I just got a 500x reflector on Thursday. Gazing is pretty hard though because I live in OC and theres alot of light pollution so its hard to make out most things in the sky other than the moon. Any tips for a high schooler's stargazing?
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Does your telescope have any manufacturer name on it or any other information other than its a 500x scope.
If you are trying to observe at 500x magnification it will be almost impossible to find anything unless you know the sky very well. Try a lower power eyepiece. A large focal length eyepiece if you have one.
Telescopes which use magnification as a selling point are generally pretty rubbish. You can get a magnification of over x1000 out of a 60mm refractor if you have the right eyepieces this does not mean it is any use at that magnification and will most likely give a rubbish image.
More importantly what kind and size is it, I have a 13.1 inch dob and I mainly use the lowest power, about (52 X) as do most people. My first scope was a 3 inch sears retractor and the highest usable magnification was about 200 X and even that was pushing it.
I have the ability to go up to 800 X with my dob but have rarely used it.
You will probably rarely use 500 X.
its actually hard to tell since the box was oddly labeled and has been thrown away. It didn't really specify for me 500 what so i just had to fill in the blanks there. Low end but what I'm more concerned with now is getting the skills down first. Once I find myself a job over the summer and start making some money I'll try to upgrade, so this is sort of like learning with training wheels before getting on a real bike.
That's a quite respectable beginner scope. Good aperature, good focal ratio, and with a barlow, good versatility. You'll be able to see planets, bright nebulae and clusters, and maybe some bright galaxies with it.