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Hi everyone, This is my first post in SGL and I must say I'm really excited about joining this wonderful community and I must thank you all for all the help and advice provided here. I recently bought a Skywatcher Heritage 130 as my first scope. I have a couple of (weird) questions and I would really appreciate if you could answer them: First of all, is there a correct way of handling this telescope (rotating and tilting) while looking at the sky? I'm asking this because sometimes I find myself grabbing it from the back of the tube where the screws are to tilt it, and I'm afraid this can move the adjusting screws and make me collimate the mirrors more frequently. Also is it OK to rotate it by grabbing the extension frame or can this also misalign the secondary mirror? Sorry for this questions but since the design of this scope is so "open" it got me thinking; The scope came with the locking screws really loose. When I say loose I mean that whenever I touch them accidentally they move a lot and when I move the scope from one place to another I can feel them shaking. Is this OK? I've been observing Venus quite a lot, but I find it really difficult to clearly see it's phases and disc without fuzziness. I'm observing from my balcony with clear skies but I live in a very light polluted area. Also I've been mainly observing it between 28º and 20º altitude (used Stellarium to get these values), except for one time when I tried to observe it before being completely dark and I was able to see it at ~38º altitude. This was actually the time where I could see the disc with more detail and very little fuzziness. Under these conditions is this normal or am I doing something wrong? During my observation sessions, I can occasionally see some objects moving fast on my field of view but I can follow them when using my 25mm eyepiece. They are like faint stars (some brighter than others) moving in a straight line trajectory. What could they be? Satellites? Is there any good source of satellite information so I can confirm these sightings when I have them? I will leave here my first photos of the moon taken a couple of weeks ago with the telescope using the 25mm and 10mm pieces that came with it, a lunar filter and my Nokia 7 plus (handheld). I know they suck but it was an achievement for me that made me really happy Sorry for the long boring questions. Thanks!
so the other night i was setting up my scope, and i saw the weirdest thing in the northeastern sky. it was a fast- moving, flashing(?) object about 3- 4 degrees above the horizon. it went from the northeast to the southeast in about 3 seconds, then vanished out of sight. i didn't get a picture, my camera was still in its bag and i didn't even think of taking a pic until it was gone. now, i know this sounds like a ufo, but i don't know. i doubt it is, although i hope it was. i have seen things like this before quite a few times, but none of them at night. if it really is a ufo, id put it at a 2 on the hynek scale, for those of you who know what that is. if not, google it. its interesting. aside from the unlikely prospect of a ufo, what could it be, realistically speaking??