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Pretty new to telescoping - Help on a used telescope!

Need our opinion on a telescope Optics Planet has on sale, go ahead and ask! Post some hints and tips on various telescope brands and configuration.

Pretty new to telescoping - Help on a used telescope!

Postby jlb5685 on Sun Mar 13, 2011 6:54 pm

Hi. I've really been wanting to start viewing planets and stars but haven't had enough money to buy a telescope. My roommate has a telescope that she hasn't used for a few years and she could never really view anything but the moon with it. It's a Polaris 60eq-ar refractor telescope. Not sure if it came with more eyepieces but it now has a MA 25mm, MH 9mm, and 2x Barlow. I'm still really figuring out which eyepiece to use when trying to view objects. We both tried to use it a few months back and couldn't see anything, not even the moon through any lens, even while focusing. All we saw through the eyepieces were just dim or bright light, no object at all. Tonight I was able with the MA 25mm to see the moon and focus it in perfect. But it wasn't very close. I'm still not able to focus in or find any planets or stars with any lenses. She has the MH 9mm inside of the 2x barlow? Not sure just from inexperience if it should be setup this way because I cannot see anything in it at all. During the day I have used both lenses and focused them both on objects around the yard but when using them in the sky it's alot different. What am I doing wrong and can you please tell me the difference between the eyepieces and should I buy a different eyepiece? I really would just like to view the moon closer and jupiter and saturn right now.
Thank you!

Re: Pretty new to telescoping - Help on a used telescope!

Postby Jne_K on Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:05 am


These are common beginner concerns so you are not alone. First, leave the barlow in the box, for now and just use the eyepieces without the barlow. Using the barlow with the MA9 mm is producing too much magnification - the most common beginner's mistake. As magnification goes up, your telescope is going to be much harder to use in every way. Always Use the MA 25- your low power eyepiece - to locate an object, first, then trying bumping up magnification with the MA 9 after being very careful to center your target in the center of the field of the MA 25 before swapping eyepieces. All this assumes that your finder scope is properly adjusted, too. If not, you will have a devil of a time finding objects with any eyepiece. The easiest way to do that is to first locate a distant object on the horizon in your telescope eyepiece by day and then adjusting the finder scope so that it sees the same object. You can then fine tune as needed at night with the moon.

Here is one of my articles that can help - Telescope FAQs. It can be used with any telescope. Here's another one of my articles that will help on the eyepieces, Telescope Eyepiece Questions One more for tips on observing, A Dozen telescope Observing Tips for Beginners

Let us know how it goes and welcome to the forum.
Thanks for posting with us
Joanie K - Your personal optics expert

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