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Learning to use a telescope

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19 minutes ago, Stu1smartcookie said:

Cheating ?... depending on light pollution it was probably a necessary evil , shall we say . But finding the targets oneself does give satisfaction 

Well - they were harder targets.  I'd have rather found the DSOs myself, though, by star-hopping, but the moonlight was pretty bright.

As a beginner, I'm also getting my head around how the heavens move around us as the seasons change. 

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Despair not ! Last night (and with a little luck with clouds, tonight as well  ...) it was easy to locate: having had a good study of it last night I tried with the 10x50binoculars,and found it e

You are absolutely right - it does take lots of time to build up the skills and experience. You seem to be going about things the right way though so my suggestion is simply to keep at it. You wi

Hi Keora, Unfortunately,  many scopes are made down to a price and that usually means the mount provided tends to lack stability. I know what you mean about the limitations of the red dot finder.

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11 minutes ago, savcom said:

As a beginner, I'm also getting my head around how the heavens move around us as the seasons change.

And for me , Spring is the best time ... dark around 7 ish so time to set up the gear in the light , an hopefully not so flipping cold lol 

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4 hours ago, Spile said:

...Last night without using my straight-through finder* I was delighted to locate Bode's (M81) and the Cigar (M82). This was despite the best efforts of the moon to spoil the party.

* Given the lack of brighter stars in this region, I am not sure it would have helped.

This star hop route to M81 and M82 works very well with an optical finder:

M81 & M82? - Getting Started With Observing - Stargazers Lounge

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22 hours ago, savcom said:

I tried binocular observing while my scope and mount were being used for photographing M42.  I managed Mars and Uranus and Andromeda, but gthey were all close to the moon and suffering from moon-glow.  The Pleaides were even worse!

I therefore turned round and looked east and found it was easier to find targets there, where the moon glow was less.  I managed M35 in Gemini and M44 in Cancer.

After the photographs were done I used the GoTo on my EQ5 to find some other fainter items but those were 'cheating' as the mount did all the work.

NGC2264 - Christmas tree cluster

NGC2301 - Hagrid's Dragon / Great Bird / Copeland's Golden Worm


It's not easy starting off and you do need to be both patient and methodical in your movements to minimise shake etc.  Well worth persevering though.




 Cheating?  Not at all.

You have an engine in your car, do you get out and push it everywhere?  :)


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