by the time of the full moon. Cloudy tonight so no view, or practice.

    Ya know what will really help a bunch, that is finding a local astro club or even a public star party or observing event. A half hour with an experienced astronomer will do wonders for you and set you off on the right path. On-the-job training, as it were.

    We have a program we are getting started in our club where we pair a few brand new astronomers with a seasoned person for some observing sessions to learn basic concepts, such as focusing, finder alignment, finding things in the sky, etc. Very basic, but very helpful.

    What we have found, at least here locally, is that new folks show up with their brand new shiny scope to learn, but can often be intimidated with asking questions in front of a larger group. Hopefully by having more personalized observing sessions with other new folks to learn with, we can break the ice and get them more involved in the hobby, and hopefully the club too.
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  6. #36
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    Default Re: Why Can't I See That Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by spirittoo View Post
    Wellsir ... I must admit it is very frustrating. I thought all I needed to do is look through the scope to see the stars. I never realize I had to learn how to view things. The collmation is something I didn't think would be a factor either. I didn't know what I was getting into until I started reading the negative reviews on the scope after I ordered it. So now I'm stuck learning how to use it. I've checked out all the videos I can find on the scope to help and joined this forum. I see I'm going to need a lot of help with this. Hopefully when the moon comes out it will help me learn how to use the scope better. I did find out I need a moon filter so I ordered one online, with luck it will be here by the time of the full moon. Cloudy tonight so no view, or practice.

    Definitely don't give up! We have all had and continue to have frustrating times whether it be learning the basics or learning and getting used to new equipment. Take your time with it and continue to be patient. Things will start to click for you and it will be a wonderful feeling for you when that happens. I started with looking at the moon and I went through similar issues as you as far as finding it. I couldn't believe it was right there and my scope was pointing right at it, but it simply wasn't in my EP. With practice I found it. If your finder is aligned it should get you close enough to get it in your EP fast. Keep up the good work, you will get there!

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  7. #37
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    Default Re: Why Can't I See That Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by spirittoo View Post
    Wellsir ... I must admit it is very frustrating. I thought all I needed to do is look through the scope to see the stars. I never realize I had to learn how to view things. The collmation is something I didn't think would be a factor either. I didn't know what I was getting into until I started reading the negative reviews on the scope after I ordered it. So now I'm stuck learning how to use it. I've checked out all the videos I can find on the scope to help and joined this forum. I see I'm going to need a lot of help with this. Hopefully when the moon comes out it will help me learn how to use the scope better. I did find out I need a moon filter so I ordered one online, with luck it will be here by the time of the full moon. Cloudy tonight so no view, or practice.

    My first telescope was a 4.5" Newtonian on a manual equatorial mount. After viewing the Moon (wow!) and trying to locate more challenging objects (not so wow), I soon learned two things. First, I was hooked on this hobby, and second, I really disliked the shaky, awkward manual equatorial mount. The scope itself had decent optics, but I did not like the cheap .965" eyepieces. I soon sold the scope to a kid for less than 1/4 of what I paid for it. Even today, I feel kind of bad about that; wish I had just given it to him.

    I will spare you my journey of subsequent equipment. Now, a 80-100mm achromatic refractor on a sturdy alt-az mount is my first choice for a not-too-expensive scope recommendation to a beginner. Many will suggest an 8" Dob, and that is a good choice also. I would have a big Dob if my housing situation allowed me a space to store it and wheel it out to observe. An 8" Dob has about 4x the light-gathering capacity of a 4" refractor. Aperture is king, as they say, but portability that leads to frequent use can be even better.

    Where I am going with all this is: you CAN get a lot out of the scope you have. With patience and perseverance, you can observe the Moon, bright planets and many DSOs. It is not for me or anyone to say that the scope is no good. But you will have to learn and understand how to use the manual equatorial mount to find and track objects, and it frankly is not a simple thing.

    If you cannot find a local club or someone to help you learn your scope, and you continue to be frustrated with it, it's not wrong to decide this scope was not the best choice for you, and to get something different. This is a rewarding, life-long hobby, and there is no reason to beat your head against a wall trying to use a scope that doesn't meet your needs.
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    Arrow Re: Why Can't I See That Much?

    Couple of questions ... I saw a video where they align the telescope with the north star. Why is that? Is it something I have to do when I set it up outside? Is it something that has to be done when ever I take it outside? Once done it can't be moved is that correct? Second question ... should I get a motor drive? Will that help?
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    Default Re: Why Can't I See That Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by spirittoo View Post
    Couple of questions ... I saw a video where they align the telescope with the north star. Why is that? Is it something I have to do when I set it up outside? Is it something that has to be done when ever I take it outside? Once done it can't be moved is that correct? Second question ... should I get a motor drive? Will that help?
    Aligning with Polaris (the North Star) needs to be done for accurate movement and tracking with an equatorial mount. Alt/azimuth mounts do not require alignment with Polaris.

    Motor drives can facilitate tracking and keeping an object in the center of the field of view (if properly aligned). This can be most useful when using higher magnification or during public outreach events. Otherwise, with no tracking motor, the object with drift out of the field of view due to the rotation of Earth. In other words, you have to occasionally nudge the scope to re-center the object. Lower magnification requires less frequent nudging, while higher magnification requires more frequent nudging.
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    Default Re: Why Can't I See That Much?

    Quote Originally Posted by spirittoo View Post
    Couple of questions ... I saw a video where they align the telescope with the north star. Why is that? Is it something I have to do when I set it up outside? Is it something that has to be done when ever I take it outside? Once done it can't be moved is that correct? Second question ... should I get a motor drive? Will that help?
    In your signature block, you list your telescope as "Celestron PowerSeeker 127EQ". The "EQ" means that it is on an equatorial mount. An equatorial mount has its principle axis parallel to the Earth's axis, to make tracking objects as the sky rotates easier. But obviously that will only work if you ensure that its axis is indeed parallel to the Earth's axis. Any time you set the scope up for observing, you need to do this alignment.

    The process of aligning the axis with the Earth's axis usually involves aiming it at Polaris, which happens to be conveniently close to the north celestial pole. That process is what you saw in the video.

    Note that it is the axis of the mount that is aimed at Polaris, not the telescope itself. The telescope can, of course, be aimed anywhere in the sky after completing the polar alignment, but the mount must not be moved.
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