Newbee Needs Help Advice Meade StarNavigator
Posted 20 August 2013 - 01:38 AM
I love space the starts and have got a few scopes but i really suck the most i been abule to do is look at the moon.Not sure what i am doing.I have read allot but when even i get a good night to play with my scopes i just cannot seam to do very good.I live in northern cali and we are only 50 feet above see level so not ever all that many starts you can see with out a scope.finding the north star not so easy.I think i found big dipper but after i do the alt pos. 0 pos. and face the scope to the north i see what must be big dipper but can only see parts of it still i face it the best i can but the scope still not going to any place i ask it to go.I then do a goto the moon and its way of i think i just suck but i really goto ean the stars will help alot so i am studying.Any advice help sure could use it.I have the Meade StarNavigator Refracting Telescope with a #497 autostar i downloaded autostar and updated the controll followed directions but i dont know why i cannot seem to see nothing i really like to see other planets saturn rings but not been abule to see much yet so please help a dummy.P:
Posted 20 August 2013 - 06:41 AM
I think you came to a place where you can get some help. The kinds of questions are what this place is for.
I think we need to start out with little bits and work our way through some things over time, in order to keep from overwhelming you.
First off, I would like for you to tell me which refractor you have, the 90mm or the 102mm. It makes a bit of difference which one you have as to what is best to see. Even though they are very similar, each one has a little different strengths. Also, what eyepieces do you have?
Even though the AutoStar mount and handset should take you to the general area of objects you tell it to go to, knowing your way around the sky is a big help. I would like to guide you through some reference points, but I want to take them pretty much one at a time. If you are making out the big dipper, and possibly Polaris, the North Star, let's do a bit of a double check. If you look at the two end stars in the pan of the big dipper, start with the star at the bottom of the pan, go to the one that is the rim, and then keep going. You should run into Polaris. The main point with this check is to make sure you are seeing the big dipper and not the little dipper. The little dipper has Polaris as the tail end star in the handle, where the big dipper is away from Polaris and just points it at with the two stars mentioned.
Now, I am going to give you a multiple star to look at, since you are at a very low altitude and possibly have a lot of light pollution as well. Assuming that you are identifying the big dipper, if you can see the handle stars well, look for the star that is the crook in the handle. This star is called Mizar. There is another dimmer star very close to it called Alcore. In ancient times, these two stars were called "the Horse and Rider" and were used in the Arabian area to tell how good someone's eyesight was. Alcore and Mizar are actually part of the same, multiple star system. If you look at Mizar through your telescope, you should see two stars, as well as Alcore near by. The brighter of the two stars in Mizar is called Mizar A and the dimmer one is Mizar B. Mizar A, Mizar B, and Alcor all rotate around each other. As a little additional piece of information to spice this up a bit, each one of these three also have a small companion orbiting them. They are so close that they cannot be seen with any of our telescopes and must be seen simply by their light signature. Each one is called a spectroscopic double star. So the whole thing is actually a six star system.
With the Moon being full right now, it is kind of in the way in terms of its brightness and will keep your from seeing a lot of the other items I might tell you about, I will leave off with just the one multiple star.
As far as your telescope goes, one thing that is important for helping it go to the right spot is to "train the drives." There is a specific routine in the programming that allows you to do this process. What this does is to tell the mount how much backlash or "slop" there is in the gear trains of both the altitude (vertical) and azimuth (horizontal) drives. There must be some clearance between the gears or they cannot move. They will just pretty much lock up or at least move very jerkily. The scope needs to know how much play there is. This play does change over time, so this procedure is something you need to do maybe a couple times a year, depending on how much you use the scope. You will find instructions on how to do this in the instruction manual. If you can find this routine in the handset, (probably under either "setup" or under "telescope") it will guide you through the process and tell you exactly what to do. Normally this is done during the daytime. You need an object at a distance that you can easily see. You will be centering this object in the scope several times from different directions. You might want to go through the routine two or three times, to make sure things get set correctly.
Well, that is probably enough for this first message. Let me know exactly what scope you have and what eyepieces and I will taylor what I say to match.
Posted 20 August 2013 - 01:59 PM
The north star i had read how to find the true north and what i think i was looking at was the big dipper i think not sure.the starts here ar not all seen so well.I was faceing due north magnetic and looked up to see 4 stars well more like 3 one was barely visable in a spare shape following a tail of 3 stars but the bottom end tail star was hardely visible hear.I read that that last star on tail is the north start true north and to just set my scope to that star.
Posted 20 August 2013 - 02:11 PM
Posted 20 August 2013 - 03:41 PM
One way to describe distances is to use your fist at arm's length. Across your fist, from the little finger side to the second knuckle of your thumb, is supposed to be roughly ten degrees for the average person. The pan of the big dipper will be about three fist widths away from Polaris and Mizar should be the same to the west or a little bit more. The pan of the big dipper may be getting pretty close to the horizon, depending on where you live and may be hard to see. If you can see more of the little dipper than just Polaris, then you should be able to see Mizar.
I have one of the scopes like you have, as well as several other sizes. Yours should be a good solid performer. It should do well with the Moon, the brighter planets like Jupiter and Saturn, what are called open star clusters, and the brighter of the nebula, and double or multiple stars. These things tend to come around sort of in groups during different times of the year.
For finding things, you want to use the eyepiece that will give you the lowest power, which should normally let you see the biggest chunk of the sky. Once you find what you think is the object, you work your way to smaller and smaller eyepieces to get more magnification until you can get a good look at the object, or at least the best you can. Sometimes, with things like wide star clusters, the first wide view may be what you need. With the collection of eyepieces you have, I would start with the 25 mm, then drop to a 15. If the power is too much with the 15 mm, back up to a 20mm. If the 15 mm image is still too small, put in your 10 mm. If that is too much magnification, back up to the 12 mm. If you need to keep going, try the 6 mm. Sometimes, putting in the 2X barlow and, let's say the 12 mm can give you the same magnification as the 6 mm, but sometimes can give you a better image to look at. You will just have to play with eyepieces and see what you like. Every person's eyes are a little bit different, so there is no really right or wrong eyepiece. You just have to work with them and figure out what works for you.
Have you gone through an alignment when you start up the scope to get it aligned with the sky? When you do that, the scope will have an idea where it is pointing and can get you to the general area of some object you want to look at and then track the spot you are looking fairly well as it moves across the sky. You might have to adjust its position a little every so often, but it can do a reasonable job. If you need help with that, let me know and I will talk more about it.
Posted 21 August 2013 - 12:37 AM
Posted 21 August 2013 - 11:15 AM
Posted 21 August 2013 - 02:34 PM
Posted 22 August 2013 - 10:20 AM
Posted 09 September 2013 - 02:03 PM
So I recommend that you READ a book. Buy a few on Amazon, or visit your local library. There you will find a treasure to understand how your scope works, what is the difference between a refractor and reflector, and what is the difference between nebula and globular clusters. I wish you clear skies on your journey and quest. HAVE FUN!! Jim in Vermont
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