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Skywatcher skyhawk 1145p

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Hi all. I’m very new to  viewing the cosmos through telescopes. Always had a big interest though. I’ve just bought a used skywatcher skyhawk 1145 on a goto mount  and I’m looking for any advice as to how to get the best out of the scope. It came with the 2x Barlow and 2 eyepieces it was originally packaged with but I was hoping(weather permitting) to get some good views of the planets and maybe some galaxies, nebula, clusters etc.

Any advice will be very much appreciated 👍😊

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Hi and welcome to SGL. I have the 1145p although I'll admit I bought it mainly for the SW Avant mount. That said the little 114 scope surprised me with how good it was. This is quite a fast scope at f4.4 and spot on collimation of the mirrors is essential but I've found that it holds its collimation well. I wouldn't assume the collimation is out, but its worth checking. I found that a simple collimation cap is all thats needed. The light weight and short focal length of the 114 makes it ultra portable but a draw back of that f4.4 focal ratio means that it really benefits from better quality well corrected more expensive eyepieces. I use a 20mm explore scientific 68 degree eyepiece for good wide field views. For luna and planetary work (in just a 500mm scope) you will need a much smaller focal length eyepiece and a good barlow lens is helpful. I have a 10mm Baader BCO which with its matching 2.25× barlow gives decent lunar  views and the equatorial cloud belts on Jupiter are easily visible along with its 4 larger moons. It needs to be said though that planetary work is not really this scopes forte. Pushing the magnification too much doesn't achieve anything other than making an indistinct image more blurry and darker! As said though, within its limitations its works very well. I can't vouch for your goto  but if you can get it properly setup there's no reason it shouldn't serve you well. In terms of improving the scope I've found flocking the inside of the top of the tube opposite the focuser and  blackening the edges of the secondary gives a little more contrast and I've also stripped down the focuser, cleaned the old sticky grease out  and regreased it. I've also given it larger focuser knobs. This has made the focuser a little smoother and easier to use. Overall just small improvements but worthwhile. Once you've familiarised yourself with the scope you can decide how far you want to go with it. Enjoy your new scope.

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