Space Science and Astronomy 2020/21



DaveH

Striker
I can’t even find the moon through my telescope. What am I doing wrong?

It’s pointed there.my finder scope battery is dead but I should still be able to at least focus on summat? Is my scope knackered?

Also I’m finding it really hard to see the whole field of view through my eye piece. It’s like I have to be looking through it perfectly to see the whole circle and if I move it a tiny bit I’m struggling.

its literally years since I used my scope, and it used to work well. I’d love to get back into it, but my time is limited with kids now.
The best thing to do, is try it in daytime first. Take it somewhere where you can focus on something far away, like a distant streetlight from an upstairs window. That should get it fairly close. Also if you sort out your finderscope battery, it is best to adjust that in daylight.
 
I can’t even find the moon through my telescope. What am I doing wrong?

It’s pointed there.my finder scope battery is dead but I should still be able to at least focus on summat? Is my scope knackered?

Also I’m finding it really hard to see the whole field of view through my eye piece. It’s like I have to be looking through it perfectly to see the whole circle and if I move it a tiny bit I’m struggling.

its literally years since I used my scope, and it used to work well. I’d love to get back into it, but my time is limited with kids now.

I’ve only just got a scope and I found it a nightmare even trying to find the moon 😂

Must be to do with the fact that a degree shift from so far away is gonna mean you’re looking at something else entirely

Makes it all the more satisfying when you do finally get it in view though
 
I’ve only just got a scope and I found it a nightmare even trying to find the moon 😂

Must be to do with the fact that a degree shift from so far away is gonna mean you’re looking at something else entirely

Makes it all the more satisfying when you do finally get it in view though
I got the moon eventually, and it was gorgeous but couldn’t get Mars. Going to try a new battery in the finder, but I spent much of last night looking at computerised telescopes on Amazon...
 
I got the moon eventually, and it was gorgeous but couldn’t get Mars. Going to try a new battery in the finder, but I spent much of last night looking at computerised telescopes on Amazon...

I took me that long to find the moon, I thought trying anything else was an exercise in futility. Got some canny pics with my phone down the eye piece like, was surprised how well they came out
 

DaveH

Striker
I got the moon eventually, and it was gorgeous but couldn’t get Mars. Going to try a new battery in the finder, but I spent much of last night looking at computerised telescopes on Amazon...
The computrised ones still need aligning. Different ones use different methods, but I think all involve aligning to one or more bright star. They are better for keeping things in view, but you can’t just turn them on and say ‘show me mars’. If you are thinking of buying one, it is worth looking on youtube for a setup video of that model.
 
have you been to kielder before ?
Yes. It was f***ing brilliant.
The computrised ones still need aligning. Different ones use different methods, but I think all involve aligning to one or more bright star. They are better for keeping things in view, but you can’t just turn them on and say ‘show me mars’. If you are thinking of buying one, it is worth looking on youtube for a setup video of that model.
The ones I’ve seen say they have a database of stars and objects. What’s that for then if you can’t tell it to look for one of them.
 

Hawkeye

Central Defender
The computrised ones still need aligning. Different ones use different methods, but I think all involve aligning to one or more bright star. They are better for keeping things in view, but you can’t just turn them on and say ‘show me mars’. If you are thinking of buying one, it is worth looking on youtube for a setup video of that model.
Most computerised ones have what they call a "quick-align" which doesn't need any stars.... you just point the scope to North and level, then supply a date & time along with a latitude and longitude (which you can get off google maps if you're stuck) and that will then get you roughly aligned - enough that if you ask it to point to say the Moon, then it would probably be in the viewfinder....
 

DaveH

Striker
Yes. It was f***ing brilliant.

The ones I’ve seen say they have a database of stars and objects. What’s that for then if you can’t tell it to look for one of them.
The scope needs to know where it is and where it is pointing. Some of the most recent ones may have GPS and gyroscopes to work automatically, but may not. Mine is about 5-6 years old. I have to enter the time and date on a keypad (I'm not sure if I had to put in the location the first time too), then I have two choices, Solar System Align or Three Star Align.

If you do solar system align, then you get a particular planet or the moon in the display and it tries it's best from there. It gets things pretty close. For the most accurate database hits and tracking you have to do the Three Star. With that one, you pick three bright stars, best if you pick them far apart. I usually go for one low, one high and one in the middle and try to make them 180 degrees apart (left to right). You don't have to know what the stars are, it just works that out from the database of bright stars. Once it has worked it out (you can query to see what you aligned to) you can then say "show me Mars" and it should pan round to show. I guess that internally it maps a triangle to the known night sky until it fits.
Most computerised ones have what they call a "quick-align" which doesn't need any stars.... you just point the scope to North and level, then supply a date & time along with a latitude and longitude (which you can get off google maps if you're stuck) and that will then get you roughly aligned - enough that if you ask it to point to say the Moon, then it would probably be in the viewfinder....
The more recent ones seem to be getting smarter. Some have wifi and can interface with your phone. That would make sense if they tied in alignment as you have accurate GPS and accurate time that it can pull from the phone. Not sure if anyone has made that leap yet though!
 
Last edited:

herra soul mob

Midfield
Yes. It was f***ing brilliant.

The ones I’ve seen say they have a database of stars and objects. What’s that for then if you can’t tell it to look for one of them.
went few years ago, remember the date, as was day danny graham scored at everton, was just a warning, its bastard freezing, even in may.
 

Hawkeye

Central Defender
The scope needs to know where it is and where it is pointing. Some of the most recent ones may have GPS and gyroscopes to work automatically, but may not. Mine is about 5-6 years old. I have to enter the time and date on a keypad (I'm not sure if I had to put in the location the first time too), then I have two choices, Solar System Align or Three Star Align.

If you do solar system align, then you get a particular planet or the moon in the display and it tries it's best from there. It gets things pretty close. For the most accurate database hits and tracking you have to do the Three Star. With that one, you pick three bright stars, best if you pick them far apart. I usually go for one low, one high and one in the middle and try to make them 180 degrees apart (left to right). You don't have to know what the stars are, it just works that out from the database of bright stars. Once it has worked it out (you can query to see what you aligned to) you can then say "show me Mars" and it should pan round to show. I guess that internally it maps a triangle to the known night sky until it fits.

The more recent ones seem to be getting smarter. Some have wifi and can interface with your phone. That would make sense if they tied in alignment as you have accurate GPS and accurate time that it can pull from the phone. Not sure if anyone has made that leap yet though!
Well.... I think I bought my old Celestron back in 2003?... that has GPS.... but it also has the "quick-align" which means you can get set up in a matter of a few minutes just by keying in date/time/lat/long - and that's more than enough for looking at planets etc.
The only alignment system I've seen similar to what you were thinking is Celestron's StarSense - which is fully automatic! Not sure quite how it does it as it says it doesn't used GPS.... mind you, from what I've seen it's pricey - nearly £300! - and only works on certain Celestron gear too! I'm sure more will come with time......
 

herra soul mob

Midfield
We went in July, stayed in a shepherd hut nearby. Got the clearest night all year, saw Saturn through the telescope and sat out on the roof with hot chocolate and watched the Milky Way come out.
we stayed at pub in falstone so just quick drive there and back. lectures were enjoyable, someone had bought part of meteorite in, wouldnt divulge where from ( was near morpeth ) but couldnt believe how heavy it was.
 

Top