Just Picked up Loaner Telescope - It's Show time

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Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:13 pm
Real Name: Scott F

Just Picked up Loaner Telescope - It's Show time

Post by ScottF »

I picked up a club loaner telescope from Antone this afternoon, and I want to tell you how grateful I am for this opportunity! I joined the club two weeks ago, right after the Nov 4 Star Party, and now I'm setting up a club scope and getting ready to find out where the Moon is. :D I have it set up in the basement, and I'm going through the manual and learning how to align and operate it. I'm hoping to take it outside tomorrow night and take my first spin of the heavens.

I want to take advantage of the opportunity to try out SC, refractors, reflectors, Dobs, over the next several months and be able to make an informed decision when picking out my own scope.

I last peered through the lens of a reflector scope pointed towards Saturn back around 1965 when I was just a young kid, and that is when the astronomy bug bit.

I probably shouldn't have chose the NexStar8SE for the first scope. It's a beast. After reading the online manual, I'm a little apprehensive that I bit off more than I should chew for the first time. I have read the manual though, and it seems to make sense to me so hopefully it will be a good experience. I will find out tomorrow night. Thanks again, Scott F
Posts: 510
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2008 7:56 am
Real Name: Kris Hultner
Location: Bloomington

Re: Just Picked up Loaner Telescope - It's Show time

Post by FF2Rydia »

If this one does prove to be too much to start out with, I'd suggest getting it again once the ELO Public Nights and BSIG in person events have resumed in the spring. Either one of those events should have experienced observers willing to help a beginner learn these scopes.

My opinion would be that a Dob should be your next one, as they are usually the best starting point for trying out the various options, due to the simplicity of the design.
Kris Hultner
AAVSO observer HCKA
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Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2021 11:27 am
Real Name: Dan Madsen

Re: Just Picked up Loaner Telescope - It's Show time

Post by DMadsen »

I have a NexStar 6SE. The alignment instructions can be daunting, but the 8SE is usable without the GoTo features. My advice is to start without bothering with alighment. In the daylight, adjust the spotter scope if needed, then work on focusing. [One of my initial mistakes was to assume I should start at infinite focus since celestial objects are far away. Not so. The focus range for terristial objects a mile or so off is near the celestial range.]

The moon is a good starting object. Jupiter and its main moons are good this time of year and easy to find with the spotter and a free smart phone app. Distinguishing Alcor and Mizar in the Big Dippers' handle is a fun early target without Goto.
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