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Observing Mars, Saturn & the moon

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Lovely clear night so dragged my husband outside to do a bit of astronomy. I came back in very disappointed. Went out armed with my Celestron Travelscope 70, my 10mm eyepiece & my new 2x Barlow lens that I received this week. Thought I would start off with the biggest object in the sky... found the moon in my finderscope  but when I looked through the telescope saw some perfectly round bright white object that did not resemble the moon at all... looked more like something you would see down a microscope at school ?

I looked through my binoculars which are not ideal at all for astronomy more bird watching as they are zoom ones & saw the moon as I would have expected to have seen it through my telescope.

What have I done wrong? Had no hope of having a look at Mars as I couldn't find it through the scope even with my Barlow lens, could see it brilliantly with the naked eye but was so looking forward to using my telescope tonight but came away feeling more disheartened ?

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Hi Appleblossom.

You may have been using too much magnification on the moon. Also, its just past full and so there's little to see at the moment. Try using your 10mm eyepiece without the Barlow. It may give you a more pleasing view. Not being able to find Mars in your telescope leads me to believe your finder isn't lined up accurately enough. You could try aligning it on a distant object during the day. If the object is still in the eyepiece  of the main scope when at high power, then you should be ok for finding Mars. Use a low power eyepiece such as a 25mm to find Mars in the main scope. Once it's centred then increase the magnification, but not too much, as doing so will soften the image and you'll lose definition.  Mars will be tiny in your scope so don't expect too much, though near by Saturn will show you its rings. The moon should put on a good show, especially when its high in the sky.

Mike :happy11:

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Your telescope should handle 80x (10mm barlowed) well, so yes it sounds like a focusing problem.

You must also make sure that youre really looking at the moon and not the glare just beside of it (sounds stupid, but I it has happened..ahem.....)

Try again, start with your low power eyepiece and focus on the moon.



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