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Hi Guys,

After going on about wanting a telescope for years, my wife has just bought me an Astromaster 130 EQ for xmas. Weve set it up but being complete newbies to this were kinda running blind. Pointed it out the window and of course saw nothing but complete blackness. Could anyone give us an idea on how we get started? Thanks guys!

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You will first need to align your finder scope with the telescope so they both point at the same point in the sky.  This is best done in the daytime by pointing at a distant object such as a house chimney pot, when you have it in view with your telescope, adjust your finder scope to point at the same object.

It is also worth pointing out that looking through glass windows is not recommended, the light will be distorted through the panes of glass.

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silly question, but cap on the end of the main tube removed? Just like with a camera, easily forgotten :) 

Also use the lowest power eyepiece without the barlow - the one with the higher number, usually 25mm or 20mm in the supplied set.

as above, once you can see something then do align the finder on what you have got centred in the main eyepiece, will make life a lot easier when trying to target points in the night sky.

Edited by DaveL59
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Welcome to SGL you have come to the right place but the question you are asking is massive, I would recommend Turn Left at Orion to get you started and as already stated, astronomy is an outdoor pursuit so prepare to get wrapped up!!

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no reason a scope can't be used thru an open window, so long as the room isn't heated and causing thermal currents around the tube. So long as you can pan around the part of the sky that interests you it's fine. I often use mine aimed thru the conservatory door, saves getting too cold :) 

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thanks guys, I see a lot of things about polar alignment and collimation.......do i need to worry about that at the moment?

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Hi Mark, welcome to SGL!  No need to worry about collimation yet, new scopes usually arrive well collimated (ie. the mirrors aligned).  Smaller scopes like yours keep their collimation better than larger scopes.  If you are likely to travel a lot with your scope then you will need to think about collimation soon, but don't worry!

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I'd skip collimation for the moment, and have a go at finding and focussing on something (star or planet). 

Once you've found something in the eyepiece you will see how quickly it moves out of the field of view.  At that point, as long as you can point the axis roughly north (does not have to be very accurate for visual use) then you can use the slow motion knob to keep it in view.

And above all, enjoy!

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1 hour ago, scitmon said:

You will first need to align your finder scope with the telescope so they both point at the same point in the sky.  This is best done in the daytime by pointing at a distant object such as a house chimney pot, when you have it in view with your telescope, adjust your finder scope to point at the same object.

It is also worth pointing out that looking through glass windows is not recommended, the light will be distorted through the panes of glass.

I neglected to mention, may seem obvious but avoid looking anywhere near the sun while doing this!

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Are you near any Astro clubs or facilities? They are good resources for getting beginners started. I often run telescope ‘surgeries’ for local people To Harrogate/Ripon to get them going. The one I just did dealt with a scope that was seriously poorly collimated out of the box.

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Posted (edited)

yes make sure front cap is off and in a reflector the open tube looks outward, so you are looking on top in the eye pice, in a refractor your are looking at the ep from the back side

you also need to align the small finderscope to the main scope do this on a hydro pole or light poles in the daytime. First find it in the main scope then align the view to the finderscope. then at night you can get a bit more accurite. From then on you use the finderscope first then the main scope.

alot new people think to use the smallest number that on the ep then go upwards BUT thats backward. You first use the 25mm or 20 mm ep depending what it came with then the mid power like a 12.5mm then the 6mm or whatever the next one is. So it goes the hightest number on ep first then as the numbers go down

if it has an erecting eyepice thing dont even bother with it, its normally justan add on item they throw into the package to make the scope package seem like it has alot items but its normally not good quaity nor is it really needed.

dont look at the sun umless you buy a proper sunfilter even the moon you may need a moon filter to reduce the glare.

hopefully this gets you stared.

joejaguar

Edited by joe aguiar

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Welcome to the forum. Great advice above. Plus 1 for daytime alignment, using the eyepiece with the largest number and Turn left at Orion. My Newtonian lens cap mistake was to just pull off the little cap and not the the whole cap which is the same size as the tube. 

The moon is around in the evening at the moment. It makes a great first target as it it easy to find and very impressive through a telescope. It is also easy to know that you are in focus. Then try the Orion Nebula.

Good luck, have fun and when it frustrates just come back tomorrow.

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Hi, the Moon is a good target to cut your teeth on. It's nice and big and easy to focus on. Plus there is so much to look at that it will keep you entertained for ages. Have a look along the terminator - the division between day and night on the Moon. Be aware that at high magnification, it will quickly move in the eyepiece if you aren't tracking. Remember the lower the number on the eyepiece the higher the magnification. Also a x2 Barlow lens halves the eyepiece number. So a 20mm eyepiece becomes a 10mm eyepiece with a x2 Barlow; a 30mm eyepiece becomes a 10mm eyepiece with a x3 Barlow etc.

Enjoy your Christmas present. I'm sure you will have lots of 'wow' moments.

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