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#1 Melange

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 11:19 AM

Hi there, I have been playing around with my Ad8 telescope and have posted questions about focusing, mirrors, and whatnot but i find myself trying to swim in the deep end before i'm ready, and I have been plagued by mosquitos at  night, or clouds, so I have started to use my telscope in the morning to get used to actually using it.

 

My question is, is there someone here who has time on their hands, have used an 8" telescope and have skype that would like to video chat/text back and forth if I have a sudden question? I'm in central timezone/us, let me know via personal message thanks, oh and you must be patient with me and willing to explain the simplest things, i will learn all this and i am dedicated to it :3

 

oh and as for my forum question, is there like a really good video of someone explaining how to use a dobsonian telescope in detail? Like tutorials on stargazing etc.  thanks. (i have been scouring youtube)


Edited by Melange, 04 August 2014 - 07:29 PM.


#2 kfiscus

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 12:32 PM

I don't have Skype but I'm extra odd.  You can ask ANY question and I (and many others) here will help you.  You've been honest with us about your ability level- we'll be considerate and kind.  I've owned every size of dob except an 8" from 4.5" to 12".  Ask away.


Edited by kfiscus, 04 August 2014 - 12:34 PM.


#3 Melange

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 07:39 PM

Ok I suppose i'll start with the eyepiece, right now I have the 30mm attached to an extension tube per a suggestion from someone, I was told i have been completely out of focus, the trouble im having is staring at the moon, it doesnt get smaller, its rather quite large, i rack the focuser and maybe it shrinks a little but not much, advice?



#4 kfiscus

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 07:54 PM

Have you been able to get a clear view of the moon yet?  I think your 30mm EP will come to focus fairly far out when looking at the moon.  I'm clouded out right now, but if you're looking at the moon now, we may be able to get you started.



#5 magic612

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 10:46 AM

These aren't specifically related to a Dobsonian telescope, but I made a Telescope Basics series of videos, along with some Stargazing Basics to help beginners better understand how to get started. Perhaps these will help somewhat. I also make an astronomy video every week about how to find things in the night sky.


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#6 SteveG

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 04:27 PM

On mine (same manufacturer), I did not use the extension tube. Just pull the 30 mm eyepiece out of the focuser about 1/4" or just a bit more, then rack the focuser out almost all the way. 



#7 Billytk

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 08:09 PM

On mine (same manufacturer), I did not use the extension tube. Just pull the 30 mm eyepiece out of the focuser about 1/4" or just a bit more, then rack the focuser out almost all the way. 

+1 same thing I do with mine.



#8 Melange

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:27 PM

thanks everyone, I will look at the videos and learn more! I did as you suggested by removing the extension tube and it worked!!!!!!! I was able to successfully use my telescope for the first time and focused in on the moon and then was on a roll, using my 30mm, then my more magnified plossl eyepiece, the difference between both was astounding, one was just right and had loads of detail on the moon and the other more magnified eyepiece brought everything into insane detail, I am going to use my barlow tomorrow night and try to get it super large.

now that i feel I have tackled the moon I'd like to move to Jupiter, i am having a hard time finding it, so i will watch some videos and figure it out, thanks again everyone. I was looking at what I thought was Jupiter with my plossl eyepiece, had cross hairs in my view, so i racked the focused down until they disappeared, but all i was left with was a small dot almost no bigger than when i looked at it in the sky.

i think, i am just too inexperienced right now to recognize what i am looking at haha.


Edited by Melange, 05 August 2014 - 11:28 PM.


#9 kfiscus

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:36 PM

You won't be able to find Jupiter for a while.  It is currently lost in the glare near the sun.  Look for Saturn as a bright yellow unblinking 'star' in the south.  When you see it, your life will be different.  One's first views of the ringed wonder are special.  We'll hear your gasp of amazement.



#10 pogobbler

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 11:50 PM

thanks everyone, I will look at the videos and learn more! I did as you suggested by removing the extension tube and it worked!!!!!!! I was able to successfully use my telescope for the first time and focused in on the moon and then was on a roll, using my 30mm, then my more magnified plossl eyepiece, the difference between both was astounding, one was just right and had loads of detail on the moon and the other more magnified eyepiece brought everything into insane detail, I am going to use my barlow tomorrow night and try to get it super large.

now that i feel I have tackled the moon I'd like to move to Jupiter, i am having a hard time finding it, so i will watch some videos and figure it out, thanks again everyone. I was looking at what I thought was Jupiter with my plossl eyepiece, had cross hairs in my view, so i racked the focused down until they disappeared, but all i was left with was a small dot almost no bigger than when i looked at it in the sky.

i think, i am just too inexperienced right now to recognize what i am looking at haha.

 

Congratulations!  It sounds as if you're well on your way.  Once you get that first object viewed-- and the moon's a good one, for obvious reasons-- you'll start figuring it out and will be able to enjoy all sorts of objects. 

 

You mentioned wanting to find Jupiter next... Jupiter's currently too close to the Sun for viewing, really... it'll start being visible in the morning sky reasonably soon, but it'll be pretty close to the horizon by sunrise for a while.  Your best bet for the next object is Saturn, which is pretty well placed in the evening sky after sunset.  It's in the constellation Libra, currently, and will be to the south or south west after sunset.  Mars is also nearby, leading Saturn-- that is, it's west of Saturn.  It's small currently, but still worth looking at since it's close and then you can say you've seen it, at least.  Saturn won't be as bright as Jupiter would be, but it's still the most prominent "star" in that part of the sky after sunset.  In roughly a line from east to west, the most prominent objects in the southern sky at sunset will be Saturn, Mars (which is noticeably orangish), and the star Spica in the constellation Virgo.  A check of a planetarium program on a computer or smartphone will make it easy to figure out just where they are. 

 

Assuming you find it, which really isn't hard-- if you can find the moon, you can find Saturn-- I think you'll be pretty impressed, even at low power.  With higher power, even better.  :-)

 

Good luck and let us know how you fare!



#11 Billytk

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 01:14 AM

Download "Stellarium". It's free and will help you alot with the sky.


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#12 seawolfe

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 04:37 AM

Download "Stellarium". It's free and will help you alot with the sky.

 

+1 for Stellarium! :waytogo:  :like: 



#13 sslcm56

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 05:11 AM

+1 for stillarium also. 



#14 Melange

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 11:11 PM

Hi everyone, thanks for replying, I downloaded stellarium and input my date, time of viewing, location etc and saw the position of saturn relative to the moon, when i attempted to see saturn with just my (1.25", Super-Plossl 9mm, 52 degree FOV, Eye-relief=6mm) eyepiece, it looked like any other star i have seen, blurry and big, so I did as others instructed and made the big blurry dot as small as i could so it was clear, it was really small, lol like just looking at it in the sky. So I figured I had the wrong bright dot in the sky, i have come to the conclusion it is sort of hard to identify things without experience, back to the stellarium i go.



#15 kfiscus

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 11:31 PM

Is your finder well aligned with your main scope?  If not, take a minute to find the most distant terrestrial object you can see.  A distant radio tower beacon is ideal.  Move your main scope around until you can find this distant object in your lowest-power eyepiece (EP).  Center the object in the view.  Now, adjust the two black bolts on your finder scope until the object you have in the main EP is perfectly centered in the finder's crosshairs.  Be careful to not move the main scope at all.  If someone else is available, task them with holding onto the main scope and preventing any of your movements at the finder from changing their view.  What you are doing is using the distant object as a common reference point for the 8" scope and the 50mm finder.  After you have confirmed that they are showing you the same object, switch to your 9 mm EP.  Repeat the drill, refining the alignment.

 

When you know that the finder is showing you where the main scope is pointing, you will have a much easier time locating Saturn and everything else Stellarium gets you pointed toward.

 

Good luck and let us know what is happening.



#16 Billytk

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 01:29 AM

+1 make sure your finder is aligned to your scope. If it isn't,  you probably were looking at a star not Saturn. 



#17 patg43

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 08:43 PM

You mentioned that you were doing some morning observing.On the morning of the 18th of August you will be able to see Venus and Jupiter quite close to each other. It should be a fitting intro to Jupiter for you and your cool scope. Also should be pretty easy to find, and should look like a double planet! I can tell you that when looking for Saturn, all the stars appear yellowish, conversely, whilst looking for Mars all the stars appear red. Enjoy that little bit of advice, its free... But seriously I must commend your dedication thus far, outstanding!



#18 Melange

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 10:07 PM

thanks for the tips everyone.

 

update: Thursday august 7th around 9:00 PM ish 2014,  I saw Saturn for the first time, and whizzed by it with my 30 mm, lost it, found it randomly again and was all "ooooh, that's saturn!" (talking to myself). So I took out my more magnified 1.25 eyepiece and had a hard time finding it again because alas i was unable to align my finder scope properly during the day (which perplexes me because it seems like it would be so simple.)

 

 

After about 30 minutes ish, at 9:45, I got it, and it was so beautiful, and haunting, I had this feeling inside me, like a little piece of the gigantic puzzle of the universe fell into place, i always assumed i had seen Saturn numerous times, but i hadn't once laid eyes on that planet, seeing it for the first time was amazing.

 

I want to thank everyone for their help in finding it, supporting me and my questions.  A sphere with a large pretty ring around it, perfect clarity, to think all this time i looked up in the sky and never knew it was right there for my viewing pleasure, :3 :3 :3



#19 kfiscus

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Posted 07 August 2014 - 11:33 PM

Sounds of applause. :waytogo:

 

You will NEVER forget that moment.  As you get more comfortable with your rig, you will get the chance to be the person sharing views like Saturn with others who have never seen it.  It is a tears-provoking privilege.

 

If you are a morning person, that Jupiter Venus conjunction will be very nice.



#20 Kavenga

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 02:15 AM

Stellarium is great as pointed out; but, if you have a smartphone there are a multitude of apps you can use right at your scope.  I use SkySafari and like the fact I can set it to a red screen.  I can hold it up to the sky to identify some of the brighter stars then seek out nebula, etc after I get in the vicinity.   The view on the app moves as I move the phone, so you can search the entire sky - or in my case only the visible sky from my deck.

 

I'm pretty green myself.  There are a lot of good people with good advise around here.  Welcome and clear skies.


Edited by Kavenga, 08 August 2014 - 02:16 AM.


#21 howard929

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Posted 08 August 2014 - 04:57 AM

Melange,

 

Loosing views while changing eyepieces? It's not uncommon. Learn to ignore the upside down and backwards eyepiece view. Since everything celestial that isn't directly overhead appears to be moving towards the right (counter to the earths rotation), nudges are always in that direction and targets are either moving up in the sky or down in the sky. Stellarium will show you that beforehand. It's always small nudges to the right and slightly up or slightly down. It takes practice but like a lot of things, it gets easier.

 

Ouff. One last bit of advice. If you haven't tried to fix your telescope collimation yet, AND you're getting sharp views of planets, THEN continue on with your good work and leave it completely alone. 


Edited by howard929, 08 August 2014 - 05:46 AM.


#22 sonny.barile

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 11:48 AM

Learning to locate things means learning the sky a bit. There is a great "free" resource on line that can help you. It is a free sky chart that is put out every month. Print it out if you can or put it on a laptop and take it outside with you. Compare it to what you see in the sky. It will help you to identify and find the things you want to observe. 

 

http://skymaps.com/downloads.html

 

 

Have fun



#23 csrlice12

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 12:52 PM

I usually align my finderscope with the red light at the top of radio towers and find it works pretty well.  The further away, the better.








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