The Good, the Bad, and the Damn Annoying

Ijbhnewscopet turned ridiculously cold, so my early experiences with this new telescope involved kneeling on an icy patio in a down parka.  But there’s much more to the transition to a new telescope than that.

Three big things have come up. All are normal and will be solved, but these are the three that I’m dealing with.

1. The finderscope is a 6×30 and (of course) shows an inverted image. I’m used to the idiot-proof red-dot finder plus reflector, so my brain isn’t used to going from an inverted image to a reversed right-side-up image (as I’m using a star diagonal). I’m used to a one-to-one finder image and a typical reflector image, reversed and inverted. Plus, I now have to look through a telescope in order to look through a telescope–I’m accustomed to pinpointing a region of sky, not star-hopping. So a few old chestnuts in the pre-dawn (even Albireo, for Pete’s sake!) proved highly elusive.

2. Narrow field of view. The scope came with a 25mm eyepiece, just like my last one. On my previous 650mm scope, that would yield a low magnification of 26×, and offer a “broad side of the barn” way of locating objects. On this 1000mm scope, 25mm yields 40×, significantly narrowing the field of view and making it harder to do a brute-force search (when, say, the finderscope has driven you batty).

3. Posture. Good grief, I’m going to need a yoga mat. I really wasn’t realistic about the amount of crouching and kneeling that a long tube requires.


1. Get used to the finderscope, and/or order a new laser dot.

2 Get a 40mm eyepiece to yield a lower 25× magnification.

3. Lose weight. (Or buy an Orion extender. Or both.)

4. Be patient.

5. Get disciplined about using star charts.

Oh, and get a filter for the violet fringe, and a filter for light pollution.

About Jon

Keyboard artist, sacred musician, teacher, writer, working in New York City and State. Many interests include music theory and history, literature, astronomy, genealogy, philosophy and theology, gardening, and good food.
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