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newbie, what should i expect to see through my telescope?

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#1 coderman1

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 11:59 PM

i’m just getting started but i can tel after a few minutes the following:

1. i can see the moon perfectly, very crisp, high detail
2. as far as stars, all i see are white specs, skills i be seeing something more? if so, what?
3. i still can’t get the sky align process to work, but i can manually slew to stars like arcturus, but again it’s nothing spectacular just a white spec

thanks in advance!
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#2 aeajr

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 12:04 AM

i’m just getting started but i can tel after a few minutes the following:

1. i can see the moon perfectly, very crisp, high detail
2. as far as stars, all i see are white specs, skills i be seeing something more? if so, what?
3. i still can’t get the sky align process to work, but i can manually slew to stars like arcturus, but again it’s nothing spectacular just a white spec

thanks in advance!

It would help a LOT if we knew what telescope you have, what eyepieces you have and what kind of mount  you are using.

 

Stars are VERY far away and will always look like points of light.  However some are double stars and it can be fun to split those.

 

 

Tips:

Top right of the screen you will see your screen name with a little down arrow.
Go to My Settings.  This is where you can make a number of changes.


COUNTRY/REGION/STATE:  A good thing to do, if you have not, is to go into
your profile and enter your country and/or your city so people who are
trying to help you will know approximately where you are in the world. 


SIGNATURE:   Also, I recommend you create a signature (my settings)
where you can list your telescope your eyepieces or whatever you wish.  My
signature is at the bottom of this post.  A signature helps people help you
because they know what you have.  

 

 

Regardless of what scope you have you will not see what you see in the magazines.  Those very detailed images are done with log exposure or the stacking of multiple exposures and computer magic.

 

Graphite Galaxy - astronomy sketches

What is wonderful about this is this is very close to what we will see in the eyepieces.  
They also include what kind of scope was used, what magnification.  These
are observing reports.  These will better set our expectations and help us
recognize things when we find them.

http://graphitegalaxy.com/


Edited by aeajr, 13 July 2020 - 12:06 AM.

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#3 stoest

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 12:06 AM

It would help if we knew what telescope you're using and what the skies are like where you're observing, for instance, can you see the Milky Way. All stars are points of light, the interesting part comes when they're in clusters or doubles and looking at different nebula like gas clouds and other galaxies. 

 

The Messier objects are a good place to start, they're well documented and far the most part brightish and represent pretty much all the major types of objects to observe. A free program like SkyPortal or a paid one like SkySafari will help you learn the sky and where the objects are located.



#4 whizbang

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 12:10 AM

If you wrestling with SkyAlign, you probably have a Celestron SE or SLT mount or there abouts.

 

You are going to have much better luck with "Auto 2 Star" alignments.

 

Study some star charts tomorrow so you can find Vega and Arcturus (the two brighest stars in the sky right now, and well seperated to give you a good alignment).

 

After you get aligned, look at M13, M11, M57, Albireo, Cor Caroli, Eta Cas, and STF 2470.  Then give us a report.


Edited by whizbang, 13 July 2020 - 12:14 AM.


#5 coderman1

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 12:13 AM

i have updated my signature! thanks for the tip


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#6 aeajr

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 12:20 AM

Standard eyepiece?  Whatever that is.  Does it have a number on it?  

 

A Celestron NexStar 6SE is a GoTo computerized scope.  Is that what you have?   It is best to put the full name in.

 

A 6SE could be the optical tube from a 6SE on a manual AltAz mount which would also fit what you put in our signature. Just trying to help you to be clear.  

 

The sketch link I provided will give you a good idea of what you can expect to see.  Note that  you have a 6" scope and he may be using a larger scope for some of the sketches so he will see a brighter image and a bit more detail. But the sketches are a good reference point.


Edited by aeajr, 13 July 2020 - 12:21 AM.


#7 Sam M

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 01:07 AM

Two things worth looking at are the planets Jupiter and Saturn.  If you can get the skyalign working, the scope will take you to them, and track them across the sky for you.  If not, look for the brightest 'star' rising around sunset in the southeast.  It'll move up and across the southern sky reaching due south (and it's highest point) a little after one in the morning.  That's Jupiter.  Just to the left of it, is another dimmer, but still very bright 'star'.  That's Saturn.  With that scope, with nearly any eyepiece, you should be able to see the rings of Saturn, and Jupiter with two stripes and four moons.  If your timing is right, you might see the red spot on Jupiter.

 

Clear skies to you, and welcome!


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#8 Chris Y

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 01:53 AM

In line with viewing the planets, also remember that stars twinkle, planets don't.  This might help you later on when you're on a quest for planets.

 

Cheers!

Chris



#9 mashirts

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 02:38 AM

Step one is owning a telescope and being proud and excited to use it and eager to see what you can observe with it. Sounds like you are off to a good start. 👌
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#10 sg6

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 02:38 AM

Moved from the duplicate post:

 

OK, All sounds about right.

Moon should be good, people moan about the moon but lets face it everyone looks at the moon, from about the age of 2. And it is there on a regular basis. So Moon Good.

 

Stars, again that is all a star will ever be, a small point/dot. They are too far away to be anything else. Technically they are really 0 size. So point/dot is again "good". Good because if the scope is poor or out of focus they will be assorted shapes.

 

Sky align. Biggest problem of these is generally the operator (you basically lol.gif  ) Getting the data right and getting it in right is where it usually goes wrong.

 

Dallas: Middle is given as:

Long = 97 West     Could be -097

Lat    = 32.8 North  Could be +32.8

Timezone = UTC -6 (check that)

That is your site/location data, assume no GPS ??

 

The above you enter once and as long as you are in/around Dallas it should be OK.

 

At power up level the mount, Level the actual scope, aim the scope in the direction of Polaris. Process is often termed Leve and North. The better you do this the less the scope has to determine corrections and apply. Consider that the scope is not doing alignment it is working out how baddly you set it up.

 

Scope will ask for Date and Time, they are as your watch. Then will ask DST and I expect at present it is On or Yes. Some try to out guess the scopes by altering the real time and not having DST - don't do it, let the scope do it.

 

After that the Skyalign should be a case of center 2 or 3 stars (have seen both).

Guess you slew to 3 stars, center and press Enter at each one. Pick 3 reasonably well apart. Guess Arcturus, Capella and 1 of the summer triangle sounds fair.

 

Wouldn't use a planet, although tempting and "should " be OK. Stars are safer.

 

Expect the next bit you will want is a 30mm plossl, 6SE's are long focal length and a long plossl is about as much as you will get within reason. Vixen NPL's are reported as good, they have a 30mm. Alternatives are Paradigms (25mm).

 

Do not think about a 5mm eyepiece. In that scope a waste of $$. Expect that an 8mm is a as short as sensible, equally expect a 12mm and 15mm to be better and more use.

 

Any goto needs more then a little input from the operator.

 

Targets: Try a few Open Clusters - M36, 37, 38 in Auriga and C14 in Perseus. Also Globulars clusters - M13 in Hercules and (I think) M92 in Hercules.

 

If you get a 30mm plossl, about 1 degree view you could try M33 Triangulum Galaxy in Triangulum lol.gif , where else would it be?

 

Owing to the resultant narrowish fields available, generally 1 degree, then some targets will be hard to squeeze in, M33 is maybe just too big as is C14, but try them. M31 Andromeda is way too big, and will be disappointing in the 6SE. All you see is a funny faint blob.

 

Oh yes, they are all grey, people rebelled against calling them faint fuzzies, but it was accurate. frown.gif



#11 Tony Flanders

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 05:49 AM

Any goto needs more than a little input from the operator.
 
Targets: Try a few Open Clusters - M36, 37, 38 in Auriga and C14 in Perseus. Also Globulars clusters - M13 in Hercules and (I think) M92 in Hercules.
 
If you get a 30mm plossl, about 1 degree view you could try M33 Triangulum Galaxy in Triangulum lol.gif , where else would it be?


Go To mounts can be very useful, but they do not substitute for basic knowledge of the sky.

 

Hercules is high in the evening sky right now, and M13 is one of this season's best possible choices for a beginner who wants to see a deep-sky object. However, it will appear just as a featureless glow. M92 is quite similar, but smaller.

The three clusters in Auriga are splendid, but they are basically winter objects for people in the Northern Hemisphere. They might, in theory, be visible from Dallas just before sunrise, but it would be much smarter to wait at least 4 months before trying them.

Caldwell 14, better known as the Double Cluster, is slightly better placed in the sky, but again this is very nearly the worst time of year to try to view it.

M31 is the brightest galaxy visible from mid-northern latitudes. It is at its best in the evening sky around November, but it is worth a try from Dallas at this time of year if you're up after 1 or 2 a.m. Much more elusive than M13.

M33 is exceptionally challenging to see unless your skies are quite dark. Basically impossible for a beginner in one of the biggest cities in the U.S. Also very poorly placed right now.

 

Probably this season's premier open cluster is M11. A 6-inch scope should resolve it well into a burst of individual stars, even under bright city skies.


Edited by Tony Flanders, 13 July 2020 - 08:03 AM.

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#12 jiblet65

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 06:59 AM

i’m just getting started but i can tel after a few minutes the following:

1. i can see the moon perfectly, very crisp, high detail
2. as far as stars, all i see are white specs, skills i be seeing something more? if so, what?
3. i still can’t get the sky align process to work, but i can manually slew to stars like arcturus, but again it’s nothing spectacular just a white spec

thanks in advance!

As you can see from my signature your scope is much nicer than mine. I'm also a complete beginner, got my binoculars the day of the April full moon and my Tasco a few weeks ago. What I find with stars is I don't get much magnification (still waiting for my Barlow lens to show) but if you can find a star that is actively twinkling you can see some great colors. Right now Aldebaran is next to Venus. I can see the crescent shape of Venus and then when you take a look at Aldebaran it's really putting on a show right around sunrise. If you take your EP out of focus one way or the other sometimes you can really get the colors twinkling. With the planets and Moon I suggest getting some color filters. I just checked out the Moon this morning with a Celestron 32mm EP with a #80A medium blue filter and got some great contrast and views.


Edited by jiblet65, 13 July 2020 - 08:30 AM.

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#13 JohnnyBGood

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 07:53 AM

While it's more useful with a manual scope than a GOTO scope, Turn Left At Orion has been my best friend when it comes to finding things to see. Even with a GOTO scope it gives you an idea of what things to look for and also gives you a realistic idea as to what they will look like in your scope.



#14 JohnnyBGood

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 07:57 AM

 got my binoculars the day of the April full moon and my Tasco a few weeks ago.

Nice to see another 60mm f/15 Tasco user! Your Luminova is the direct descendant of my 851TR : ) It's probably my favorite scope to use for moon observing and I love the fact that I can do solar projection with it. It's a fun scope to use, and it's fun to push the limits of the scope and surprise myself with what all I can see with it.


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#15 jiblet65

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 08:16 AM

Nice to see another 60mm f/15 Tasco user! Your Luminova is the direct descendant of my 851TR : ) It's probably my favorite scope to use for moon observing and I love the fact that I can do solar projection with it. It's a fun scope to use, and it's fun to push the limits of the scope and surprise myself with what all I can see with it.

It's definitely a nice little telescope for quickies thanks to its light weight and portability. I feel like if I do upgrade to a better telescope in the future I'll keep it since it's my first one ever and I figure I can take it on road trips.


Edited by jiblet65, 13 July 2020 - 08:19 AM.

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#16 stoest

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 10:04 AM

Look up the Dallas Chapter of the Texas Astronomical Society. We're an active group and have a nice dark site up in Oklahoma which is only a little less than a two hour drive from my north Dallas suburb which has much darker skies than the metroplex. The site is safe, has nice cement pads with power to set up on and free to use for members. I used my 9.25 SCT to find all the Messiers and many other objects when starting out. Clear nights around the new moon there's usually several groups out there enjoying the views, especially on weekends.

 

The star parties are on hold of course until social distancing passes but they're a good way to meet members and look through other telescopes.


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#17 Don W

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 11:15 AM

Stars are pinpoint specs of light in all telescopes. You can't magnify them. Some are brighter than others but from our perspective on earth they are all the same size.




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