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Newbie with celestron 5se help!

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#1 EHuffman

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 09:49 PM

Hi So I am new to star gazing and telescopes and Just bought my first celestron nextstar 5se, I took it ou this evening and it doesnt seem to be magnified at all.. I am using a 2x barlow lens plus a 25 or 32 mm lense for starters, And all I can see is distant stars when I focus it.... I hear people say you can see pretty neat stuff with a 5se. so what am I doing wrong?? Thanks!



#2 PolyWogg

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:29 PM

Hi EH, welcome to the group. The primary problem is likely NOT with your scope but with your expectations. Lots of people get a scope and think they can point it anywhere and see amazing things. Generally, well, no. You still need to point it at the GOOD STUFF, so to speak, so let's talk a bit about that and we'll get to your star issue as we go.

 

SUN -- Never look at it without a solar filter, of course, but magnification will make a huge difference, allowing you to use your 25mm default and maybe the barlow for some good views. 

MOON -- The moon is amazing, just never amazing at full moon (where it appears like a flat disk) and you'll likely only use your 25mm (maybe barlow for some stuff).

 

PLANETS -- If you aren't aligned with the 5SE i.e. computer isn't aligned, and you're just doing things manually, the two brightest stars you can see in the SW sky in early evening are Jupiter and Saturn. You'll need to find them first in 25mm and then use your 2x barlow to see much of anything. But you will see them -- they'll just look like small dots for now. If you get a 6mm lens at some point, that small dot will grow to a bigger dot. :)

 

STARS -- So, here's the reality. If you look at a star that is 250M light years away, and use your scope and lenses to increase the magnification, what you are going to see is say something that might look like it is only 5M light years away (at 50x, as an example). Guess what? A star 5M light years away looks like a dot, just as it did at 250mm. A bit bigger dot, but still a dot. What you DO get to see is if it's a double star or perhaps some colour in it for certain ones. But individual stars are, well, boring. :) It won't make any difference if you use 25mm or 32 or 2x etc. All you're really doing is reducing the size of the field of view, not making a big difference in what you can see. However, you CAN often tell that a single star at light magnification is actually a double star at higher magnification. Some people are excited by that. 

 

NEBULA / GALAXIES -- With a 5" scope, you'll want to likely use your 32mm by itself, as you don't want to magnify too much, you actually want a wide FoV to see these. However, at 5", they'll be fairly faint unless you're in a dark sky. My son has the 4SE, and without dark skies, many of the faint fuzzies aren't really worth trying for.

 

CLUSTERS -- In my view, your 5" will work wonders at globular clusters. Open clusters are good too, but I think you'll like the globulars. The Hercules Cluster is probably the easiest to find once you get aligned.

 

But remember, it isn't like Star Trek or Hubble. You don't see colours, just shades of white with your eye. If you want colours, you normally need long exposures with cameras.

 

Paul


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#3 Notdarkenough

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:38 PM

Welcome. Methinks too much magnification, for starters. Use the 32mm initially and see what you can see. Did the alignment go OK? Did you use the GoTo function, or simply aim it at, say, the moon? It is normal for any alignment to "get you close" and then you use eyepieces. So, get the alignment, use the 32mm to center the target, then use the 25mm. No barlow for now. 

 

In case no one mentions it, Michael Swanson's https://www.nexstarsite.com/ is a fantastic resource for all things NexStar; his book The NexStar Users Guide is really great as well. 

 

Try again using only the 32mm until you are comfortable. There is a pile of science behind it, but in general, higher eyepiece numbers provide wider views and thus easier to "find" the target. Good luck! 

Mike


Edited by Notdarkenough, 26 September 2021 - 10:39 PM.


#4 JustErik

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:43 PM

Hi EHuffman:

I was in your boots about a year ago.  The answer is that if you are looking at stars that are far away, they won't look different, because they are so far away that the magnification that you have with the telescope setup you are using can't give you more information.  The best thing it can do is make it brighter.  

 

There are two solutions to your problem.  1) look at things that are much closer to us, like planets and the moon.  I imagine your setup will make those objects look much more interesting!  You will be able to see the bands of Jupiter, or if not that, the moons that are orbiting Jupiter, which would not be obvious at all by eye.  Alternatively you would be able to see the rings of Saturn, which again are not obvious by eye.  You might even be able to see Neptune or Uranus, which you cannot see by eye.

 

The second solution 2): Is start to look at things other than stars (or rather stars that by eye look like one thing, but with a telescope have more detail).  If you want to look by eye, find doublet stars to look at.  These are solar pairs that with the naked eye, are just a single star.  With the added magnification of your telescope you might be able to separate the two.  This is the first step to understanding how amazing magnification is.  But when you see that difference, and understand that the only reason you saw it was due to the magnification of the telescope, then you are on to the fun part of astronomy.



#5 JustErik

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Posted 26 September 2021 - 10:44 PM

LOL, what those other people said...



#6 pretyro

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 12:18 AM

     Provided your telescope is in focus, you might not be doing anything wrong. 
     Bear in mind that the only celestial objects close enough (ie near enough to Earth) to be able to resolve them as a disk are things in our solar system.  All the stars are points of light.  Yes, brighter stars look like bigger points (www.cloudynights.com/topic/379081-why-do-brighter-stars-appear-larger-in-scopes/) but you will not see the disk of a star (as you do the sun or moon).  As you zoom in with greater magnification (and resolution) you will find more. 
     With your telescope the moon and Jupiter (and Saturn) look great right now.  Mars will appear bigger again in winter 2022.  There are any number of pretty blue and red as well as yellow stars; double stars; variable stars.  Once you get good at identifying the asterisms and constellations, they will be easier to find.  You will be able to see Andromeda Galaxy, some nebula and some comets for example.  Pick up a copy of “Turn left at Orion” by G. Consolmagno and D. Davis and maybe get a planisphere (as well as some phone apps for finding stars and space stations). 
     It may be a while before you can see (and image) the Helix Nebula like this (www.cloudynights.com/topic/790922-eye-of-god/).  But it begins with the first step. 
     I am sure the experienced folks on this site will have more and better insights to add.



#7 Noah4x4

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 12:34 AM

"Turn left at Orion" is a wonderful reference book. But If all you want to do is manage initial expectation then sufficient of its content is free on-line at
https://www.cambridge.org/turnleft

Truth is most deep sky objects will only appear as grey 'faint fuzzies' even at dark sky sights. Take a look at the link to understand. If you want to see colours you need the extra sensitivity of a camera. A visit to the EAA Forum is then worthwhile.

#8 EHuffman

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 04:28 AM

Thanks You all! I already suspected my anticipations were a little highundecided.gif  and I may need to retry aligning my scope, Just for clarity I do have 6,9,10,20,25 and 32 mm eyepeices. I got started on the easy ones first! I figured I should be  able to see at least a little more than I did but I am really new and still learning! I'll try to get it out tommorow night as well!



#9 JWP2

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 09:57 AM

EH and Pollywogg,

 

Pollywogg, can you shoot EH a link to the excellent post you did outlining your processes for getting set up?

 

Yes, taking the time to get the finder scope aligned is (from my similar experience) the most important thing I did!  Do it in daylight.  Then at night use Polaris to prove that the alignment you did in the day was good.  (Polaris won’t move as you do your adjusting.)

 

When the finder scope set up is complete, do a two star align.  Prove to yourself that the go-to is working well.   Go back to the first star and see if it is dead-on.  If not, use the align function again to update your alignment.  

 

After you are well aligned, use the precise-go-to function on your handset to look for DSO’s.   It helps a LOT!!!  I use it all

the time!  Many of those fuzzies are just not eye-poppers!   For me, knowing the significance of what I am seeing lends much pleasure to the pursuit.   Even In a bigger scope, the faint fuzzy is a little bit bigger, but still a faint fuzzy!   Hope you have great fun.   (P.S. Join a club if you can!)


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#10 Bill Barlow

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 11:30 AM

I wouldn’t bother using a Barlow lens with this scope since it has a somewhat long focal length of 1250mm.  That could be causing some of your issues.

 

Bill



#11 PolyWogg

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 12:45 PM

Pollywogg, can you shoot EH a link to the excellent post you did outlining your processes for getting set up?

Sure, happy to share, if it helps anyone...I haven't thought about much of a difference between 5SE adn 8SE setup before, not sure there really is any.

 

https://polywogg.ca/...on-nexstar-8se/

 

P.



#12 EHuffman

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 03:11 PM

Thanks a lot guys! I did find my red dot off this morning so I lined it up with the moon so now I will need to realign the scope itself tonight!



#13 rl112871

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 04:44 PM

Hi So I am new to star gazing and telescopes and Just bought my first celestron nextstar 5se, I took it ou this evening and it doesnt seem to be magnified at all.. I am using a 2x barlow lens plus a 25 or 32 mm lense for starters, And all I can see is distant stars when I focus it.... I hear people say you can see pretty neat stuff with a 5se. so what am I doing wrong?? Thanks!

Astronomy Tools is a decent page to visit. It will give you a decent idea of what to expect to see.

 

https://astronomy.to.../field_of_view/



#14 Rick Kapela

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Posted 27 September 2021 - 05:06 PM

When I started out with my 8SE about 2 years ago, it took me 4 or 5 times with the telescope to really begin to learn how to align it. I was by myself, just using this forum and other online resources for help. Be patient. Try to get one more step each time out, and eventually it will all come together.

It was frustrating at the time, but I think I learned better by having to go through it myself. I'm not sure if anyone else has mentioned this, but if there is a club near you, try to plan on going. The majority of us amateurs are willing to help someone new. I know my club was a big help.



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