Maybe you just bought a brand new telescope, congratulations! You can begin to discover many wonderful, distant, and profound things in the night sky. Although most of them are so remote and dim, it is already a challenge just to find them! No matter if your new telescope is a simple and long tube or a highly integrated artifact controlled by a computer, you can’t wait to “enlight” it, right?
The following are “three important tips for starting observations” pointed out by Alan MacRobert, senior editor of “Sky and Telescope” magazine.
First, assemble your binoculars in a warm and comfortable room, read the instructions and understand how it works (how to turn, how to change the eyepieces, etc.).
Secondly, take the telescope out during the day, and be familiar with how to use it to view distant scenery (treetops, buildings), and have a perceptual understanding of its actual performance. Next, you will find that the lowest magnification of the telescope (using the eyepiece with the longest focal length) can get the brightest, sharp and wide field of view, with the least distortion. Due to the wide field of view, the lowest magnification is also the easiest to find the target you are looking for. Then you know that you should always start from the lowest magnification. Only after you find the target, center it, and the initial observation effect is good, then convert to a higher magnification.
In addition, if there is a small finder mirror on one side of the telescope, it is easiest to calibrate it during the day. Aim the main mirror at a distant treetop or landmark, place it in the center of the field of view, and then look at the star finder. Use the adjustment screw of the finder to align the crosshairs to the same target. Confirm again that it is still in the center of the main mirror’s field of view.
Third, be patient. Take time for every celestial body you can find and really understand it. “He added. Too many observers who use telescopes for the first time expect to see the brightness and color of Hubble in their eyepieces, but in fact, most astronomical targets are very dim to the human eye. Moreover, in our night vision, Almost everything will be seen as a gray shadow. Many scenes in the universe are elusive and extremely remote! But the longer and more careful you study something, the more mysteries you will gradually discover.
On the other hand, the moon and the planets visible to the naked eye are bright and easy to find, and they are perfect targets to “enlight” the new telescope.
- New telescope’s preferred target: moon
Even in the lowest telescope, the moon is a celestial body that can impress you. It is our closest neighbor in the universe, huge, bright, unobstructed, and only 400,000 kilometers away. An amateur telescope and a good picture of the moon will keep you always on top.
See if you can recognize this obvious topography at the full moon. Some of the most prominent craters show bright radiation, the splashes of meteorite impact.
Usually, the full moon is actually the worst time for telescope observations, because the sun shines directly on the surface of the moon, and the peaks and craters cannot cast shadows, making their outlines very unclear. The phase of the waning gibbous moon and the waning gibbous moon is better, especially for the terrain near the light-dark boundary (the moon’s twilight line). There you can see the most prominent topography of the moon. The boundary between light and dark moves a little bit every night. When the moon is shining, new terrain will be revealed, and when the moon is waning, it will gradually cover them.
- Planets: Jupiter and Mars
Most of the bright planets in the solar system are not suitable for observation recently. From the earth, they are hidden in the brilliance of the sun. But Jupiter and Mars are exceptions. Depends they need a bit of perseverance to crawl out of the warm bed before dawn.
Before the first light appears, that is, about an hour and a half before sunrise, take your telescope and go out and look a little higher to the southeast. As long as the weather is clear in that direction, you will be able to see Jupiter, which is the brightest spot there!
Even with a magnification of 50 or 100, you can distinguish two darker brown-yellow bands that wrap around Jupiter’s center: the north and south equatorial belts. They and the brighter equatorial region sandwiched between them are cloud belts ejecting high above Jupiter’s atmosphere. (Jupiter is a gas giant planet with no solid surface.)
When you first see Jupiter, you will immediately notice the bright small moons standing on either side (sometimes one side) of Jupiter, roughly in line with the strips. They were discovered by the Italian astronomer Galileo in 1609-1610 and are called “Galileo satellites.” Sometimes it is not possible to see all four: some of them occasionally hide behind Jupiter or in its shadow.
Mars is currently located to the lower left of Jupiter, and its brightness is much lower. Its orange-yellow color is very conspicuous. Mars is a small planet, now on the side of its orbit far from the Earth, so even in a larger telescope, it is just a small vague spot.