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I have just had a Telescope bought for me by my wife as a birthday gift as i have a intreast at looking at the stars :), well i am still learning how to use it (Skywatcher 102) with a Synscan controller and motorised mount of which i am still learning to use, you know hit each button and go figure, i have not calibrated it yet as i dont know how...but i have looked at stars, now this is the part i need help on as the rest i will learn , the planets and stars i look at appear like dark globes when i focus in on them and if a draw back they are like bright stars throught the naked eye, is this what i should expect to see?

Forgive my niavety but is that what i should expect to see, as for the moon its not in postion for me to see at this time as it lays on the western horizon, but as for stars i was expecting to see ..i dont know something better?.

I havr tried using the Barlow x2 with 2 other peices a super 25 wideangle and super 10mm, and i using the wrong adapters?

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Hi and Welcome,

The stars will look pretty much like crisper brighter versions of what you can see with the naked eye, just an awful lot more of them!!

Planets however should show more detail. Have a look at Saturn. You should clearly see the rings,maybe not the division, but a good crisp image . You may even see the moons if the seeing is good. Try to have a look tonight shortly after dark when Saturn is still fairly high, I think you will be pleased.

Good luck

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Hi, and welcome to SGL!

When you are focussed properly on stars all you will see is a bright tight points of light. This is because the stars are so far away. If you look at the closer/larger planets you will see them as disks and depending on conditions and magnification pick up detail too (eg the bands on Jupiter, marking on Mars and the rings of Saturn).. You'll also see the larger moons of planets.

The moon will be great through your scope!

You may feel disappointed that you just see stars at dots, but what your scope will do is allow you to see so many more stars than you can see with just your eyes. This opens up new sights such as globular and open clusters. You'll also be able to see the brighter nebula and galaxies.

As a rule of thumb, start with the lower power eyepiece (higher number). You'll have smaller, but brighter images than wih higher power.

I suggest you download stellarium as a start. Stellarium

..and remember that we love answering questions here, so ask away :)


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The scope will need the right angle bit in the system.

I cannot recall if it has a prism in it to get the view the right way up, hope that it doesn't as (my opinion) that means more glass in the way and not great quality glass.

Sounds as if the stars etc are simply not in focus and if the diagonal is not in then the eyepiece cannot be placed at the right position, so not in focus.

Problem is that they supply lots of bits with that scope and you seemingly have to know which ones to use and why.

The basic arrangement is Scope+Diagonal+Eyepiece.

As said previously stick in the eyepiece with the biggest number, that gives the lowest magnification but the widest view through the scope. Wide view is useful to locate anything.

Fiddle with the focusser knob to get whatever you are aiming at into a sharp focus. Aim the scope at something you cannot miss. Believe me the moon is missable. Casseiopia might be better, it is several bright stars and as the background is the milky way there are lots (couple of million) of stars there also to use.

Set up the scope and the finder during the day. Again biggest eyepiece, scope aimed at something distant and get it both in view and in focus. Do not move the scope, adjust the finder so that the same thing is in the centre. Think that the 102 comes with a decent finder.

As to the Synscan. Read the manual, read the manual, stand the scope in front of you indoors and read the manual while looking at the scope. That's only 3 reads and you may need a couple more.

The setup is dependant on the data you enter. Do not assume that anything in it is correct or present. Data may be in it, but it will not be for Reading, it might however be for California. If you miss anything out it will use whatever garbage happens to be there. If in doubt clear everything out and start again, say this because if wrong the data you need to change may not be displayed to you for you to change. All data entry can be done inside with coffee to keep you sane.

Nice size for a scope, views will be reasonable and it should be easy to use, transport and set up.

Edited by ronin
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