One super-simple setup trick for telescopes
The easiest way to find night sky objects
Hunting down your first deep sky object
Video 2: Easiest Way to Find Objects
To download Stellarium (free) and follow along with this video, click here (link opens a new tab)
Post Your Comment Below
What is stopping you from using your telescope?
Hi Adam, just got (& put together!) my first telescope – a Skywatcher Starquest 130p. Ever since I’ve had full cloud cover – but that’s given me a chance to find your website, which is fabulous for a complete beginner like me! Have downloaded Stellarium & watched this tutorial, really helpful thanks. Looking forward to learning more – I was getting a biy worried as to just how I was going to know where to point my ‘scope, apart from at the moon!
Thanks from a newbie, still looking for a scope. Great vids, great help. Kansas City, i grew up there although im in Greensboro, NC now lol. Clear skies
Thanks Adam. I am using my Samsung phone and tablet as aids so I have Stellarium Mobile free version. I made the adjustments based on the app. I see this program will be useful. I like that it will take my phone to where what I want to see is. For me I have struggled with my finder scopes magnification in that what it shows me is not the same as the night sky give the finder magnifies the sky. It leaves me unsure if the star in the finder is the one I see without the finder. Also the finder uses a 90 degree eyepiece adding to the issue. I just got a red dot finder and tried to use it once but it kept fogging up. I hear that Dawn detergent can help with that so I plan to try that too. At the same time I received a finder cell phone holder from Star-Pal on Ali Express and I tried that with the SkEye free app but that app is eratic at times. Hopefully Stellarium will work better. I am using an Orion 8″ dobsinian for viewing so that should be good once I get the finder issue out of the way.
Thank you for a very well-paced, interactive tutorial on Stellarium. I found it to be of immense value in helping me navigate my way through this piece of software.
Hi Adam! I just retired last year and I decided to finally get serious about astronomy. I received a large medical settlement and bought a big-ass Celestron 11″ Edge on a GEM. It’s intimidating (alignment) and complicated (I don’t know Stellarium yet).
Hello Adam, I am struggling with moving the sky up and down on my Mac. Using the up and down arrows is not helping. I have no problem moving it horizontally all 360 degrees along the latitude using the arrows. But am having trouble with the vertical movement. Any suggestions? Am using the Stellarium software.
Adam, that was a pretty cool video. I have had Stellarium on my desktop for a few years now and did not know how to adjust the settings like you explained in this video. Just bought a new telescope, the Celestron NexStar 102, and looking forward to a little more stargazing with help from Stellarium. Really enjoyed this video and was very informative.
Let me know what probelms you’re having with astronomy and I’ll do my best to help!
Hi Adam, I’ve just recently gotten more into stargazing and gotten a skywatcher 707 Mercury telescope on an az2 mount which came along with a star map and some books which was helpful to a degree, but your videos so far have been helping out in ways they didn’t quite include so thanks for that, so far I’ve been able to view the moon , and a few stars including Orion’s rigel and the North Star and seen a few meteor showers with my naked eye, I really want to try and get a look at a nebula though and Orion happening to be up in the evenings here in Sweden now and quite bright been focusing on the Orion Nebula , furthest I’ve gotten is observing the belt and then possibly Orion’s sword in my finderscope then as I try to find it with my main one I tend to lose it , not knowing what size to expect it to be in the Main telescope or if I even had the right spot in the finder or found something else I couldn’t see with my naked eye, i have a 700/70mm refractor with a 25mm, 10mm and a 2x Barlow lens so it should be able to handle around 140x magnification and if my calculation was correct my 10mm+2x Barlow should achieve that , my current plan is to fix some kind of chair to make it more comfortable using the finderscope which is quite far down if I’m pointing my telescope up at the sky which doesn’t let me be all that steady upon moving it which hopefully should make it a bit easier , but do you have any suggestions?
I’m pleased you’re finding the videos helpful.
The number one thing you need to do is make sure your finderscope is well aligned. After setting it up in the day, test it on a bright star you’re comfortable with finding, or even a streetlight.
If that is well aligned, your next step is to begin with a LOW magnification. This will let you see more of the sky in your eyepiece, which will make it easier to find the Orion Nebula. Use the calculator on this page to work out the exact details, but if you use your 25mm eyepiece you’ll get about a 1.8° field of view.
With that, you should just be able to get two of Orion’s ‘belt’ stars in the eyepiece at one time. More importantly, you’ll be able to get all three of the ‘sword’ stars in the same eyepiece view. The sword is due south of Alnilam, the middle ‘belt’ star. You should at this stage notice the nebulosity surrounding the middle sword star. It doesn’t look anything like the Hubble images you’ve seen – it is a wispy greyness, like smoke, around the stars.
When you have the three sword stars in your view, center the middle one of the three in your eyepiece. Now’s the time to increase magnification by swapping to your 10mm eyepiece OR adding your Barlow. Don’t use the Barlow with the 10mm, it is just too much power to use in a 70mm scope for this nebula and you won’t see it because it’ll be too faint.
Remember that 70mm is a relatively small telescope that is not collecting a lot of light. So, you can improve your view by being under a dark sky – including observing when the moon is not around.
I hope this helps and best of luck!