A Guide to the Sky, Telescopes, and Telescope Programs
Using a Telescope
These instructions are appropriate for most telescopes.
For instructions for the Starblast 6i (Curie's scope) click here.
NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN. EVER.
Moving and Transporting
Be careful about dropping the scope and dropping things into the tube (the mirror is a glass and subject to chipping and cracking (almost everything else is reasonably robust).
Getting Ready to Observe
Find a good place to set up. Generally you want a dark place, so that your eyes dark adapt. A southern view is good. Make sure your setup area is safe.
Cool Down Period
Note that when taking a scope from a warm building into the cool night air, the images will be somewhat blurry until the mirror (or lens) cools down to match the outside air.
There are a number of parts that come off or go on before observing:
When finished these same things must be undone.
How to align the Finder (if it is mis-aligned)
How to use the Focuser
Note: you shouldn't have to do this for your library scope. It should have been done for you. Only do this you can't get stars to focus as points. Actually, send an email to your library's scope foster parent.
Collimating the mirrors of a reflector takes some tools (at least a Collimation cap (they're available online cheap)) and some practice. Do a web search on Collimation for info. One good example of help is at http://www.skyandtelescope.com/howto/diy/3306876.html. Another is at http://www.tomhole.com/Barlowed Laser.htm. Another, with references, is http://www.raclub.org/Documents/Programs/Collimating Newtonian Reflectors.pdf.
A collimation cap can be made from an old 35-mm film canister. Cheshire Collimator cost around $30 new. Laser collimators cost around $60.
A video on how to use a Laser Collimator is here.
Questions or comments? Email:Jeff Martin