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Trying to find things around Cassiopia tonight. How do you know when you hit the target. I can see all sorts of stuff up there but all the stars look the same. Was looking for M52 and M103. I am still trying to come to terms with things being opposite when I move the scope about, not sure how that works, but I try to aim the scope at a place where the objects are and I see stars right enough but they all look like stars if you get my meaning. Tried looking through Bins but they are not wide angle enough to see a Constellation so not sure with them if I am seeing anything I should be looking at. Not even sure if this text makes any sense. Just getting frustrated. You know where you are with Planets and the moon. 

Think I need lessons, or whiskey.

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You can,t believe how clear it is to night where I am and I did,it get my scope out ,furious

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its tricky to work around a constellation when your rather zoomed in. The best thing to do is find a bright star within the constellation and work around it. Cassiopeia is shaped like a 'W' so its easy to find the starting points for that shape. The best thing i ever did was get a right-angled finderscope that corrects the image. Over time I've managed to correlate the brightness my eyes can see with the brightness that the finderscope can see. 

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I find open cluster hard to identify. I did quite well tonight though by looking at them on Stellarium before & after I look at them though some seem to glow more on Stellarium than through my scope at least.

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Yes there is a gizmo on stellarium that you can bring up too show you that you will see through your ep so you should,nt be mistaken

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Right angled finderscope? Does that replace the unit that takes the Eyepiece correcting the way the scope works?

As for the Whiskey, Telescope and too much whiskey dont really work together, but on a cold night viewing it helps.

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The brightest stars you can see with your eye when you eye along your finder to point the scope will be the brightest one in the finder when you look through it. The next one will be the next brightest. It doesn't matter how many more fainter stars your finder shows. The brightest ones will still be the brightest ones.

I find Cassiopeia quite a good constellation for practising using a finder. Most of the stars are bright and can be picked out easily against any much fainter stars the finder may show.

Clear skies. :)

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Right angled finderscope? Does that replace the unit that takes the Eyepiece correcting the way the scope works?

I don't know what scope you have but it fully replaces the stock finderscope it was shipped with. Working with the stock finderscope on mine was a massive pain in the behind.

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Trying to find things around Cassiopia tonight. How do you know when you hit the target. I can see all sorts of stuff up there but all the stars look the same. Was looking for M52 and M103. I am still trying to come to terms with things being opposite when I move the scope about, not sure how that works, but I try to aim the scope at a place where the objects are and I see stars right enough but they all look like stars if you get my meaning. Tried looking through Bins but they are not wide angle enough to see a Constellation so not sure with them if I am seeing anything I should be looking at. Not even sure if this text makes any sense. Just getting frustrated. You know where you are with Planets and the moon. 

Think I need lessons, or whiskey.

Some pre-planning helps, so you have an idea of what you will see.  One way is to make a list of objects you want to observe, then do a search for sketches of them.  Better than images for showing eyepiece views. 

Cassiopeia is full of clusters double stars etc.  I found this very easily http://www.graphitegalaxy.com/index.cgi?showsketch=24  So make a list, brief description, basic sketch, so when the next observing opportunity comes, you will be ready to go, and with less frustration.

As to finders, what suits one person may not suit another.  What works for me is a Rigel Quickfinder and my lowest power eyepiece in the focuser to find objects.  Many use the popular Telrad or basic red dot finder.  Some combine this with an optical finder, straight through or angled to save your neck.

Finding objects very definitely gets easier with practice.

Hope your next session goes much better, Ed.

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Thank you, I shall get the scope out and practice getting used to the way it works in the day time. I have Turn left at orion, that has pretty good drawings. I think I need to plan ahead so I dont get too much going on in my head. Will try again through the week and see how I get on. Thank you for your assistance.

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+1 for the Rigel/Telrad options, too. As Ed says, that and a low power eyepiece are how I find most things. I have a RACI (Right angle, correct image) finder and that's about the same power as one half of my binoculars, so it's also useful when navigating longer distances from the brighter stars I tend to start from with the Rigel - but to be honest, it doesn't get used that much.

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It can be a pain and some thing s,are to faint to see,that said all he above advice ,with regards to telrads ect are a must ,stick to one constellation per night

Pat

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Be aware that the Rigel/Telrad options do not magnify the image at all, so if you can't see it with the naked eye, you won't see it through these.

I'm short sighted and don't wear glasses at my 'scope so need some magnification in order to star hop.

It just takes time and a little perseverance, you will get there.

I don't know if this will help, but learning how to star hop will be very helpful.

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Yes there is a gizmo on stellarium that you can bring up too show you that you will see through your ep so you should,nt be mistaken

This sounds *extremely* useful, but I can't seem to find it, can you offer a pointer to the docs or some simple instructions?

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This sounds *extremely* useful, but I can't seem to find it, can you offer a pointer to the docs or some simple instructions?

On the top right interface there is a circular icon. You have to tell the software via the settings menu what EP's & scope you have so it will give you the correct view:

Stellarium-0.12.4.png

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Aha! You have to find and enable the "oculars" plugin, then configure it and select "on screen control panel", at which point the menu in the top right appears :-)

Thanks very much!

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Trying to find things around Cassiopia tonight. How do you know when you hit the target. I can see all sorts of stuff up there but all the stars look the same. Was looking for M52 and M103. I am still trying to come to terms with things being opposite when I move the scope about, not sure how that works, but I try to aim the scope at a place where the objects are and I see stars right enough but they all look like stars if you get my meaning. Tried looking through Bins but they are not wide angle enough to see a Constellation so not sure with them if I am seeing anything I should be looking at. Not even sure if this text makes any sense. Just getting frustrated. You know where you are with Planets and the moon. 

Think I need lessons, or whiskey.

Stars do, and always only will look like stars. Anything else you spot will be different. There is no up/down/left/right in space but i prefer to use a right angle finder so things appear as they would to the naked eye or on charts.

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http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-resources/using-a-map-at-the-telescope/

Hi Ya Bluesboy, I think FRUSTRATION is one of the main reasons for people coming into the hobby and then after the "F" word, people tend to loose interest quite quickly and go and do other things.

Learning to "Read" the sky for each persons equipment depends on what they use to locate objects, but the first thing you need to do is to take a step back and look at the big picture, firstly the dreaded light pollution thingy !! - the majority of us now, observe under very light polluted skies, orange glow at the horizon, with the best views, the higher "up" the sky you go - I've always used the statement "IF YOU CAN SEE THE MILKY WAY CLEARLY AGAINST THE BACKDROP OF THE STARS - THE GALAXIES/NEBULAE WILL "POP OUT" AT YOU, as you know, the majority of us now, never get the views of the Milky Way - so the contrast between the background sky and all the Galaxies/Nebulae, is all but "Washed out" with all the Galaxies/Nebulae, leaving a brighter background sky, making the objects nearly invisible to us all.

This first point is the major factor for all of us - so what do we do!! - have a read through the link as a little intro into the way we see things in the night sky, making correct Fields Of View takes a little time, but when made, its just a matter of following each circle against the background sky, estimating how many "circles" from the star to the object, and in which direction - if you have a straight through finder - then remember the view is upside down and left and right are reversed - the way around this for me was buying a RACI finder - as mentioned above - they make life a lot easier if you don't have GOTO - this is the easiest way, but most EXPENSIVE solution for you - the charts I used to use with the RACI finder were the Sky Atlas 2000 charts.

As said, have a read through the link at the top of my post and we have all gone through this at one stage or another - REMEMBER - its easy, there's no special telescope that cuts through the light pollution, though no ones fault, its the lighter background sky "Washing" out the very faint smudge of a Galaxy, I used to get near to the object, using the star charts and the RACI finder, then just by sweeping the sky and having a "look round", or by using a straight through finder, just have a quick look on the opposite side of the star or asterism first, checking the chart or page - if the objects on the right of the star have a quick look to the left.

Hope that helps a little Bluesboy - stick at it - as said there's no special scope we have - just learn to put up with the conditions and try a few tips to work around it - even if you think your in the right place, just increase the magnification a little, to darken the background sky and increase the contrast between the sky and the object, stick to the "Brighter" objects like the Messier's - you then get a feel for how faint you can go - if the objects small and bright - you have a better chance of seeing it, than if the object is spread out over a larger area of sky - so small and bright - try for some Planetary Nebulae like the "Blinking" Planetary or the "Eskimo" Planetary Nebula - these stand out very well under increased Mag - low power EP's may just show them as "Stars", but increase the mag and they soon become "smudges" as opposed to the stars single point of light.

All the best Mate, and keep us informed of how your getting on, forget the frustration and enjoy.

Paul.

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bluesboy.....Hi. Astronomy will get easier the more you practice and observe. As for the orientation of the views being upside/back to front in some cases, this only gets easier with practice. I must admit, I found it extremely easy to get into sighting, observing, and tracking even chasing satellites when they pass through my field of view. 


On my Skyliner, I now just use the standard 9x50 finder ( did not have a happy solution with my Telrad) and when using the finder, I sight with BOTH eyes wide open. As soon as my eyes see the image 'overlap' I'm straight into the eyepiece and can stay there until the next target of interest is required. Some folk will take much longer to master and become as-one with their scopes. It will at some stage become second nature for you. As for knowing what to look at, I just take a view at Stellarium, then spend the rest of my night just outside looking. If I need to refer to Stellarium again, I'll do that after the session? I have the Plough and Cassiopeia chasing each other all Year round in my Zenith, as I have to look straight up to see the Pole Star, and having only owned the telescope since last October, there's still so much to see in that area alone. Not only that, this is my primary view of the skies due to the surrounding features. I do have  darker skies to venture too, but that takes a little more planning and setting up, flask, coat ect.


You mentioned Bins. I'm the proud owner of the 8° Helios 8x40WA bins that flo! have in their Summer sale. Great for wide views.

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Thank you Guys, lots of helpful stuff here. I shall read the link before my next outing. I am not frustrated enough to give up, been looking in the sky all my life not going to stop now. Just want to make sense of what I see. I have a red dot thing as a finder. Don't know if I should change that or not. Haven't tried any others. I am using aSkywatcher114 scope at the moment. I have 25mm, 16mm, 10mm and 6mm eyepieces and a 2x barlow and I am viewing in the city. Not good but quite dark at the back. After living in the New Forest for many years without a good scope where it was perfect viewing and then moving to the city where it is lighter. Not a good Astronomical move.

I hope to build an 8inch Dob if I can find the Ali tube at work and get a reasonable mirror. 

I shall read the link and make sure I have a clear picture of the objects I want to view.

Cheers

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Thank you Guys, lots of helpful stuff here. I shall read the link before my next outing. I am not frustrated enough to give up, been looking in the sky all my life not going to stop now. Just want to make sense of what I see. I have a red dot thing as a finder. Don't know if I should change that or not. Haven't tried any others. I am using aSkywatcher114 scope at the moment. I have 25mm, 16mm, 10mm and 6mm eyepieces and a 2x barlow and I am viewing in the city. Not good but quite dark at the back. After living in the New Forest for many years without a good scope where it was perfect viewing and then moving to the city where it is lighter. Not a good Astronomical move.

I hope to build an 8inch Dob if I can find the Ali tube at work and get a reasonable mirror. 

I shall read the link and make sure I have a clear picture of the objects I want to view.

Cheers

Aperture is king for visual observations, but darker skies are best.

Have you also considered the tubing that carpets are rolled onto. They seem pretty hefty, I've seen some DIY images, and they seem to show the spiral give-away of the paper/ cardboard  seam that they are composed of. A good lick of  black one-coat will seal everything?

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Aperture is king for visual observations, but darker skies are best.

Have you also considered the tubing that carpets are rolled onto. They seem pretty hefty, I've seen some DIY images, and they seem to show the spiral give-away of the paper/ cardboard  seam that they are composed of. A good lick of  black one-coat will seal everything?

Indeed, heavy cardboard tubing is good, has excellent thermal properties.   Some commercially made Dobs had cardboard tubes in the past, Celestron Starhopper and Meade were two, back in the 80s and 90s.

Properly sealed and painted, no prob.  

3mm wall thickness plastic tube is also good, trouble is many suppliers want to sell minimum of 100 metres  :sad: but an offcut may be obtainable (building site ?).

Regards, Ed.

Edited by NGC 1502

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