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First light for first timer with my first scope last night !

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Hi Guys :clouds1: ,

The cloud cover broke long enough last night to break out my new toy and embark on my first ever session with any scope.

With the 6se set up nice and level , power tank all juiced up , gps energised we were ready to start the alignment process, picked out Polaris .... good eh ? dont worry that was the extent of my knowledge ..lol , slewed that puppy round to Altair and then the third alignment to Arcturus .

I know them because the handset told me afterwards :oops: , but hey , at least now, I know three ! :hello1:

It did take two attempts to complete the alignment only because the clouds rolled in , and I wasn't quick enough, but the thing worked ..... and believe me no-one was more suprised than me !

So what did we see ?

Well we did a few 'tour' items just to get the feel, The Blinking nebula , the spiral , and some others which the names of fail me now , but we didnt care because the moon came up !

So I just gazed at this thing for an hour or so , in total amazement ( yeah I know newbies eh ? )

MAN ..... that puppy is bright through a scope , now I now why we have filters !

I didnt actually try and find any 'features' so to speak ( that will come later ) , I just kept looking and smiling.

Swopped eye pieces just to see the difference between 10,20 & 35 mm ( the old knowledge train is leaving the station now eh ? ) :lol:

Didn't do any planets ....want to savour them at a later date.

Eventually packed up at 11.30 , didnt want to, but I would have been there all night otherwise and I had work in the morning :lol:

So what did I learn ?

I need to learn the scope and it's features better , finding the screws and knobs is alot easier in the daylight than it is the dark.

My homemade red torch sucked, think I will get one of those headlamps aswell as a hand held one.

I need to put some reflective tape on the tripod legs until I get a feel for where they are.....oops.

The little eyepiece tray could do with a small red led illuminating it , was so worried about putting a small eyepiece in a hole too big !

Conversely, the red lamp on the gps is too bright and annoying ...black tape will sort that out.

My eye needs training as it 'ached' somewhat after all that squinting.

I managed to have a nice little birds nest of cable wrap :hello2:

My next viewing session will be in a nearby paddock away from the constraints of the garden.

Questions now ..... :scratch: ,

The scope is fitted with a standard diagonal, is it worth investing in a self - erecting ( terminology ? ) one ?

And before I start splashing out on more 1.25" eyepieces would moving to a 2" diagonal make viewing easier / more pleasant on the eye ?

If so do I buy a 2" erecting diagonal or ....whatever ????

Loved my first 'limited' experience, but there is so much to learn and that is one big-*beep* sky out there.

Totally Awsome !

Sorry for the long post by the way.

Very best to all


***EDIT: Forgot to say the the lense started to mist up towards the end ot the session so dew shield & heater are in order. The red-dot finder is abit 'cheap' but I guess everything is built to a price. Would the celestron green laser one or the Baader super sky be a decent improvement ? ****

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Oh man, that sounds like the pefect first light for a first timer... you couldnt have got it better if you tried! You aligned, you found stuff in the sky, you enjoyed yourself, you spent ages looking at the moon (variable polarising filters are quite good for the moon), you got dewed up (and ordered dew shield/tapes today).... you just about covered everything! God job sir...

The scope is fitted with a standard diagonal, is it worth investing in a self - erecting ( terminology ? ) one ?

No, not really worth it at this stage.

And before I start splashing out on more 1.25" eyepieces would moving to a 2" diagonal make viewing easier / more pleasant on the eye ?

Not unless you are planning to move to 2" eyepieces, some of which might weigh as much as the 6SE by themselves :hello2:

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Hi Cartmin.

I'm thrilled that you found a hole in the clouds for your first look, I can't seem to find one! :hello2:

I'm a noob myself but I believe that you are asking about an erecting prism - these are designed to re-invert the image from the telescope so it has the correct orientation. This is only important if you want to use the scope for terrestrial viewing (houses would be the 'right way up' etc).

Moving to a 2" eyepiece is useful for wide field views, upwards of a 32mm eyepiece I believe. The reason is that above 32mm, the field of view is wider at the eyepiece pupil than the body of a 1.25" eyepiece will allow.

Hope that helps.

Excellent first light report by the way.


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Glad you enjoyed yourself. An erecting prism may not be needed once you get used to using the scope. I realised the other day that even testing on daylight objects with upside down images sometimes back to front images was not a problem and having got use to it I don't notice (except when birds are seen hanging from trees).

What I do do once an object is in focus in the eyepiece is twiddle the up/down right/left control just a touch to see which way the image moves which ever way up it is.

All you need now is lots of clear nights - don't we all.

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Hi Cartmin,have enjoyed your first light report.

Get yourself used to the equipment that you have at the moment mate.

Erecting prism 2" ep's are just a luxury at the mo'(IMHO)

To cut a long story short, I have teamed up with a bloke who has a 10" dob with a set of 2" ep.s.......the poor sod nearly had a heart attack just bringing out a case of these thing's, which was nearly as big as my armchair in my living room! And to top it all he spent most of the time viewing through my little etx80 :shock:

Eye strain, try viewing with both eye's open, or get yourself an eye patch from the chemist.

Hard to get used to, but it saves on a headache.


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Sounds like a great firts nighst viewing. KNow what you mean about it being addictive as well. My firts scopes first decent nights viewing 20+ years ago ended up with me calling in a sicky at work cos I had been up till 5am :shock:

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Glad you had a decent first night.

I'm not convinced about using 2" EP's and Diagonals on a 6SE as the aperture in the SCT port is quite a bit smaller than this anyway...even the 8" is still "undersize".


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Billy beat me to it. The aperture at the back of the C6 is setup for 1.25" eyepieces. It has a standard SCT thread but Celestron (Synta) have stopped right down. It annoyed the hell out of me when my C6 arrived. But you may still get away with a 2" eyepiece, i never tried. There maybe some vignetting (darkening around the edges).

But a great first light and sounds like you are buzzing. Some more good skies for Soton area coming up next week hopefully. Fingers crossed!

Oh a polarising filter helps no end with the moon. Saves you walking around with blobs in your eye for the rest of the night. And boy was the moon bright last night.


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Congratulations on a great first night, and for realizing how much more you can learn and how much more you will see with practice.

I would like to take a stronger stand on the "erecting prism" question than you have heard. No, you should not use an erecting prism - it's not a luxury you can save for later, it is the wrong tool. Erecting prisms are designed for terrestrial use, not for astronomy. Here's why:

  • [li]Astronomical objects don't have a top or bottom, so there is no reason to turn them "rightside up". Unlike, say, a bird (in a tree or at the beach).[/li]
    [li]On the other hand, there is a price for the erecting: the device uses a prism, where a standard Astronomy diagonal uses a mirror. A prism causes considerably more light loss than a mirror, and for Astronomy every photon is precious.[/li]

So, no, don't plan to buy an erecting prism, unless you want to be able to use your scope in the daytime for wildlife viewing.

On the other hand, you might want to invest in a better mirror diagonal some day. Chances are your scope didn't come with the highest-quality mirror diagonal, and that might be worth upgrading. The high-end diagonals will say "dialectric" in their names, and their mirrors are rated to reflect something like 99% of the light; a standard diagonal reflects less.

But right now the main thing you need is more time at the eyepiece. You'll get more improvement from practice than with any new piece of kit - save your money and buy accessories later, and slowly.


Richard, Ottawa

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Great 1st light report, it was a good read cartmin, and good you had a good night for your first time.

Glad you got on well with the 6SE, I've only had mine out once due to CLOUDS but was very impressed with it.

Just wait 'till you get a look at Jupiter through it, wow!

Keep us posted of your progress mate, :-)


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don't worry about the clouds and stop your alignment, it should still be fine after 1/2 an hour or w/e, you'll just have to slew the scope a bit to where the star is once it reappears, if it lost where it was because of time we'd be pretty stuffed on every alignment as there is a time lapse between aligment stars, its got to do the same maths whether its 30seconds or 30minutes :)

I reckon some of that eyestrain might have been from staring at the moon for an hour or did you fit a filter?

If you don't want to use an eyepatch, just cover your unused eye with your hand but keep it open.

To stop your eyepieces from misting up just cap them when your not looking through them :(

Exactly what others have said, the hole on the back cell is just smaller than a 1.25" ep so 2" will be wasted, if you want to get some 2inch EPs to use later, get yourself a baader hyperion EP, its got a removable 1.25" barrel that turns it into a 2inch. I've got a 13mm hyperion and the moon fits in it nicely on my 6SE. You might want to invest in a short tube apo in the future, it will be very useable in one of those too as a 2inch and they give excellent 68deg views as a 1.25".

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