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Guru86

Newbie help needed

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Good afternoon

I have had a telescope for a while now but feel not getting full use of it as not seeing much.

I have a meade 60az with a 4mm 12mm and barrow lens. I tend to always use the 12mm piece.

I got moon done .... easy right. I tried viewing saturn other night but just got a round fuzzy blob like when looking at a star. Also all planets seem to be very low.... I use the skyview free app to find planets.

I have also tried on many occasions to find m31 but with no joy.

Looking around on internet can't find basic guide of what eyepiece to use and how to get started. Can someone please advise on basic use of which eyepiece to use for planets? Or a good guide to read for starting off?

Thanks

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I fear that your telescope may be an entry-level type which will give a nice view of the Moon, but will not give impressive results on much else. The planets are indeed very low as seen from Northern latitudes.

If you test your telescope on some double stars you may be able to judge if its performance is up to scratch or if it's time for an upgrade. I once had a telescope in this price band and eventually concluded the objective lens was poor while the rest of it was not too bad.

You should be able to see the bright centre of M31 if you have fairly dark skies and look in the right place - I have seen it with 10x50 binoculars.  It can be tricky to locate with a non-GoTo scope.

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25 minutes ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

The planets are indeed very low as seen from Northern latitudes.

Maybe high northern lattitudes of the UK, but just fine from Texas's northern latitude.

1 hour ago, Guru86 said:

I tried viewing saturn other night but just got a round fuzzy blob like when looking at a star.

Make sure you were looking at Saturn first.  It is just above and right of the teapot asterism centerline in Sagittarius.  It shouldn't look round, it should look ovoid in even a poor telescope.

1 hour ago, Guru86 said:

I have a meade 60az

Is it the short tube f/5.8 or long tube f/13.3?  If the latter, you should be able to get decently sharp, though dim, images of Saturn with it even with the supplied 12mm eyepiece at 67x.

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What type of eyepieces do you have? Usually the type is expressed by one or two letters before the focal length, like HR=4mm, or KE=20mm.

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Hi and welcome,

Yes the planets are low and your 12mm is the most useful eyepiece. You might find open clusters are the best bet for a small refractor after planets. (Are you sure it was Saturn and not a bright star?) You are not going to see a great deal of sky with your 12mm (less with a 4mm) for star-hopping so make sure your finder scope is well aligned- it's easier during the day. 

It will be a challenge, but Saturn, Jupiter, open clusters and the Orion nebula should all be good targets when they are in the right place (Orion in winter). 

Good luck- it gets easier.

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If you are in the northern hemisphere then the monthly newsletter on binocularsky.com would give you targets to try with your telescope using your lowest powered eyepiece the 12mm.

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40 minutes ago, happy-kat said:

If you are in the northern hemisphere then the monthly newsletter on binocularsky.com would give you targets to try with your telescope using your lowest powered eyepiece the 12mm.

The about section of the author of that website threw me for a loop.  He claims to have written the book Binocular Astronomy, which I have, and it was written by Crossen & Tirion, not Tonkin.  It turns out there are two books with the exact same title by two different authors.  Tonkin's can be found here.

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Two good beginner books are Nightwatch and it's companion Backyard Astronomer's guide. As domstar said, make sure your finder scope is aligned with the main tube. 

If the planets are low on the horizon then you have a lot more atmosphere to look thru. This can really decrease the scopes capability by causing the seeing to be poor. 

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Hi there ans welcome,as a total noob to star gazing myself all of coming up to 2 weeks,stick with it.

I only have a 25mm anf 10mm eye pieces,1st couple of nights hated thr 10mm then the other night i was blessed with a brautiful view of Saturn through the 10mm. I was and i am still elated,i don't know much or where to look in the sky yet,but im going to educate myself and apart from the views we are all blessed by the wonderful helpful friendly people on this forum.

Keep at it anf best of luck. 

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Oh yes, and leave that Barlow!  in the barrow for most of the time!  Certainly don't try it with the 4mm as I think that is a recipe for disaster - you might get away with it with the 12mm.   Its 600mm f/l so that will give x50 @12mm; x150 @ 4mm and x100 @ 6mm.  It says online that the maximum practical magnification is about 50-60 times per inch of aperture the 60 times end of that only being useful for things like double stars - you have about 2.3" 2..3x50 = x115.  That suggests that your 12mm EP and then 12mm with the x2 Barlow will be about the only useable things in the box!  However, as you are doing the 12mm by itself is probably your best bet.

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Ive just bought a book ," Turn Left At Orion" as recomended to me by friends on here... its brilliant for beginners and experienced astonomers .. also , maybe get yourself a planetsphere .

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Hi guys sorry for late reply been away then lost website 😑

 

I took it out last night and found mars....with my 12mm and 4mm it was just a round circle of light. However when I took eyepiece out and looked through I could see a pink/red planet.

Am I using wrong eyepiece or just poor telescope?

 

Thanks for previous advice I will look for the books

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Sounds like you weren't focused to see the circle of light. Did you adjust focus all the way in and then all the way out slowly with the 12mm?

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As great as the advice on here is, sometimes is better have some personal help. Is there an astronomy club near you that you could attend?  I'm sure they would be only too happy to help get you going. If not, then we'll keep doing our best. As happy-kat says, it sounds like you're still not in focus properly 

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4 hours ago, happy-kat said:

Sounds like you weren't focused to see the circle of light. Did you adjust focus all the way in and then all the way out slowly with the 12mm?

Hi yes I tried focussing a few times but maybe was too much in. I'll try again tonight hopefully

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When you are at sharpest focus, Mars will look like a tiny orange disk of light. Stars will look like points of light. If you are seeing anything which is disk like with a dark centre it is likely that you are someway away from sharp focus. As you get closer to sharp focus the disk will reduce in size rather than expand.

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7 hours ago, rockystar said:

As great as the advice on here is, sometimes is better have some personal help. Is there an astronomy club near you that you could attend?  I'm sure they would be only too happy to help get you going. If not, then we'll keep doing our best. As happy-kat says, it sounds like you're still not in focus properly 

Very well said and a good suggestion, it can be difficult getting started with a 60mm Alt Az scope as the light grasp and lower magnifications can frustrate even an experienced observer if he or she is used to higher end equipment. Hang in there, and you will succeed 🙂

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