One super-simple setup trick for telescopes
The easiest way to find night sky objects
Hunting down your first deep sky object
How to see more stunning telescope views
Use this link for my collimation video guide. To download Stellarium for the next video, use this link.
I have just bought a Celestron 4SE, and still learning, so looking forward to the videos
Great stuff Anthony – it’s a lovely little scope!
I hope you find the videos useful for getting started.
Hi Adam really needed help with collocation. This info and video is fantastic. Thank you.
I’m guessing the word collimation got auto-corrected?
I’ve put a full guide, including a video, together to show you how to do that. See it here.
Best of luck,
Hi Adam, great video looking forward to the next one. I have an orion spaceprobe 130st EQ. Great job your doing keep it up 👍👍
Hey Russell, you’ve got a decent telescope there. I hope you enjoy seeing some amazing objects with it and thanks for the kind comments about this first video.
Hi Adam, my Xmas pressy a Vivitar model 76700. S/h. Unfortunately the eye piece doesn’t work at all,
the eye piece doesn’t shed any light whatsoever, no matter what I do. Apparently spares are
unavailble for this model. I’m informed this is the basic scope. A new similar model Vivitar is
available for under £30.00 (£29. Something) I’m a first time novice. Your advice 🙏
This is a 3-inch telescope that will show you decent views of the moon and bright planets, but won’t take you much further.
The eyepieces it comes with are way too powerful for the model, which is why you can’t see anything through it.
I’d look to upgrade the eyepiece to something in the 20mm-30mm range. Make sure it will fit your scope though, I have the sense it is a very old model and modern eyepieces won’t fit it.
My best advice – expect to spend about £100 to get a model that’s worth having and beyond ‘toy’ quality. Celestron’s AstroMaster and PowerSeeker ranges are good scopes for beginners.
I hope you have joy soon!
Hi Adam…thank you so much for making these videos! I have watched so many others and they haven’t helped at all! I see you’re from Nottingham, I live in East Leake and have a celestron 127EQ powerseeker. Will I be able to see much with this? I have tried a few nights but struggled to see anything really. It was my sons Christmas present and I am desperate for him to see something special with it!
Thanks for your great feedback. The 127 will show you Saturn’s rings, Jupiter’s cloud belts and Galilean moons, the Orion Nebula, and other bright deep space objects. Make sure you’ve got the finderscope aligned and start with a large focal length eyepiece, such as 25mm, to see as miuch of the sky as possible when you begin your hunt. When you have a target in sight, such as Jupiter, you can then switch to smaller eyepieces to get higher magnification and more detail.
Best of luck to you and your son!
Pretty cool! Most people from the north hemisphere would just say to align with Polaris, but it’s harder to align in the Southern Hemisphere, that makes a lot of people quit observing from lack of information. Good job!
Hi Adam. My scope (Celestron PowerSeeker 127 EQ) will be here at the end of the week. I appreciate your efforts to educate us green horns. Nice to hear a vioce from “home,” my parents were both Londoners. Thanks again for your time and passion.
Hey Bob, I hope you have fun with your new scope! Thanks for your kind comments.
Hi I am new to astronomy and I am wondering how you set the elevation feature on a German Equitorial Mount. I’ve seen a few sites that say it needs to be set up in order for the telescope to be properly calibrated. Unfortunately this is where every resource I’ve found that covers the topic ends. Theres no explanation or conversion graphs that explain how one goes about doing this. Any info that can point me in the right direction (so I can point my telescope in the right direction) would be most helpful. Thanks!
That’s a great idea for a new blog post. You need to set the elevation to match your latitude. You can find your latitude here.
However, as I say in the video, if you’re brand new to astronomy, don’t worry about setting up your GEM properly too much. Instead, focus on learning your way around the sky.
Best of luck,
Hi Adam, is it necessary to carry out this alignment every time I use my Nexstar5 SE Thanks
So long as you don’t bash the finder, you should never need to re-align your finderscope. However, with the NexStar range being motorized, you’ll rely much more on doing star alignment for the tracking computer than you ever will the finderscope. That, I’m afraid, will need to be done whenever you lose power between observation sessions as the controller has no internal memory.
Hi Adam! My wife and I are complete novices when it comes to astronomy. On our first night, we fumbled our way around and were able to see Jupiter and Saturn, and of course almost blinded ourselves by trying to view a bright full moon. Since that night, we have been looking for a site to help us with the basics. We’ve found that in your videos! Your approach is perfect in helping to explain some of the very basics which need to be mastered to help maximize the experience. Thank you from both of us! We are looking forward to the next video!
I am pleased you and your wife are finding these videos helpful. I hope you enjoy the rest of the series.
Hi Adam – looking forward to follow-on lessons , I am a new starter to Astonomy , so far I have been observing Jupiter and Saturn during Aug and Sept via a SkyWattcher 90mm scope and zoom eyepiece. Whilst this was quite mind-blowing in some aspects, it was a little underwhelming in others – a small, white object which did not look much like the images I have seen all my life. I’d love to know how to get my viewfinder image closer to expectations…..unless mine are unrealistic !
Hi Malcolm, it’s the rub of astronomy that our eyes don’t produce the images we can achieve with a camera and processing software.
A 90mm scope will show you rings of Saturn and Jupiter’s brightest moons and bands, but to see more detail, I’m afraid, calls for some combination of: more observation experience (you’ll be surprised what you can learn to see when you regularly revisit an object and make physical or mental notes about the details you see), darker skies, or more aperture.
I’m pleased you still found Jupiter and Saturn mind-blowing – I still love to watch both of these today and have never progressed beyond a 6″ scope.
In the third video in this series, I’ll share with you a lovely double star that your telescope will tease apart happily AND it’ll reveal two distinctly different colored stars!
Ah yes, the camera….that’s another question 🙂 I think my DSLR is too heavy for my SkyWatcher as even with the counterbalance fully down, to focus the image in the camera extends the focus-tube of the scope so far out it tips the camera beyond the balance-point and sends the scope vertical .
I wear contact lenses and have a difficult time looking through the eyepiece. Do you have a suggestion(s) on connecting an iPhone or a MacBook to easily see what the telescope is seeing?
The best way to do this is to attach a camera to your telescope which will also attach to your computer. It’s too big a topic to detail here, but ask the question on Cloudy Nights forum and you’ll get lots of astronomers helping you out.
I’m relatively new to astronomy & purchased my first scope 1.5 years ago.
I wanted to let you know what a great resource your articles & videos are.
No worries Darrell, and your great feedback is lovely to hear!
I hope the skies are staying clear and you are seeing plenty of great views!
Thank you, Adam. Very informative. I’m looking forward to the next video 🙂
Thanks for the great feedback, I hope you find the next one just as useful.
Thanks Adam. I’m a rank beginner at this stuff and your materials already have brought my wife along rather nicely. You write and speak in terms I can follow, and you avoid the geek-speak so common to technical enterprises like astronomy. Honestly, I don’t mind the technical stuff, but much of it can wait until I can reliably find the moon, Jupiter and Saturn (what an Aha! moment that was…).
Richard (In Texas)
I remember finding Saturn for the first time – mind, blown! I still love staring at it today.
Thanks for the kind comments, I’m pleased you’re finding the content useful.
Hey Adam! I just wanted to say a big thanks for your emails I really look forward to them and keeps me motivated. Thanks for the free video it was great to meet the man behind the emails and I am looking forward to the next one. Now off I go to download some software.
No problem Nick, thanks for taking the time to comment!
Yes, get Stellarium on your system, you won’t regret it when it comes to the next video.
Whats stopping me using my telescope????….
Currently 20mph winds, rain and a naggin’ missus that thinks my time would be better spent sitting with her!!! 🙂 Such a shame since only twice since I have owned it (around 2 months) have I had the luxury to come home from work and see the Orion nebula with the naked eye and even through a relatively short 10 second exposure photo found colours so vivid as to look more like the touched up and processed images seen all over the web!
Ha, I know that feeling well!
Fingers crossed for clear skies soon.
Thank you Adam – I appreciate you willingness to help us who are just starting up to be able to get the most from our equipment
Hey Greg, you are very welcome. I’m pleased you are finding this week useful.
Thanks Adam. Your video is really good. It takes the fear and difficulty factor out of astronomy, so one can enjoy observing the stars. Thanks again. Looking forward to your next video.
Hey Rashmi, I’m pleased you found it useful. Thanks for the kind feedback!
Just want to thank you for you effort and time.
Greetings from Valencia
Thanks Fernando, I’m pleased you’re enjoying the content!
Let me know what problems you’re having with your astronomy and I’ll do my best to help!
I have to travel with my telescope to see anything. Do I need to align the finderscope every time I take the telescope out of the bag and put it on the tripod?
It all depends on how protected your scope is when you transport it Ben. If it’s in a bag and the finderscope is liable to get knocked/bumped, I would always run a check when I got it setup again. When you’ve done it a few times, it becomes a quick job.