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Hi everyone, my name is Riad and I am from Beirut, Lebanon. I was fascinated about astronomy since I was a kid. I just found this and other astronomy forums today and I am looking forward to check out all posts.

Last year I got a Canon sx210 point and shoot digital camera (14X optical zoom) and I managed to take some nice photos of the moon, Jupiter and it's moons, some constellations and the Orion nebula (with the help of registax, photoshop and deepskystacker).

I live near an airport and the light pollution is awful. Most exposure longer than 15 seconds turn out bright orange photos and show star trails so I take many short exposures and digitally clean and stack them. I have to wait until summer so I can go to some remote area with good sky conditions.

After taking pictures for over a year using the digital camera I decided it is time for me to get a telescope but I looked for months and didn't manage to find any. Last week I came across a Citiwell 4,5 inches reflector (from a department store, shaky tripod, the RA and Dec scales are for decoration) and since this was my only option I bought it for 180$ along with a 60mm binoculars. So far, I only managed to see Saturn (I spent 2 hours looking at it, it was quite an experience looking at it for the first time) and since then the skies had been cloudy during nights.

Does anyone have any advice on how I can get the best out of this telescope (any tweaks or tricks?). I know my equipment does not even remotely compare with even an entry level Celestron or Meade telescope but I want to make the most out of it so any advice or technique will be appreciated.

I managed to stabilize the tripod and compensated for the RA and Dec scales (RA is off by 14,5 hours and Dec is off by 16 degrees). The maximal useful magnification is 40X, anything bigger and the image become blurred even when I adjust the focus. I did the star test and the collimation is good. The only sky visible from home is a 50 degrees by 30 degrees patch to the south but I managed to polar align the telescope using a compass and compensated for the magnetic declination (4 degrees in my region). I plan to get or make some kind of adapter so I can take afocal images with my P&S camera and to add a small motor so I can track and take long exposures.

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Hi Riad, Welcome to the forum :)

You have made a good start and seem to have the two of the main "tricks" sorted out - dedication and an ability to make the best out of what you have to hand.

This book - Astronomy Hacks - has lots more tips 'n' tricks for the astronomer.

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Thanks everyone. Yes they are rare here.. you can find ANYTHING except telescopes and eyepieces. Probably because there aren't many people who are interested in astronomy over here.

And gonna check out this book...

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