Tele­scope help

Views not clear, strug­gling with your mount or can’t find an ob­ject? We’ve got the an­swers to your ob­serv­ing co­nun­drums

All About Space - - Contents - Writ­ten by Mark Thomp­son

Mark Thomp­son solves your ob­serv­ing co­nun­drums

New­com­ers to as­tron­omy are at some point likely to make that all-im­por­tant pur­chase and buy a tele­scope. There are loads of mod­els to choose from and the de­ci­sion can be a daunt­ing one. Seek­ing the ad­vice of mem­bers of your lo­cal as­tron­omy club or so­ci­ety is a wise one be­cause they will have a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence and even equip­ment you could look at and maybe even try be­fore you buy.

Whether you choose a re­flect­ing tele­scope that uses mir­rors to fo­cus in­com­ing starlight or a re­frac­tor that em­ploys lenses, get­ting to this stage means you are well on the way to some in­cred­i­ble views of the night sky. Set­tling on a tele­scope and buy­ing it is one thing, but set­ting it up and us­ing it can present you with a whole world of prob­lems that to the new­comer can be frus­trat­ing and even ex­tin­guish the spark of en­thu­si­asm you once felt for the beauty of the night sky.

Don’t worry – you’re not alone. It is fair to say that any­one new to as­tron­omy has more than likely ex­pe­ri­enced the tri­als and tribu­la­tions that you are fac­ing. Be­ing an am­a­teur as­tronomer for nearly 30 years, I have seen and ex­pe­ri­enced most prob­lems. I have cap­tured some of the most com­mon prob­lems in this ar­ti­cle and share with you point­ers and pos­si­ble so­lu­tions to get you go­ing again.

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