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Newbee Needs Help Advice Meade StarNavigator


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#1 switchback

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 01:38 AM

HI Peeps,

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:

#2 MistrBadgr

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 06:41 AM

Hello, and welcome to the 4M Forum!

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.

Best Regards,

Bill Steen
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#3 switchback

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 01:59 PM

Thanks so much first of all. the first questions.The scope it says D=90 mm F=800mm f/8.8 thats all i know i bought this setup from a friend who got it at a sale somewhere.think i have a pic on my 1st post i was asking about software i bought the usb conection cable for this scope #497.I also have bought alot eye pieces.the list is as fallows...meade ma6mm,meade ma25mm,meade,ma12mm,celestron 15,celestron 2x,meade ma20mm,celestron 10mm,celestron 20mm erecting eyepiece,celestron 6,meade ma 17mm,celestron filter no.25,celestron filter no.80a,,celestron moon filter.also got a celestron 2" digital camera adapter # 93626.I would someday love to take pics and video.

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.

#4 switchback

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 02:11 PM

Also wanted to say thanks so much i really love the stars and wont to learn.So i do not think i was looking at the right dipper not sure now.your direction i will see if its clear tonight.and follew your guide as best as i can to learn more about stars also wow you know allot i dont even know the names of any of the starts..

#5 MistrBadgr

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 03:41 PM

Yes, if the bright star was in the end of the tail, that is Polaris, and that is the little dipper you are looking at. The pan of the big dipper, with the two stars I told you about that point toward Polaris are probably going to be in the 7:30 position or about half way between straight down and straight west from Polaris and Mizar and Alcore will be almost straight west.

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.

Best Regards,

Bill Steen
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#6 switchback

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 12:37 AM

So the little dipper is to the north?Is the big dipper as well i am a bit confused i look up around 9 to 10 oclock toward the north and there i see 3 stars in a square the 4 is there but very i think because i see a crook 3 star handle with the bottom of handle very dim.As for the setup i have tryed useing the manual and goto 0 lad. on scope then piont it toward north and try to find true north.Afterward i use the controll and tell it to goto moon and its no were neer or was not last night i plan to try again soon.i did set the hadset with closest town ect. i going to hook it to my laptop and try to update and input all i can in regards to my lad. and longitude.

#7 gspie

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 11:15 AM

The star at the end of the 'handle' of the little dipper is Polaris (North Star). The Big Dipper is to the south east of Polaris a bit, and the two stars at the end of the bowl point at Polaris. Both asterisms are in the Northern part of the sky
LX850 with 10" ACF OTA and Takahashi FS 60C OTA -- SBIG STT-8300M CCD with FW8G-STT Self Guiding Filter Wheel and SBIG AO-8 Adaptive Optics -- Camera Control and Image Calibration with Maxim DL/CCD Pro, Image processing with PixInsight, and final composition with Photoshop CS5

http://home.comcast....ie/astroweb.htm

#8 MistrBadgr

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 02:34 PM

Thanks, I was going backwards, west instead of east. Got crossed up on the map.

Bill Steen
Bill Steen, Sky Hunters' Haven Observatory, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

#9 gspie

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 10:20 AM

Actually, I may have had it backlwards, west is probably correct. I had my seasons mixed up
LX850 with 10" ACF OTA and Takahashi FS 60C OTA -- SBIG STT-8300M CCD with FW8G-STT Self Guiding Filter Wheel and SBIG AO-8 Adaptive Optics -- Camera Control and Image Calibration with Maxim DL/CCD Pro, Image processing with PixInsight, and final composition with Photoshop CS5

http://home.comcast....ie/astroweb.htm

#10 Jim-Lowry

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 02:03 PM

Hey Switchback.... Greetings from Vermont. I think that you found a good group here to find answers to some of your questions. All of the advice I have read is good for you to learn. But I would like to add two points. First of all, I think that all true astronomers must first learn about the sky using no help - just their eyes. The sky is full of wonderful and majestic pictures, telling stories of heroism and love and courage. In winter we see a hunter who is off fighting a ferocious bull, complete with angry red eyes. He is accompanied by his two hunting dogs, and they race across the sky each night in the winter. And the North Star you are looking for is the exact center of a giant clock, turning once a day.... And yet also turning once a year. It is both clock and calendar. In the summer a majestic swan swims down the River of Milk, as a dolphin plays and jumps through the waves. Until you see these pictures, your telescope will NARROW your view. Only later, when you see more, will the scope draw you into the Universe. And you will love it.

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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