10 Tips For Using Your First Telescope

10 Tips For Using Your First Telescope


  1. Firstly, choose an easy to find object in the sky or on land. Observing land objects during the daytime is a good way to become accustomed to the operation of your telescope. At night, try to observe the Moon at first or an extremely bright star.

  2. Never, never point your telescope directly at the sun. Looking at the sun directly through a telescope can cause instant and irreversible eye damage.

  3. The way to centre an object using your telescope is to first use the viewfinder to find the object you wish to observe. When the object is centered in the viewfinder, it should then be somewhere in the main telescope’s field of view.

  4. When observing an astronomical object, you will notice that the object will begin to move slowly through your field of view. This motion is caused by the rotation of the earth and makes an object appear to be moving. To keep the objects in the telescopes field of view, simply move the telescope up or down, or side to side. At higher powers, astronomical objects will seem to move through the field more rapidly.

  5. If an object starts to become fuzzy when you magnify it by increasing your viewfinder power, back down to a lower power. The atmosphere will not yet be steady enough to support higher powers.

  6. Avoid looking at sites where vibrations can cause image movement. Viewing from the top of a tall building may also cause image movement.

  7. Allow several minutes for your eyes to become accustomed to the dark before attempting any serious observations. You can use a red-filtered flash light to protect your night vision when reading star maps or adjusting your telescope. A filter can be easily be made by taping red cellophane over the flashlights lens.

  8. Avoid setting up your telescope inside and viewing through a open window. Images will appear blurred or distorted due to the temperature differences between the inside and outside air. Allow your telescope to reach the surrounding outside temperature before starting an observation session.

  9. Being patient is paramount when attempting to map the night sky. We live in an age when many people expect instant gratification. Stargazing is a hobby whereby biding your time prior to getting results is a prerequisite. Too often, a new telescope purchase can attract that run of cloudy nights! Even when the skies do become clear, viewing may not be ideal right away, hang fire.

  10. Above all, when the dark nights are upon us, wrap up nice and warm. It is pretty near impossible to be enthusiastic about exploring the Universe if you are shivering. Even summer nights can be pretty chilly under the right circumstances. Be prepared for all types of weather.

Kids in Space inspire young people through their fascination with outer-space and related technologies. We provide opportunities for young people to reach beyond the skies.
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