I’m a beginner with this sky watching and telescope thing. I’ve been reading articles about how to choose telescope for a beginner almost 3 years. I’ve been having difficulties choosing right telescope for me because what I can effort and what I think I should get what kind of telescope is always conflicting.
Anyway, now I’ve chosen Celestron Astro Master 130 EQ telescope with German equatorial mount. It costs about 500 USD in our country.
I’m still struggling to understand my telescope. I don’t even know which part of the mount should point to north. I can’t find any documentation on internet that shows clearly about my CG3 mount to point correctly to north. There is one angle shape on my German equatorial mount. I think it should point to north. So whenever I setup, I try to align that angle with north pole using compass on my phone.
Apart from I’m a beginner, I’m also having other obstacles with this sky watching things. I live in an apartment that face to north and there is another tall build at the north side of my building. I can’t even see north pole celestial star because of that building’s height. Another factor limiting my sky watching activities is weather. Since I’m living a country with raining season starting from late May to early November, average cloud coverage is more than 80% now a day everyday.
Since last week luckily, in some evening, clouds are clear on my north sky. Whenever I see sky is blue, I try to setup my telescope and try everything I know about my telescope.
At the beginning, I don’t even know which one is RA circle and which one is DEC circle. Even after I watched many YouTube tutorials, My brain and my hand still not communicating each other. Even now, I’m still struggling with up and down, left and right, RA and DEC when I use fine tuning handles. My RA circle come with factory settings, I didn’t even know that I should adjust it.
After struggling a week, I’m starting to understand more. Now I can find easily Vega because it is the bright star on my sky. Another star I can find with my telescope is Deneb. Both visible with naked eye if there is no cloud on the sky. I’m trying to find North America Nebula and Andromeda Galaxy. Still couldn’t find. But I will find it one day.
Another thing I’ve learned about telescope is about power. I though that magnifying is important for a telescope which is not true. Visibility is more important than magnifying. It is very similar to someone short-sighted person with glasses. Glasses do not magnify image for a short-sighted person, it make an image more clear and visible. What telescope does is very similar to that. It doesn’t magnify stars. It make more visible and more clear for your eye to see which you can’t see without telescope.
I will continue on writing about my experiences with my telescope and my sky watching activities. Still tune. Thanks for reading.