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How do you find things?

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#1 AdamTheRock

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 07:07 PM

Hello,

 

I'm prefixing this question with a "this is probably a really dumb question... but...."

 

My daughter and I are really super new to astronomy - she is only 9 years old but loves what she is learning at school (mainly the planets) and I've been intrigued with the sky my entire life.  Any who, we recently bought a 60 mm telescope (Meade NG-60).  It was nothing expensive at all - I have a 9mm and a 25mm lens .  In any sense, my question is, is there an easy way to find objects in the sky?  I find myself spending 15 mins just to even get the moon into view.  We purchased an app call Star Walk 2, which gives us an idea of what's in the general sky, but even knowing what's up there I find myself pulling my hair out trying to get it into our view finder all the while she is asking - "Dad can you see anything?" lol...

 

I'm just curious if I'm doing something wrong... do most people just look at "star map" and point their telescope in the general direction and go from there?   Am I missing something? 

 

 

Many thanks - and again I apologize if this is a stupid question...

 

Adam


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#2 Barlowbill

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 07:17 PM

Not stupid at all!  I've been playing around for a couple of years and I still think it is difficult.  I love the game.  I'm not very good at it but love to try.  Read here on CN.  Absolutely Rocket Scientists here.  It takes time to figure it all out.  Be cool with going slow.  Good luck


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#3 Richard O'Neill

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 07:25 PM

 First, have you aligned the finder with the telescope on the moon or some other very distant object? I suggest using the 25mm eyepiece.


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#4 vtornado

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 07:28 PM

Hello Adam, and welcome to cloudy nights.

 

Have you aligned the finder with the main scope?  This is easiest to do during the day.  Use a far away object like a road sign, or utility pole.

Get that object in your main scope, then use the adjustment screws of the finder so that the cross hairs of the finder, match up with the

center of the main scope.

 

Does star Walk give real time altitude and azimuth coordinates, If it does you can use those to point your scope in the right general direction.

You can get a mechanical or digital angle guage so that if the app says your object is at 45 degrees you can get your scope close to that

then you just need to pan back and forth.

 

If star walk does not give these coordinates you can down load sky safari which does.

 

If you don't know start looking for things with the 25mm eyepiece, that will give you a wider field of view than the 9.

 

There is an excellent book call turn left at orion which gives you step by step instructions to navigate the constellations to find

amazing items.  You can probably check it out of your library so you can try before you buy.


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#5 SeaBee1

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 07:30 PM

Not stupid at all Adam... We have all been there. That scope likely has a 6X30 finder on it. It can work, but is not the greatest. First thing to do is align the finder with the scope, if you haven't already. You will want to do that during the day and on a distant phone tower or such. Using your 25mm eyepiece, get the top of a phone tower about a mile away centered in the scope view and lock the scope down. Then you will look through the finder and adjust its pointing until the top of the tower is under the crosshairs. That should get you lined up good enough to find things like the moon or bright planets. Once you get that down, the rest will come.

 

Good hunting!

 

CB


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#6 vdog

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 07:38 PM

Honestly, I've found that if I have to get by with one finder, I prefer a well-aligned red-dot finder. 

 

Of course, either way, you need to know where to point it.  If apps aren't helping you, I would suggest you get a planisphere and learn the constellations.  Then, get an atlas (the S&T Jumbo Pocket Atlas is a good one) and learn how to star hop using the charts and the finder.  It took me awhile to learn and I'm still fuzzy on a lot of areas of the sky, but after almost a year I'm getting the hang of it. There's really no shortcut here unless you want to buy a Goto system.


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#7 ShaulaB

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 07:50 PM

Welcome! A good free resource is a downloadable monthly map from Skymaps dot com.

 

The map changes every month to reflect the changing view of the sky as Earth orbits the Sun.

On the flip side, you will see a list of naked eye, binocular, and telescope objects to view for that month. With your telescope and the 25mm eyepiece, start by getting the naked eye objects into view. Then go after binocular objects, and graduate to larger and brighter telescope objects when you have confidence. http://www.skymaps.c...s/tesmn1906.pdf

 

If you already have binoculars at home, give them a try. You can look at large, bright star clusters with binoculars. They will be fun later this summer. Your binocs can be just ordinary ones gotten from a familiar store.

 

Best of luck! Enjoy Jupiter and Saturn late at night in June.



#8 MikeHC8

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 08:00 PM

I like Skypotal which is free app and talks and explains things which I feel your family will love, also I agree with binoculars, if your on budget good to goodwill they are many used for sale.  I use 10 by 25 Nikons and it works for me.  Just getting out together is assume.

 

Mike



#9 Bowlerhat

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 08:12 PM

Easier way nowadays is to use app. Such as Skysafari or Stellarium (I think stellarium is easier) provides point-and-show feature. What it means that you can point and move around your phone to a position in the sky and the map would move by following your hand movements and show the object. Point it like you want to take a photo of something. It's easy to use.

 

Do you live in south or north? if you can read either a little dipper or southern cross it'd be easy to start finding objects by finding out north/south quickly. The two are easy constellations to read, and by knowing so it can give you a starting point to read other constellations in the sky as well.

 

I imagine you want to show your daughter planets? The easy way to do this is to remember that planets often are the brightest objects in the sky-to the point you can even see it behind a thin cloud. If you see a bright "star" at dusk/dawn, chances it's a planet. They also appear before/after stars do.

 

And most important is to collimate your scope. The finderscope on your scope is really small and could be hard to use. Having it on your scope doesn't mean it's automatically calibrated, even if it's smaller. Go outside in daytime and look at a point afar. Treetops, etc, something that is small an dfar enough (the further the better). Do you see the object in your eyepiece, or is it off?

You need to tune the finderscope to locate the object accurately.


Edited by Bowlerhat, 11 June 2019 - 11:05 PM.

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#10 MikeTahtib

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 08:29 PM

If you can't find the moon, then your fider is definitely not aligned with your telescope.  As people have said, find something in hte main telescope during the day (something on the horizon works best, since it's easy to match the view in the telescope to teh saem object in hte finder).  The finder scope will be held by 2 rings with 3 screws each.  When you find where the thing on the horizon is, you will need to figure out which screws to loosen and which to tighten to get the finder pointed in that direction.  Loosen a screw or 2 first, then tighten the screw or screws opposite it so you don't overtighten and damage the finder scope tube.  It will take a few iterations, but eventually you will be able to look through the finder scope and see the same thing you see in the main scope, at different magnification.  

The next trick is finding stuff in the sky.  You can try phone apps if you like that sort of thing, but I prefer a paper atlas.  A piece of paper is much bigger than a screen, so you can see a bigger piece of the sky mapped out all at once.  I have the Cambridge Star Atlas, which I have enjoyed very much. Of course, apps have their own advantages, too, personal preference really.  Many people recommend the book Turn Left at Orion.  I found it useful to help determine what to look for and what to expect to see, but I found the directions on where to look impossible to follow.  I would read about the different objects in the book, then use the Cambridge Star Atlas to find them.  

Pointing in the general direction of something won't work.  The things we look at are either small or really small compared to the sky.  What I do is estimate the distances from the star map and try to replicate those proportions in the real sky.  For example, the globular cluster M13 is about 1/3 of the way down the right side fo the keystone in Hercules.  This may not make sense now, but will when looking at a map.  Many people (myself included) find the challenge of finding the objects a very fun and rewarding part of the hobby.  Let your daughter do the finding, and help her as needed.  She will get frustrated, but when something pops into view, it will be very exciting.


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#11 GoFish

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 08:29 PM

Start with “easy” objects that are either naked-eye-bright themselves, or are near a naked-eye-bright star. 

 

Albireo is a bright and colorful double star in Cygnus. 

 

Rasalgethi, same idea, but in Hercules. 

 

M13 is a globular cluster that’s easy to locate relative to reference stars in the Hercules trapezoid. 

 

Herschel’s Garnet Star in Cepheus is beautiful through the eyepiece. 

 

Jupiter is rising earlier each night in the east. 

 

The Double Double in Lyra (epsilon Lyrae) is a nice quadruple star system (probably you will see only 2 through a 60mm?)

 

The ring nebula, M57, in Lyra will be slightly more challenging but it is sorta easy to find by using nearby bright reference stars. 

 

+1 about a well-aligned red dot finder being more useful than a finderscope. 

 

Have fun!


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#12 MikeTahtib

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 08:31 PM

One other thing, when aligning your finder scope during the day, don't point the telescope anywhere near the sun.  Things can start smoking very quickly (yes, I did).



#13 msl615

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 08:58 PM

Several "tricks" to try to get used to finding little points of light in the sky:

 

1. Buy an inexpensive correct image diagonal so that up equals up and left-right are correct.  Practice finding cool things during the day, like a building very far away, a mountain top, a boat at sea.  Explore this with your daughter and marvel at what you can and can't see. Learn how different it is to focus on something nearby, vs very far away. This will get you used to learning the relationship between where you have a rough feeling for where the scope is pointing, vs what you actually see.   Using all the great advice above from other members, align the finder scope with one of those static images. The finder scope will be upside down and backwards, but this will once again get you used to using them as a team.  I explored mountain peaks 10-15 miles away for hours when I was your daughters age. Let her use the scope by herself.

(WARNING:  never, ever, never, ever point towards the sun....ever).

 

2. Now that you are good with finding things in general, go out about twilight and find a bright star with your longest eyepiece (25mm?). Use what you have learned above to find the star first in the finder, then in the diagonal.  IMPORTANT: Even with a gazillion $$ telescope, if you are not closely focused near infinity to start with, you may never see the star even if it is in the eyepiece field.  Test this once you have found a star:  focus it far away from infinity, and the star may entirely disappear.

 

3. Comfortable with all of this? Switch back to the regular star diagonal and get both the scope and the finder using the same up/down  and left/right patterns when finding a star.

 

4. Have fun with binoculars. I have been doing this for many years and still have a pair of binos right nearby.  Trying to find that one star that is "two the left, down one star, and between the other two" is a whole lot easier to start with binos.

 

5. Find fun looking objects in the sky by yourself first (without aps, maps, etc). See that bright red one? Can you find it...does it look red in the scope? Does that look like a glob of stars? What does it look like in the 25mm vs the 9mm? Found the moon? How cool is that when you look at a brand new sliver, or 1/4 moon...the craters are awesome and amazing how fast it moves out of view?

 

6. You are all set now....get some good books, some great web apps, and sites like "what is in the sky tonight?" and go out for the hunt.

 

Best wishes for you and your daughter!!!  Have fun.

 

Mike


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#14 rowdy388

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 09:28 PM

Hello,

 

I'm prefixing this question with a "this is probably a really dumb question... but...."

 

My daughter and I are really super new to astronomy - she is only 9 years old but loves what she is learning at school (mainly the planets) and I've been intrigued with the sky my entire life.  Any who, we recently bought a 60 mm telescope (Meade NG-60).  It was nothing expensive at all - I have a 9mm and a 25mm lens .  In any sense, my question is, is there an easy way to find objects in the sky?  I find myself spending 15 mins just to even get the moon into view.  We purchased an app call Star Walk 2, which gives us an idea of what's in the general sky, but even knowing what's up there I find myself pulling my hair out trying to get it into our view finder all the while she is asking - "Dad can you see anything?" lol...

 

I'm just curious if I'm doing something wrong... do most people just look at "star map" and point their telescope in the general direction and go from there?   Am I missing something? 

 

 

Many thanks - and again I apologize if this is a stupid question...

 

Adam

If you learn the constellations, which are a lot of fun to pick out in the sky, then yes, in a fashion you can

look at a star chart and just point your scope to your target. Doesn't come without a lot of practice but that

is basically how I observe. A low power wide angle eyepiece works well to first find the target ( your 25mm

will work). As others have coached, make sure your finder scope is aligned with the main scope. 


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#15 gkarris

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 09:29 PM

I haven't upgraded to Star Walk 2 yet but still use the older Star Walk.

 

I use it on my iPad that has a compass and gyroscope so after you launch it, just point the iPad or iPhone to the sky and it shows the map on the screen. Make sure your date and time and location(for a tablet) are correct.

 

it even has an Augmented Reality mode where you have the camera pointing to the sky and it overlays the map.

 

I don't know if there's an Android version.

 

Then I just aim the telescope in that direction using the scope's finder...

 

Make sure your finder is properly aligned.


Edited by gkarris, 11 June 2019 - 09:33 PM.


#16 futuneral

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 09:45 PM

I kind of feel like no one really focused on how exactly to go about finding stuff in the sky. If you cannot point the scope on the moon - yeah, most likely your viewfinder is off. But how do you locate stuff when you do see it on the map, when finder is spot on etc.?

It all comes with experience, but there are some things you can try to expedite that.

 

First, when you pointed somewhere, and you're expecting something to be there and it's not - try to move the telescope, say, up. Use your star field as a guide to only get about one diameter of the field of view away. Then go back to where you started. Then repeat this going down. Then try going one field of view left. At this position again try going up and down.This way you will be scanning the sky in the area where the object is supposed to be. You'll notice that some star patterns will start looking familiar after some time and you'll be able to tell where you are, relative to the original starting point. Scan a patch of the sky the size maybe 4x4 fields of view. If you are not seeing the object, there are two main possibilities - 1) you are not pointing close enough 2) you don't know what to expect and not recognizing the object.

 

In case of 1) repeat the pointing operation (will talk about this below). If it's 2) it could be either that your telescope is not able to resolve the object under your sky's conditions or that you are not ready for this object yet smile.gif. Try to practice more on things that are easier recognizable, and get back to this one and with better pointing, you'll be able to spend more time on actually trying to recognize the object itself.

 

Sometimes people also use the "spiral" method, where you are not scanning a square patch, but going in expanding circles. But that's a more advanced technique.

 

In terms of how to point. Sky maps try to be accurate geometric representation of the sky. Flat "hemisphere" charts do have a lot of distortion towards the edges, but software versions show it very realistically, projecting it on a sphere. The way I use them (without using the coordinates) is by finding something in the sky that you can find on the map as well. Usually you learn constellation, so you can quickly narrow down the search area. Within constellation you find a closest bright star. Then find something else around that star that corresponds to the map. Usually another bright star, or the pattern in the constellation. Then try to come up with an idea of how your target is positioned relative to those things. Example: to find the polar star, find the big dipper, find the two bright stars on it's nose, then draw imaginary line across those to stars from the bottom of the dipper, up, towards and past its rim. Note the distance between those two bright stars and measure 8 such distances "up" along the line. The polar star will be there. 

 

So you make relations to bright, easier to find objects in the sky, to find the relative position of your target. For more difficult objects, you may have to identify "intermediate" objects (usually fainter stars), and use them as a proxy towards your object. This is called "star hopping".

 

I usually like to start with doing this by just pointing my finger at the sky, until I'm 100% I'm pointing to the right place and it matches the map. I then find very helpful to repeat that with binoculars. And then, when the area becomes more or less familiar, I go to the telescope. Use the longest possible eyepiece at first (I have a zoom, and it's really helpful for this). And then zoom in, after the object is in the view.

 

Additional tip - learn how the sky rotates. With your scope, you'll need to manually track the objects you find, so it's useful to know in which direction your target is going to be moving.


Edited by futuneral, 11 June 2019 - 09:48 PM.

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#17 Ulmer Spatz

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 07:13 AM

This brought back some memories from long ago. As a teenager, I had a scope with no finder at all. If the moon was bright enough, I would point the scope in the general direction of the moon. Then watching the shadow of the scope on the ground, I would move the scope up, down and sideways until the shadow outline of the scope was the smallest it could be. Often, that put the moon into the field of view of my lowest-power eyepiece. If it did not, I would look into the eyepiece and chase after the brightness of the sky. If the sky got brighter, I was moving the scope in the right direction. If it got darker, I was moving it away from the moon.

 

I also remember my younger brother playing with my scope in our bedroom. He was especially fond of racking the draw tube in and out by turning the focusing knobs. When it came time for me to find something in the sky, sometimes the draw tube was left in a place where everything was so grossly out of focus that it was invisible. I couldn't find anything until I realized what had happened. 


Edited by Ulmer Spatz, 12 June 2019 - 07:40 AM.

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#18 JohnnyBGood

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 08:57 AM

Meade's NG60 is a perfectly good scope to start with. I've wanted to try out the mount on one for a long while now but haven't gotten an opportunity. In any case, I've seen a lot of things and gotten a lot of enjoyment out of the two 60mm Tasco scopes I've owned, and I really like my 70mm Meade scopes.

 

As others have mentioned, aligning the finder is critical. It is a new NG60 or the older version? The older NG60 comes with a 5x24 finder that is enough to get you started. I've bought a bunch of those very same finders by themselves and stuck them on used scope I bought to fix up or as replacements for red dot finders on small scopes. The finder has four or six adjustment screws which makes it easier to adjust than one with only three. I rotate the crosshairs to line up with one of the screws which makes it easier to figure out which screws I need to adjust. Basically, you adjust them in pairs: loosen one as you tighten the opposite one. Unlike many of the "three screw" finders, once you get this one dialed in it does a pretty good job of staying in place, even if you bump it. The newer NG60 has a red dot finder. Some folks love them, some hate them. I'm in the latter group, so I replace them with four-screw 5x24 finders I buy for $7 from Telescope Warehouse on eBay. The key to using a red dot finder is trying to keep your view position consistent, e.g note where your ear is relative to some part of the scope when aligning the dot and try to always view from more or less the same position when aiming the scope at a target.

 

For finding things I highly recommend the book Turn Left At Orion. There are a surprising number of things to see that are within the capabilities of your scope. TLAO walks you through how to find something by starting at an easy to find point, e.g. start at this bright star, then go east until you see four stars in a small square, then go north until you spot two stars close together, look just to the left to find the target. The book includes graphics of what the sky should look like with the naked eye to get you oriented, maps of what you should see looking through the finder scope to make sure you're on the right track, and finally a sort of sketch of what the target will actually look like in the eyepiece of the scope so a) you know what to expect, b) you know when you've found it, and c) if you missed it you can match up what you see with the drawing and make corrections. The book is designed for use with a traditional 5x24 or 6x30 finder but you can sort of adapt it for use with a red dot finder as well since the book shows where in the naked-eye-view sky the target is located and with practice you can usually get the red dot pretty close.

 

I really, *really* hate suggesting to someone starting out that they buy something else but one weakness of the NG60 is that is doesn't come with a good high power option. The included 25mm and 9mm eyepieces are great for low and medium power viewing but just don't quite satisfy when looking at the moon, Jupiter, or Saturn. I would suggest picking up a cheap 6mm-6.5mm generic Ploessl eyepiece off eBay, or maybe a 12mm-12.5mm eyepiece and a 2x Barlow lens (a little pricier but easier to use). That would give you just under 120x magnification, which makes the moon and planets much more enjoyable to look at.

 

In any case, it's obviously an entry-level scope so you have to maintain reasonable expectations but it's better nearly all of its competitors in the 60mm size and is enough to start opening up the cosmos for you. Be patient, and the more practice you get the easier it'll become until it is second nature. Let us know if you run into any problems.


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#19 Hesiod

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 10:51 AM

In my experience the hardest part is not to locate things in the sky, rather to have the right "feeling" with the telescope.

It takes time to "know" how much have to raise and rotate the telescope to point that star or planet you clearly see in the sky; after a while however, your brain learn new "motion maps" and the gesture become more and more natural.

Sometime so natural to become "harmful": last week I aimed my little refractor to Antares, and to my great shock the star looked rather faint and white; then remembered that was observing from a place 10° southward from my home, so was aiming the telescope too low...

A great help in this stage is provided by "red dot finders", because these give you a constant and immediate feedback even without any knoweledge of the sky (unlike with optical finders).


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#20 darkcloud

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 12:35 PM

Adam,

Welcome to CloudyNights!  Not a dumb question at all! 

 

As others have indicated, learning to identify the constellations in the sky will help immensely.  You don't have to learn them all at once.  Start by learning to recognize one of the visible ones, and add others as you can.  Then ensure your finder scope, red dot finder, etc. is well aligned with your 'scope.  If the object is bright enough to see with the naked eye, simply center the object in the finder and it should visibile in your eyepiece.  Start with lower power eyepieces first to center the object, then switch to higher powers as desired; just be cautious not to move the 'scope while you switch.
 
If looking for something that is not visible to the naked eye, us old timers us a technique called "star hopping":

1) Point your telescope at the nearest star to your target that is bright enough to see with your naked eyes. 

 

2) Once that star is located in the 'scope, then compare what you see in the eyepiece to a star chart, app, etc.,and figure out which way you need to move to go towards your target. 

 

3) Find another star near the edge of the field of view in the direction you need to move, then move your telescope so that star is centered or near the opposite edge

 

4) Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the object is in view.
 
I also find that using binoculars can help.  Locating the object in the binoculars can help understand the spatial relationship between the object and nearby stars.  I know this sounds daunting, but once you get a bit of practice, it will be come easier. As previously suggested, start slowly with brighter objects and with objects close to bright stars. Be patient and don't give up. As you gain practice, go for more challenging object.

 

Finally, if there is an astronomy club near you, join it (if you haven't already).  I'm sure someone there will be happy to help.

 

Hope this helps!

Steve


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#21 clearwaterdave

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 05:02 PM

Hello and welcome to CN.,I suggest you and your daughter get out as often as you can with a planisphere or star chart or app and start learning the constellations and some of the brighter stars.,Not only is this a fun project.,it is the first step in learning your way around the skies.,Each object you will look for is usually listed as say NGC 000 in Leo or M57 in Vega.,so knowing the constellations you will have a better idea where to point the scope to start with.,

  60mm is a pretty small scope.,In the hands of an experienced observer it can show a lot.,but for a beginner it's kinda hard to see much other than the brightest things.,so to get the most out of it practice during the day looking at birdies and other stuff.,Get the hang of moving the scope in small percise movements.,and where your knobs and bobs all are..like getting a new car.,takes a bit to learn where all the controls are.,but once you have used it a while you just know where to reach.,I have fun with my scopes every day lookin at stuff.,good luck.,

 

If you decide your going to keep after the hobby.,maybe have a lookzy at the OneSky scope for your first upgrade.,there's a long thread here about them.,$200 opens up a whole new world.,lol.,

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Edited by clearwaterdave, 12 June 2019 - 05:05 PM.

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#22 dgordontx

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Posted 12 June 2019 - 08:37 PM

Welcome to CN, the place where you have so many friendly people that you can get a million different answers to one question lol.

Having had bad finders on my last two scopes, all I did to aim in the right general direction was stand behind the scope, point it up some so I can get a line and once it is straight up and down with the object I am looking for, I then go to the side and move it up and down until I have the right altitude. Use your 25mm for this.

As far as finding more, star hop. I use sky safari and set my scope and EPs. I then put the scope and app on an object near the one I am looking for. I then use the app to find a star in my FOV and recent the scope and app on that star. I repeat until I am at the object I want to view.

The other truck is knowing what you’re actually looking for. Most DSOs are going to be small and faint and what they are going to look like is a small bit of cotton in the sky. Once you have found one, then you know what you’re looking for and things will be much easier. I think the Hercules Cluster was my first.

#23 sg6

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Posted 13 June 2019 - 03:23 AM

Suppose 2 questions here:

Do you mean getting the object in the view of the scope, or, knowing where things are to point the scope in the first place?

 

The standard way of getting objects in view of scope is via a finder (of some sort).

Take scope out during a pleasant warm day, aim scope at a distant object, about a mile away maybe 2, and get in the center of the main scope. Then carefully adjust the finder (if supplied) until the object is also in the center. Then check main again and adjust main and recenter finder.

 

After that at night you look through the finder to locate object in the sky and in principle at least the object is in the main scope.

 

Finders are "difficult". You have to find one that you get along with. I like a red dot, others like Right Angle finders, many like Telrads - I just cannot use a Telrad. Basically I/people will suggest a finder but ultimately your choice.

 

Other one: To know where things are. Really a good sky guide and you go outside, stand around (freezing often) and look for the constellations work out what is in them. Binoculars often help here.

 

Thinking identify Auriga then (hopefully) use the binoculars to pick out M36, 37, 38 (think it is those 3). Find Hercules and look for M13. Find Cassiopeia and use 2 stars to direct you to the Double Cluster. Might find a GLP (Pointer) helps, especially if 2 of you.

 

If you want an app for a phone then Skysafari 6 Plus is likely the best. Although I find one of those things called a book works well (maybe better shocked.gif shocked.gif ) The Monthly Sky Guide is my preferred one.


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#24 AdamTheRock

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Posted 14 June 2019 - 09:37 PM

Wow!  First off - Thanks everyone for your help - so appreciated and I'm super amazed so many people responded!   I followed the initial suggestions to get the view finder calibrated and that helped me a ton!  I almost feel like a moron not being able to figure that out on my own!!  Once I had that calibrated it was pretty easy to focus on a point and view it through the actual telescope.  That being said,  I'm realizing now that my little scope is far under-powered to see what we want to see.  We had good skies tonight to see Jupiter and it looked like a little blurry fireball lol.   Mission accomplished though!  I'm able to find things much easier with the view finder and our little app.   I'm going to open another thread, but I think I might invest in one of those 8" dobsonian  telescopes recommended by some of the members here...  It's a big jump, but I think that might put us in line of seeing what we want to see...  Thanks so much everyone!  Heck of community here so glad I joined!!   Last question - do public universities open their scopes up to the public on scheduled nights?  Thought that might be fun with her... Thanks again everyone for your help!! 

 

Adam


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#25 brentknight

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Posted 15 June 2019 - 02:06 AM

Wow!  First off - Thanks everyone for your help - so appreciated and I'm super amazed so many people responded!   I followed the initial suggestions to get the view finder calibrated and that helped me a ton!  I almost feel like a moron not being able to figure that out on my own!!  Once I had that calibrated it was pretty easy to focus on a point and view it through the actual telescope.  That being said,  I'm realizing now that my little scope is far under-powered to see what we want to see.  We had good skies tonight to see Jupiter and it looked like a little blurry fireball lol.   Mission accomplished though!  I'm able to find things much easier with the view finder and our little app.   I'm going to open another thread, but I think I might invest in one of those 8" dobsonian  telescopes recommended by some of the members here...  It's a big jump, but I think that might put us in line of seeing what we want to see...  Thanks so much everyone!  Heck of community here so glad I joined!!   Last question - do public universities open their scopes up to the public on scheduled nights?  Thought that might be fun with her... Thanks again everyone for your help!! 

 

Adam

Little late to the thread, but glad things are starting to click.  In answer to your last question though - I don't know about public universities, but if you can find an astronomy club nearby they would certainly open up a bunch of telescopes.  That's a great way to get a chance to see what's out there...




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