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I finally bought my telescope yesterday the Celestron C8N and wow these are rather large! The excitement was difficult to contain, the grin on my face spread ear to ear all day long. Even the fact of the terrible weather couldn't dampen my spirits. After much careful thought i decided not to risk taking my new pride and joy outside to see the partially obscured moon. I wen't to bed still reeling with excitement, maybe an early morning gazing session will have more favorable weather than that of the day just past.

I arose at 3am to see intermittent cloud cover and Orion the hunter staring back through my window. It was a chance i was not about to let slip by me, 15mins later i was set up. I thought to myself should i let it cool down or just start observing, i chose the latter.

About 2hours later with freezing toes and much frustration i had seen nothing but the odd star pass through my 'scope. What was i doing wrong? I had tried to align the finder 'scope to no avail, out of sheer frustration i started just looking through the finder 'scope. Wow pleiades through the finder scope was absolutely stunning. Even though i hadn't been able to effectively use the main 'scope that made it worth getting out of bed! 

I woke this morning thinking about what i had seen and how i could do better. Then it occurred to me. Damn, I should of tried to align the finder scope without the 2x barlow attached! 

Even though i didn't see as much as would of liked It's left me itching to get back out there. It's taught me a few lessons mainly to align the 'scopes without the barlow attached and wear more clothes!

Guy

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Congratulations on your new telescope  :grin:

It is easiest to align the finderscope during daylight. Find a distant landmark like a church spire or telegraph pole with the main scope (easier with a low power eyepiece) and then align your finder to this as well. Hope this helps.

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lol Guy the things we do when we need a astro FIX! i too got a new 350p flexitube dob yesterday i manged 20mins this morning. im sure it will give you great views

I'm in college tomorrow, i hope i can resist tonight! Although a 5am rise wouldn't hurt haha. A 350p that's the stuff of dreams for me at the moment! How did you find your FIX? haha

Congratulations on your new telescope  :grin:

It is easiest to align the finderscope during daylight. Find a distant landmark like a church spire or telegraph pole with the main scope (easier with a low power eyepiece) and then align your finder to this as well. Hope this helps.

Yeah that's a great help thanks. I will get onto it right away, any excuse to play with my new 'scope!! Although collimation didn't seem too bad i think it may be slightly out, i think i will need to purchase a Cheshire Collimation tool as soon as possible..

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i never seem to get my FIX ive been working alot of overtime last month and this month so ive missed most of the clear nights but i manged 20 min at half 5 this morning may get an hour in tonight. were in liverpool are you

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I have no doubt i will be looking for any moment i can get out there between college and work. Most of the clear nights i have been looking up thinking 'i wish i had a telescope' haha! I'm in the lovely town of Bootle yourself?

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As there are clear sky forecast for much of the UK this evening, get the Moon in the scope use a wide EP (high MM) then align the Finder scope, once that's done go for Capella its in the North East very bright and this time the Finder scope then the main scope, use a higher power EP (low MM) to center in the scope then align the Finder scope, you should now be set-up.....Think about a Telrad you would do much the same but it a whole lot easier and star hopping ect gets to be a delight...

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I have no doubt i will be looking for any moment i can get out there between college and work. Most of the clear nights i have been looking up thinking 'i wish i had a telescope' haha! I'm in the lovely town of Bootle yourself?

im right on the edge of liverpool in Halewood 

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Congratulations on the new teslescope by the way. If you can it's advisable to get used to things during the day, such as getting the finder scope aligned, and get used to knowing where all the knobs and ajustments are on the mount. I still struggle to find the locking clutches on my EQ5 after almost two years of using it. An equatorial mount does take a bit of getting used to and aiming at objects that are up and around the pole star can be especially tricky - and somewhat frustrating. You'll need to have the sky properly dark to do polar alignment but even getting this approximately right is good enough for visual observing even at reasonably high power. Try to go for barn-door objects for now and this will get you practiced. The moon is always rewarding (though it can be unbearably bright without a moon filter) and then you can start finding trickier objects. The great nebula in Orion is fantastic and has a real wow factor. The inverted view from the finder scope can take a bit of getting used to and I often detached this from the scope to do a practice star hop before mounting it back again and doing it for real. I now use my binoculars for this instead and do the flip mentally (or at least I try to). I've seen lots of recommendations for Telrads or red-dot finders. I've managed without one of these as I expect that you'd still need to use the finder scope for fine-tuning but others would give you better advice for this.

The important thing is to have fun and try to avoid frustrations. We all get frustrated with things from time to time (especially the weather I expect or the neighbour putting there bathroom light on the for the nth time that evening) but if there were no challenges then we wouldn't have the satisfaction of overcoming them. The greater the challenge the greater the reward.

Have fun and I hope that you get some clear skies.

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Congratulations on the new teslescope by the way. If you can it's advisable to get used to things during the day, such as getting the finder scope aligned, and get used to knowing where all the knobs and ajustments are on the mount. I still struggle to find the locking clutches on my EQ5 after almost two years of using it. An equatorial mount does take a bit of getting used to and aiming at objects that are up and around the pole star can be especially tricky - and somewhat frustrating. You'll need to have the sky properly dark to do polar alignment but even getting this approximately right is good enough for visual observing even at reasonably high power. Try to go for barn-door objects for now and this will get you practiced. The moon is always rewarding (though it can be unbearably bright without a moon filter) and then you can start finding trickier objects. The great nebula in Orion is fantastic and has a real wow factor. The inverted view from the finder scope can take a bit of getting used to and I often detached this from the scope to do a practice star hop before mounting it back again and doing it for real. I now use my binoculars for this instead and do the flip mentally (or at least I try to). I've seen lots of recommendations for Telrads or red-dot finders. I've managed without one of these as I expect that you'd still need to use the finder scope for fine-tuning but others would give you better advice for this.

The important thing is to have fun and try to avoid frustrations. We all get frustrated with things from time to time (especially the weather I expect or the neighbour putting there bathroom light on the for the nth time that evening) but if there were no challenges then we wouldn't have the satisfaction of overcoming them. The greater the challenge the greater the reward.

Have fun and I hope that you get some clear skies.

Some great advice there mate thanks! Got out there before and managed to use the moon as a target to properly align the finder 'scope. But just as i was getting into the swing of things the clouds rolled in, looks like an early morning viewing session tomorrow weather permitting. Isn't life so much easier when everything is set up correct! haha.

Guy

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My good friend, That is a fine telescope you have there, Now, what kind of mount is it, Alt, AZ, Equatorial?

It depends on what mount you have to use the coordinates to find objects.

If you have equatorial you use RA and DEC for coordinates.

If you have a alt-az mount you use Altitude and Azimuth for coordinates, figure out what your mount type is and I can help you further :)

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My good friend, That is a fine telescope you have there, Now, what kind of mount is it, Alt, AZ, Equatorial?

It depends on what mount you have to use the coordinates to find objects.

If you have equatorial you use RA and DEC for coordinates.

If you have a alt-az mount you use Altitude and Azimuth for coordinates, figure out what your mount type is and I can help you further

The mount is a CG5 ;)

As suggested, the best way to align the finder with the scope is to point the scope at something terrestrial in daylight, then you can adjust the finder untill it points at the same place as the scope. Then when you are out observing, you can find a bright star and fine tune the finder alignment.

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I'm in college tomorrow, i hope i can resist tonight! Although a 5am rise wouldn't hurt haha. A 350p that's the stuff of dreams for me at the moment! How did you find your FIX? haha

Yeah that's a great help thanks. I will get onto it right away, any excuse to play with my new 'scope!! Although collimation didn't seem too bad i think it may be slightly out, i think i will need to purchase a Cheshire Collimation tool as soon as possible..

Give yourself plenty of time when collimating for the first time and have a good read of Astro Baby's Guide first http://www.astro-baby.com/collimation/astro%20babys%20collimation%20guide.htm . I can still remember the angst I went through on my first attempt - I seem to remember that it took me about  an hour!

It also really helps if you find a second pair of hands to twiddle the knobs on the back of the scope while you look through the collimator although as your tube is 1000mm you may be OK. My Orion Optics Europa 8" has a 1200mm tube and even with my long arms I cannot get to the collimation knobs and the eyepiece at the same time.

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Sounds like you got frozen  :sad:

Your comfort when observing is crucial.  

When frozen, it's no fun and will make you end your session, and less likely to go out again with thoughts of getting frozen again.

The answer is - layers.  

My top coat is XXL, I'm not that fat, but I can get several thick jumpers on first.

A few years back I "discovered" long Johns.  I'd put that off because they sounded so "granddad" but they do work.  With thick jeans and then track suit bottoms, keeps me cosy.

My regular shoes are size 9, but my observing boots are size 11, I can get 2 or 3 pairs of thick socks on first.

Your scope can be collimated & cooled, lovely clear sky etc, but your personal comfort trumps all that.

Regards, Ed,

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Sounds like you got frozen  :sad:

Your comfort when observing is crucial.  

When frozen, it's no fun and will make you end your session, and less likely to go out again with thoughts of getting frozen again.

The answer is - layers.  

My top coat is XXL, I'm not that fat, but I can get several thick jumpers on first.

A few years back I "discovered" long Johns.  I'd put that off because they sounded so "granddad" but they do work.  With thick jeans and then track suit bottoms, keeps me cosy.

My regular shoes are size 9, but my observing boots are size 11, I can get 2 or 3 pairs of thick socks on first.

Your scope can be collimated & cooled, lovely clear sky etc, but your personal comfort trumps all that.

Regards, Ed,

Congrats on the scope.

Ed is right, layers are the key to being warm. Last night I had 7 layers on my top half - to be honest it was a bit much but that's the way you should be going - you should be wearing enough to sweat indoors when doing any kind of physical activity besides walking.

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Thanks for all the advice! With clear skies last night i had to get out there, i managed to find the Andromeda galaxy after a good half hour of searching. Even though i could only see a grey smudge it was enough captivate my imagination, i almost didn't want to move off it haha. I think i'm hooked! 

Guy

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I finally bought my telescope yesterday the Celestron C8N and wow these are rather large! The excitement was difficult to contain, the grin on my face spread ear to ear all day long. Even the fact of the terrible weather couldn't dampen my spirits. After much careful thought i decided not to risk taking my new pride and joy outside to see the partially obscured moon. I wen't to bed still reeling with excitement, maybe an early morning gazing session will have more favorable weather than that of the day just past.

I arose at 3am to see intermittent cloud cover and Orion the hunter staring back through my window. It was a chance i was not about to let slip by me, 15mins later i was set up. I thought to myself should i let it cool down or just start observing, i chose the latter.

About 2hours later with freezing toes and much frustration i had seen nothing but the odd star pass through my 'scope. What was i doing wrong? I had tried to align the finder 'scope to no avail, out of sheer frustration i started just looking through the finder 'scope. Wow pleiades through the finder scope was absolutely stunning. Even though i hadn't been able to effectively use the main 'scope that made it worth getting out of bed! 

I woke this morning thinking about what i had seen and how i could do better. Then it occurred to me. Damn, I should of tried to align the finder scope without the 2x barlow attached! 

Even though i didn't see as much as would of liked It's left me itching to get back out there. It's taught me a few lessons mainly to align the 'scopes without the barlow attached and wear more clothes!

Guy

DUDE!

Is that Lawrence M. Krauss with you on that picture?!

Holy smokes!

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Thanks for all the advice! With clear skies last night i had to get out there, i managed to find the Andromeda galaxy after a good half hour of searching. Even though i could only see a grey smudge it was enough captivate my imagination, i almost didn't want to move off it haha. I think i'm hooked! 

Guy

Well done on finding Andromeda, it can be tricky the first time or two. It does get easier though as your knowledge of the night sky grows and you build your mental map of what is up there.

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DUDE!

Is that Lawrence M. Krauss with you on that picture?!

Holy smokes!

Yeah, i still cant believe it myself! He came to Liverpool about a month ago to give a talk and afterwards he came for a drink with a hand full of us. Best night ever! haha

Guy

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How often do you get clear skies in Liverpool ? Greetings from Namibia

Difficult to say, but generally in the UK the east gets a higher percentage of clear nights than the west.   Many parts of Wales have good dark skies, but not so many clear ones, it's a trade off.

In spite of all the light pollution and clouds, the UK has a good following of amateur astronomers, loads of clubs and events.

Perhaps let us know a bit about astronomy in Namibia ?

Regards, Ed.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Guy.

I have the same scope as you, glad you are enjoying it.

I remember when I first viewed Saturn with it, a definite hairs up on the back of the neck moment.

I haven't used my scope much the last few years as its been buried in the garage.

Hoping to get much more use out of it this year.

Reading yours and other peoples observations on this site makes me realise what I have been missing out on.

Keep getting that scope out Guy, weather permitting of course.

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