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craigfoot

Disappointed, feel like giving up!

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Hi all

Been a while since I've been on here, and since I've used my equipment due to my girlfriend having a baby 3 months ago :-)

So tonight for the first time I got outside with my skywatcher explorer 130 on the standard eq2 mount.

Fitted with a rigel quick finder and a 9x50 raci.

My eyepiece collection consists of bst star guider 8, 15 and 25mm along with a tmb planetary 5mm.

Armed with my copy of Turn Left At Orion and a print out from the sky maps web site I headed out with some idea of what I wanted to see.

I got the scope set up level and balanced and think I managed to get close enough to polar alignment.

Now for the disappointment which lasted around 3 hours. .

Struggled to find what I thought were easy targets in m51, 57, 81 and 82.

Turning the scope to face south seemed difficult and the slow control handles seemed to get trapped and in the way, in fact pointing any direction other than north felt very cumbersome.

I struggled again with east and west. . Though thinking it through now I think I may have worked out where I was getting confused, moving the scope east is different to looking east? Is that right? As I stand facing north, looking to my left is west where I could see arcturus and to my right is east where I could see pegasus. . I was thinking moving the scope east ment move to the right, but now sat here I'm realising moving it east would actually be moving it to the left.

I think I also struggled with what I was seeing. . I understand my finders orientation is the same as what I see with my eye, and the scope is flipped on both axis. But as the tube is moved through various axis my eye is left at different angles to the eye piece meaning north isn't always directly at the top or bottom of the ep?

One plus was that I managed to locate m13 in hercules which appeared as a circular white cloud? And I also saw a meteor fly through bootes which was impressive.

But overall tonight's experience wasn't very good and left me feeling deflated and like giving up. .

Not sure if anyone has any tips with any of this?

Thanks

Craig

Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk

Edited by craigfoot
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Noooo, don't give up! It takes patience and perseverance! I felt like that for a few weeks, but tonight I've ended up with 3 new galaxies, 1 new nebula, 1 new open cluster, first time I've seen the milky way and off course the meteor shower! Keep at it! I struggled with m81and m82 at first but if you use star maps and create your own path to it, it will stick with you. Stick with it!

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Craig,

Congrats on the new baby!

Sorry to hear of your difficulties. How much light pollution are you dealing with there? DSOs can be a real challenge in significant LP. Star hopping is also not the easiest thing to do with an equatorial mount either. Directional maneuvering difficulties can be overcome by more experience with your scope. It will get easier with more usage. I suggest practicing by starting at fairly bright stars and going to other nearby stars that you see in your star maps. This will get you used to which way to move the scope vs the direction you need to go. I know that it seems simple, but it just takes some practice for it to become second nature to you. M51 is a lot harder to see than you might think if you have much LP in your area. M57 should definitely be obtainable with your scope - look for a small greyish disk as you sweep with your low power eyepiece. Hang in there and be patient with it.

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Yes, congratulations on the birth. One trick is to get the scope pointed then edge a flashlight (torch) up to the edge of the aperture of the scope on the side which is north. That will make the north side of the EP view bright.

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In this world of Immediate Gratification - astronomy & telescopes can be a rather steep UN-learning curve. This is why it is so enjoyable. It's a slow and gradual creature to find the targets - expecting quick results will likely disappoint folks.

Take 10 deep breaths, and try again, slowly, to star-hop to your desired destination. You'll feel satisfaction, and be rewarded with a view most people never see.

Having more fun than screaming,

Dave

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You found M13?! It took me three or four nights to find it for the first time, because I had a hard time getting oriented and lining up the pictures in the book with what I saw in the sky.

As others have said, don't give up. Even finding "easy" targets isn't easy at first. The stars in the sky don't look quite the same as the stars in the books and it takes some time to train your eyes to see them and the patterns they make correctly. The "east" and "west" directions have never made a lot of sense to me; I look for angles and projection lines made by the stars in the diagrams, look up and imagine the same lines and angles in the sky. Works much better, at least for myself. And make sure you are searching with your low-powered eyepiece -- the 25mm -- which has a much wider and forgiving field of view. Depending on the type and size of the object you're hunting for, it may appear as a small gray cloud, or even just a blurry "star". It takes time to recognize the latter for what they are. When you find one, center it in the eyepiece and begin slowly increasing the magnification.

Astronomy is a hobby for a lifetime. There will be frustrating nights but if you learn from them (and it sounds like you are), they will reward you in the end.

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Dont give up on the hobby just yet, you will overcome the issues your having but it takes time and an understanding of your system.......

I fully understood my system from the start, but after only one night, my mind was made up, having similar issues with the controls, slow and cumbersome, surely there has to be an easier way?

Take more time studying how basic GEM / EQ systems work, and become masterfull of the system, but the system will still be slow and cumbersome for basic observing?

Give up and spend more time with your youngest!

Change your weakest link in your system? I can still set-up my 127EQ but I would rather not. My Dobsonian changed my view of the night skies, its quick, simple, and a pleasure to use.

Nothing you buy now is affordable when babies come first!

I think you would be happier using a 6-8" Dobsonian for its ease of use. Its heavier than a baby, but sits quietly in a corner, ready for use.

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Some great advice and support here Craig - perhaps the most important is not to worry about it, relax, breathe deeply and congratulate yourself on taking small steps.

You saw M13? Fantastic!! Many people struggle to see find it without the use of go-to!! So, big tick there!

Some things to do while you wait for the clouds to clear...

1. Check the alignment of your finderscopes with the main tube

2. Read up / ask questions / play with your mount to really understand how it moves. When I got my first equatorial mount, it took me at least 4 sessions before I worked out how it worked!

3. Pick one or two objects and learn their positions with something like Stellarium. You can adjust the light pollution and sky glow to a good approximation of your own skies. Spot the big key stars and see if you can work out your path to the object

4. Use your hands to measure angular distance in the sky...

  • A first held at arms length is approx 10 degrees
  • A hand at full span held at arms length will measure approx 25 degrees
  • The 3 middle fingers held together and at arms lenth will measure approx 5 degrees
  • Your little finger held at arms length will measure approx 1 degree

Then, when you see "x is located 5 degrees below Y" you'll have a good idea of where that is in the sky!

But keep searching here for answers to your questions - or ask anyway :)

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Hi all

Been a while since I've been on here, and since I've used my equipment due to my girlfriend having a baby 3 months ago :-)

So tonight for the first time I got outside with my skywatcher explorer 130 on the standard eq2 mount.

Fitted with a rigel quick finder and a 9x50 raci.

My eyepiece collection consists of bst star guider 8, 15 and 25mm along with a tmb planetary 5mm.

Armed with my copy of Turn Left At Orion and a print out from the sky maps web site I headed out with some idea of what I wanted to see.

I got the scope set up level and balanced and think I managed to get close enough to polar alignment.

Now for the disappointment which lasted around 3 hours. .

Struggled to find what I thought were easy targets in m51, 57, 81 and 82.

Turning the scope to face south seemed difficult and the slow control handles seemed to get trapped and in the way, in fact pointing any direction other than north felt very cumbersome.

I struggled again with east and west. . Though thinking it through now I think I may have worked out where I was getting confused, moving the scope east is different to looking east? Is that right? As I stand facing north, looking to my left is west where I could see arcturus and to my right is east where I could see pegasus. . I was thinking moving the scope east ment move to the right, but now sat here I'm realising moving it east would actually be moving it to the left.

I think I also struggled with what I was seeing. . I understand my finders orientation is the same as what I see with my eye, and the scope is flipped on both axis. But as the tube is moved through various axis my eye is left at different angles to the eye piece meaning north isn't always directly at the top or bottom of the ep?

One plus was that I managed to locate m13 in hercules which appeared as a circular white cloud? And I also saw a meteor fly through bootes which was impressive.

But overall tonight's experience wasn't very good and left me feeling deflated and like giving up. .

Not sure if anyone has any tips with any of this?

Thanks

Craig

Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk

Having bought my first telescope at the age of 76 earlier this year it is only recently that the nights have lengthened to the point where, for the first time in a long life, I can explore deep sky.  I ain't found nuthin' yet but I'm going to keep looking.  All the advice you have been given is good for me too.  Just being able to identify Antares last night and Betelgeuse just before it got light (I did go to bed between times!) was a huge leap for me but just wandering around the Milky Way last night was a true adventure.  The old adage "It's better to travel hopefully than to arrive" isn't quite true for astronomers but it is a fascinating journey.  Thanks to you for raising the subject and to all the very encouraging answers.  And now, with a baby, won't it be something when that child is old enough to learn from you?

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In this world of Immediate Gratification - astronomy & telescopes can be a rather steep UN-learning curve. This is why it is so enjoyable. It's a slow and gradual creature to find the targets - expecting quick results will likely disappoint folks.

Take 10 deep breaths, and try again, slowly, to star-hop to your desired destination. You'll feel satisfaction, and be rewarded with a view most people never see.

Having more fun than screaming,

Dave

I'd say read Dave's post,then read it again (and again,any time you feel that you are banging your head against the wall)-this really is GOOD ADVICE.  Oh,and if you are into purely visual astronomy-get an Alt-azimuth mount if,and when you can afford one-SO much easier than the EQ2!

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If you ask me you had a very good night. I only discovered how to find M13 with bins a few nights ago and I've been doing the hobby 7 or 8 yrs - it's just one object that always eluded me lol. Of course it looks a lot better in a 24" dob which will resolve stars to a greater depth - but I had the same misty cloud like view as yourself and felt very relieved and happy to have found it on my own at long last.

I guess it all depends what each individual expects from the hobby - you can't learn the whole sky, and how to use a  telescope, and how to judge conditions, all in one night - it does take time, patience, learning and experience.

I'd say - expect more of the same for some time to come - meantime join an astro society and try for some group observing, you'll pick up a lot of stuff being with more experienced folks. Hth :)

Oh btw - M51 is not an easy object to find - especially in even slightly light polluted skies.

Edited by brantuk
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M81 / 82 are not easy objects either. Never could find them in my 60 and 80 mm fracs. Only when I got the 10" dob did they finally get checked off the list. If you have good dark skies they may be easier to bag.

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dont give up mate,things seam hard at the beginning but with time you will get better at finding stuff, you picked some hard targets,try star hoping and before you know it you will be bumping into some cool dsos.congratulations with your new born. all the best, clear skys   charl

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Morning! And thanks for all the replies, congratulations and info. Didn't expect such a response after my long late night (early morning) ramblings!

Light pollution isn't an issue. Perhaps the opposite as I can see too many stars, I can also make out the milky way at times. I'm on a caravan site just outside Malton so very little light, I was using stellarium on my tablet along with turn left at Orion to try and get myself looking in the right directions.

Some questions I've been thinking over

To point the scope south, do I need to unscrew the azimuth bolt and spin around the whole eq mount? Or just try and rotate the scope on the Dec and ra axis? This is the part that seems hard, the tube ends up in all sorts of tangles!

Am I right thinking I can't move the scope in a northsouth, eastwest direction using just one of the axis and actually need to move both in some sort of controlled fashion?

The EPs have a rotating end which makes the lens further away from the eye. . what's the purpose of this? I did seem to struggle with the 8mm as it felt like looking through a tiny barrel, I spent most the night with the 25mm EP.

I don't really have money to waste as the moment. . would a new mount, or indeed new scope really make all the difference, or is it just a case of persevering some more with what I got?

Thanks for reading again, and I'm certainly sticking with it. . hopefully a few more clear nights before I go home, any thoughts on impressive but also easy to find targets?

Thanks

Craig

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

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Having bought my first telescope at the age of 76 earlier this year it is only recently that the nights have lengthened to the point where, for the first time in a long life, I can explore deep sky. I ain't found nuthin' yet but I'm going to keep looking. All the advice you have been given is good for me too. Just being able to identify Antares last night and Betelgeuse just before it got light (I did go to bed between times!) was a huge leap for me but just wandering around the Milky Way last night was a true adventure. The old adage "It's better to travel hopefully than to arrive" isn't quite true for astronomers but it is a fascinating journey. Thanks to you for raising the subject and to all the very encouraging answers. And now, with a baby, won't it be something when that child is old enough to learn from you?

Hi

When I first started out I found the Philips guide to the night sky book very good for identifying the stars and constellations, they also do one for each year showing what to look for each month. With these books I went out with just the naked eye for a while and took it all in, then had a go with binoculars, it all helped with learning the sky

Hopefully by the time the little one grows up I'll have plenty of knowledge to pass on if she decides to take an interest

Craig

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

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if you are into purely visual astronomy-get an Alt-azimuth mount if,and when you can afford one-SO much easier than the EQ2!

Can I just replace the mount and use the same tripod and scope? Or does this involve purchasing the whole setup?

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

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I got up last night around 1.00 to look for Perseids. I didn't try a scope but conditions were hazy and I suspect that transparency was not great. How did the sky look in your location? If it was  a bit hazy this would make many fuzzies difficult to find.

But don't give up and soon you will experience one of those nights that will have you buzzing with joy. They do happen! 

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Have a look at this this video and see what the movements are like and how to overcome some of the problems.  It will get easier with practice.   You could also try some brighter objects to get used to the process of finding things.  Nice job on M13 !

How to use an equatorial mount for amateur telescopes - YouTube

andrew

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I got up last night around 1.00 to look for Perseids. I didn't try a scope but conditions were hazy and I suspect that transparency was not great. How did the sky look in your location? If it was a bit hazy this would make many fuzzies difficult to find.

But don't give up and soon you will experience one of those nights that will have you buzzing with joy. They do happen!

Sky was amazing, could see loads of stars and make out the milky way. Saw an amazing meteor fly through bootes which was worth being out for :)

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

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Have a look at this this video and see what the movements are like and how to overcome some of the problems. It will get easier with practice. You could also try some brighter objects to get used to the process of finding things. Nice job on M13 !

How to use an equatorial mount for amateur telescopes - YouTube

andrew

Ah thanks, I looked at that video some time ago when I was starting out. . will be worth re visiting now I know a very little bit more.

Cheers

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Hi Craigfoot,

This is something we all have contemplated, but as you are new it is a matter of practice and time at the eyepiece. Some good advice above.

And congratulations on the new addition to the family.

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Can I just replace the mount and use the same tripod and scope? Or does this involve purchasing the whole setup?

You can keep the telescope and tripod legs and just get a new head I think.

Astroboot often do just heads.

Hopefully a member who knows your EQ type week know which heads are compatible to swap on top it.

Is your 150 telescope 750mm, 900mm or longer?

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I had the same situation with my viewing when I got my skywatcher, didn't understand the movement very well.

All I did was go out during the day and practise moving the scope to different locations in the sky. You will get the eyepiece in some funny viewing locations so all I did was loosen the rings holding the scope a little bit and rotate it then tighten up again. I resisted the temptation to move the tripod or mount around as I knew further down the line I wanted to track objects for photography. Once I had this figured out I learned how to accurately polar align the mount. But for viewing I just pop the scope outside and go for it without alignment or anything :)

Another vital thing I did was align my finder scope to the main scope view, again this was done during the day.

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Can I just replace the mount and use the same tripod and scope? Or does this involve purchasing the whole setup?

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

The EQ2 tripod is rather lightweight.My only experience of mounts so far is the EQ2,and the Alt-azimuth AZ4 with stainless steel legs.FLO are doing these for £169(for the whole shooting match) at present,and though they lack slo-mo controls,they are great to use in practice- especially at the low magnifications that you'd use on DSO's.  Unfortunately mine got nicked,and I still haven't replaced it.Your 130 would be even more stable on an AZ4,than the EQ2. You can't overmount a scope in my opinion!

Edited by MAN or ASTROMAN
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You can keep the telescope and tripod legs and just get a new head I think.

Astroboot often do just heads.

Hopefully a member who knows your EQ type week know which heads are compatible to swap on top it.

Is your 150 telescope 750mm, 900mm or longer?

It's the 900mm tube

Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk

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