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exiledtaff

Getting to grips with the upside-downy, back-to-fronty nature of things.

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Hi all. I'm wondering if anybody has any tips for dealing with the sky as it appears in my finder scope. I've had a telescope (Skywatcher 102 refractor) for about a year and have had great success exploring the solar system but am getting frustrated by the deep sky objects. The main problem is getting my brain to consolidate the 4 information sources it has available; star chart (seems simple enough), naked eye (pretty used to using those), finder scope (upside-downy wibbly-wobbly) and telescope (little movement - BIG CHANGE).

I'm hoping I'm just going to get used to it at some point in the future but I am starting to get a little impatient. Any suggestions would be gratefully taken on-board.

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I really struggle with the finderscope and use a Rigel QuikFinder instead (similar to a Telrad).

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I've been struggling for a year and you guys have solved it in 9 minutes. What a great place :) Thanks.

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I've been struggling for a year and you guys have solved it in 9 minutes. What a great place :) Thanks.

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I use a telrad combined with a right angled, erect image finderscope (£65 on FLO), so the only reverse image is the one in the EP. Hopefully by the time I'm looking through the EP I've already found the object!

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When I started looking for DSOs a couple of years back, I started by printing off star-walk charts using Stellarium and it's ocular plugin so that I could plan each step in locating my target with a realistic idea of what reference stars I could see in the eyepiece.

Since then I have changed to using Starmap Pro (paid iphone app) as you can have it display what you see in the eyepiece (and swap left-right and/or upside down according to your telescope) with a handy arrow pointing to the target, which has meant a lot less printing for me.

The only time I use my finder scope is to get the initial starting point star in view for starting the star-walk.

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The only time I use my finder scope is to get the initial starting point star in view for starting the star-walk.

Is that the general consensus or just personal preference? I've always tried sticking with the finder until the final object is in my EP. As already mentioned, this isn't proving to be an effective method.

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I think it depends largely what your final object is and where you are viewing from.

I'm in very light polluted skies so my finder doesn't really reveal much more than I can see with the naked eye. When I first started looking for the Owl Cluster (NGC457) I'd get Ruchbah in Cassiopeia in the finder and in the eyepiece, two hops and I'm there.

There's absolutely no way I could get to Bode's nebula straight from viewing through the finder, and that wouldn't improve with a telrad finder unless I was viewing from significantly darker skies. I suspect that your average night skies are not that much better as, if I recall correctly, Guetersloh is a fair sized city with a goodly amount of light pollution.

Having said all that, after 3.5 years of looking at the same skies, I can now get the Owl Cluster dead centre on low power with a red dot finder or regular finder.

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I have the SW 150PL which comes with a 6x30 finderscope. Since I got the 9x50 upgrade I can see a lot of the fuzzies (well clusters anyway) in the finder before I even go to the EP. That's certainly true of M13 and M15 and the 3 clusters in Auriga (M36 - 38), I can see those three, just about, at once in the fov of the finder. Bode's galaxies are a different matter. I found them the first time with sheer pluck in the early evening with 350 watts of kitchen spotlights at my back - I've never been able to find them since! They're a real challange because they don't show up even in the finder in my darkish skies, and there are no nearby bright stars to hop from. I'm sure I'll get them next time though!

I don't think there's a consensus over using the finder exclusively vs. using the EP exlusively. It really is down to what works for you, I'd say. :smiley:

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I had the same problem with Bodes, the first time I found it I had to use the GOTO on my Celstron Mak to confirm that it was real. I can find it fine now I've perfected my star walking (it is a long one from Dubhe).

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I use a telrad combined with a right angled, erect image finderscope (£65 on FLO), so the only reverse image is the one in the EP. Hopefully by the time I'm looking through the EP I've already found the object!

this is exactly what id do too.

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I use the Rigel Quikfinder along with my 9x50 R.A.C.I. finder and find this combination takes away a lot of frustration regarding upside downy left to righty type stuff.

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