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Thursday, January 3

Your new telescope


Were you lucky enough to receive a new telescope this Christmas? If so hopefully you have had an opportunity to try it out “in anger” under clear skies.

If you are new to using a telescope you may be struggling to set it up and find things with it. If so you are not alone, most people find it quite difficult and frustrating to find things in the night sky. It is well worth persevering, the views you will get in the end are worth the frustration.

Here are couple of quick tips to get you started;

1. Try to align your finder scope (or red dot finder) during daylight. Find a distant landmark in your main telescope eyepiece then adjust the finder to align with it. Next look through the finder to locate another landmark and then check the view in the telescope. If things are aligned you should see your new landmark through the telescope eyepiece.

2. Use you lowest power eyepiece first. Generally you will get a couple of eyepieces with your telescope. When aligning the scope (as above), or trying to find things in the night sky, use the lowest power one first. Eyepieces have a focal length printed on the side (usually in mm), the lowest power is the one with the largest number. This is usually about 20mm or 25mm. Use this eyepiece to centre something bright like the moon or Jupiter then, when you have it in the centre of your view, swap to a higher power eyepiece. You will probably need to refocus the telescope when you put a different eyepiece in, be careful not to move the 'scope when you do.

Hopefully that will help you get started. If you need more help why not bring your telescope along to our ,Stargazing in Cockermouth, event on 19th January, CAS members will be on hand to give you help an advice.

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