How to Use a Reflector Telescope

Suppose you have bought a fine guitar with a lovely sound and are learning to play it. But after a while, you notice that it has gone slightly out of tune. What do you do? Learn how to tune it, or trade it in for a piano? Enter the importance of learning how to align your Newtonian reflector telescope.

Your Newtonian reflector will give great images of stars and planets — but only as long as you keep it well tuned. The “tuning” of a telescope is known as collimation. You may have heard that it is incomprehensible, tedious, time-consuming, a pain in the neck, and best avoided. I hope to convince you that it is none of these things. You can master it and in only a minute or two get your instrument ready for a star performance.

USING AN ASTRONOMICAL TELESCOPE

When setting up the telescope make sure the mounting is stable. If it does wobble it may have a stone or other object under one of the feet. If you are going to view at night set the telescope up just before it gets dark. There are two reasons for this, first it is easier if you can see what you are doing, second if the telescope has been kept indoors or in a garage or shed, it may take an hour or so to acclimatise (cool down) before it will perform at its best.
Directly the telescope is set up remove the tube cover to allow air to flow through the Tube and around the mirrors. Do not fit the eyepiece until you are going to use the telescope because its lens may get covered with dew. Leave the Finder Cap on until you want to use it or it to will have its lens covered with dew. Dew can of course be wiped off with a cloth or tissue. Read More…

How to Use a Reflector Telescope

If you have a reflector telescope, the cosmos is yours to explore. Techniques for viewing the galaxy using a reflector telescope run the gamut from very elementary to extremely complicated, but fortunately, getting started is very easy. Once you successfully use your telescope for casual exploration, the transition into more precise and complex viewing should be relatively easy. Read More…

Reflector Telescopes

The reflector telescope uses a mirror to gather and focus light. All celestial objects (including those in our solar system) are so far away that all of the light rays coming from them reach the Earth as parallel rays. Because the light rays are parallel to each other, the reflector telescope’s mirror has a parabolic shape. The parabolic-shaped mirror focusses the parallel lights rays to a single point. All modern research telescopes and large amateur ones are of the reflector type because of its advantages over the refractor telescope. Read More…

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