How to Star Hop with a 9x50 Finder Scope

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by , 09-17-2013 at 08:45 PM (5120 Views)
Just blogging about this post by jonny ringo which I find quite good for reference purposes:

Quote Originally Posted by jonny ringo View Post
The book (Pocket Sky Atlas) is not a waste of money. It's the only chart I use in the field. Here's a free lesson with pictures to add to Skfboiler's example above. Find out the FOV of your finderscope. Then, bend a wire into a circle using the scale printed on the inside of the front cover. I use a keychain ring that is pretty close to 5 degrees because my 9x50 finder is 5 degrees.

Now lets say I want to find M27 Dumbbell Nebula. I find it on page 64 of the atlas. It's near the constellation Sagitta. Now if you have dark skies like I do, you should be able to find the constellation Sagitta in the sky. This is why it's a good idea to learn your constellations. I'm going to start at the star Gamma in Sagitta. So I aim my telescope until I can get that star centered in the finder. Now put your ring over that star in your atlas and compare the views.

You should be able to see all the stars from inside the ring, in your finderscope. Plus maybe a few more.

So now you want to move your ring up towards M27, like in the following picture.

Notice where Gamma is now. It's down at the bottom of your ring. So move your telescope until Gamma moves towards the bottom of your finderscope FOV. Now compare your star patterns again. You should be able to see the star that is right over M27 in your finder. If you have dark skies and good seeing, you might even be able to see M27 in the finder as well. It will look like like a fuzzy star. Weather you can see M27 in the finder or not, move you telescope until that area where it should be is centered in your finder. If your finder is aligned properly, you should have no trouble seeing M27 in a low power eyepiece. If not, you can slowly sweep around a bit until you find it.

I hope this helps the OP as well as anybody else who is learning how to manually star hope.
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  1. fido's Avatar
    That's an easy trick to try. Simple things like this are less likely to not work.
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