# Got my first telescope!

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1. Aug 24, 2015

### Glenstr

Over the last year or so I've been thinking seriously about getting a telescope, having my eye on the Celestron Nexstar 6SE model or getting a slightly smaller 5" model that's more automated for about the same price.

Well, yesterday my mind got made up for me as it was my birthday & my wife got me a Celestron Sky Prodigy 130 like this one. She said I could exchange it for another if I had something else in mind, I briefly considered perhaps the 6" model but I think the 130 should suffice nicely and the automation feature is probably good for a newbie like myself.

The main reason she picked this one was that she was under the impression that I I could combine my photography hobby with this one, because it has a built in digital camera. However it turns out the digital camera it has is used for alignment purposes only, not for astrophotography, so I think she was a little mislead by the "built in digital camera" in the advertising.

Anyway, brings me to (one of ) my question(s)

I'm see there is a camera attachment from Celestron available here, would this be sufficient for getting started in astrophotography? If not - what would be?

After unboxing yesterday I was aiming it across the lake from where I live and expected the image to be inverted, but it's inverted with about a 30 degree tilt. I could find nothing in the manual about terrestrial viewing, do I need to get a different eyepiece or adapter for terrestrial use?

2. Aug 24, 2015

### scientific601

The angle is due to the relative position of the eyepiece on the tube. If the tube can be rotated such that the eyepiece is at the very top then the image would be 0 degrees (but still inverted). A bit awkard to look through and you may need a step to stand on. Or rotate it 90 degrees such that the eyepiece comes off at the side... then the image would be OK as well. Not much can be done about that.

It's been a while since I played with reflectors so I may be wrong at one or the other position. With a wedge eyepiece adaptor you may be able to 'right' the image further.

If you can mount a small webcam on the eyepiece it can be rotated to compensate.

Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
3. Aug 24, 2015

### Andy Resnick

I think that's probably an excellent starting scope- have fun! As for your camera insert, that should also be just fine for starting out.

4. Aug 25, 2015

### tfr000

The traditional way to do terrestrial observing through a Newtonian is to aim the scope and then turn your back on the object before you put your eye to the eyepiece. You might still have to tip your head a little to get it perfect. You can get image erectors, but why bother when it's this simple?

5. Aug 27, 2015

### Chronos

You have a fine and practical scope there, even if it isnt capable of 'Hubble quality' photographs.

6. Aug 27, 2015

### davenn

lucky you, that's awesome and a great scope to get started into astronomy. Beware tho .... as you grow in the hobby, aperture fever will strike you
and there will be this ongoing urge to get scopes with larger apertures.
In reality, tho it's nice to have a 12 or 14 inch mirror scope. The real ideal max size, for most serious amateur astronomers, is around the 8 - 10 inch diameter mirror
its the good trade-off for having a scope that is still reasonably transportable in the avg family car

looking forward to hearing and seeing your exploits as time goes by

Am going to suggest to you what I told another new astronomer earlier today.
Get into the habit of doing a observing diary. Do it for EVERY time you purposely go out under the stars
be it to do unaided looking around, say for meteors or with binoculars or with the scope
Its great to have a diary to refer back to as the years go by and say compare observations with earlier scopes with the latest and greatest scope you have

a couple of excerpts from my one ( NOTE the tabs formatting was lost copying and pasting to the forum)
your ideas for layout will probably be different ..... I just use a word doc file

2005
Date Time (EST)

July 2005
From Home

03 1600

Sun Many spots visible clear umbral and penumbral regions visible

1830-1900

Jupiter 2 moons, 4 belts visible good viewing overhead
Mercury low in West a bit fuzzy
Venus low in West, bit fuzzy, looked gibbous phase
Omega Cent Glob; Ex.Brt, clear easily resolved
NGC6121/M4 Glob; Just resolvable
NGC6475/M7 Op Cl;

2015-2100

NGC6405/M6 Op Cl;
NGC6388 Glob; Mag6.7, Just resolvable, small, compact
NGC6514/M20 Trifid Nebula; Fnt, just visible
NGC6531/M21 Op Cl; Brt

--------------

2013

Jan. 04 … got the CPC925 out to see if I could see Comet C/2012 K5 (LINEAR)
I was out the nite before with binoculars and thought I had found it
But using the scope tonite, I found I had been looking at M37 and or M36
A couple of faint fuzzy open clusters that the binoculars couldn’t resolve
into individual stars but the scope did.

After 2 hours of searching, I finally found it at the location it should be.
This comet was definitely not visible in binoculars as had been reported. It was a very faint fuzzy blob in the scope with a 40mm eyepiece.
Estimated magnitude at ~ 9.5 – 10.
Jupiter also looked really good during this time

May 10 … Partial Solar eclipse. Viewed and Photo'ed from Thornleigh

Aug 16–20 Nova Delphini. The nova appeared with a magnitude 6.8 when it was discovered and peaked at magnitude 4.3 on 16 August.
Viewed from home and from Bobbinhead Rd, jst N of Sydney. Photo’ed from Bobbinhead Rd,

cheers
Dave

7. Aug 28, 2015

### Chronos

Adding to dave's post, most people find anything over about 10" to be a beast. The damn mount is like a national monument. And the scope is so jittery without a massive mount it is nearly useless. So don't let aperature fever overcome your good sense. If you have a permanent observatory I may concede a few inches.

8. Aug 28, 2015

### Andy Resnick

In addition to size/weight constraints, if the user is located in a place with poor 'seeing' (say, Cleveland OH) there's not much point in a large aperture- I would get slightly brighter fuzzy blobs, but no additional resolution.

9. Aug 28, 2015

### davenn

but if you are going to go big, one day make it worthwhile 30", f5

from the recent Queensland Astrofest (Star party)

Terry Lovejoy ( of Comet Lovejoy fame -- earlier this year) took this pic of his friend Renato Langersek.and his scope

10. Aug 30, 2015

### Chronos

Missing the lift chair.

11. Aug 31, 2015

### Andy Resnick

He needs a second one for his other eye.

12. Sep 17, 2015

### Glenstr

Thanks for all the great replies, suggestions & advice everyone - it's been awhile since I visited this board and I forgot about this post!

I've managed to get the telescope out twice since the post, one night I set it up, just used manual control & got some good looks at the waxing gibbous moon in its later phases, then I went on vacation and the weather has been crappy but I managed to get it out last weekend on a clear night and try the built in computer functions.

Where I live I'm surrounded by mostly deciduous forest on each side, so I took it out on my back north facing deck to see if the align feature would work. My house is a two storey so I was pretty well restricted to a straight north view. I pressed the align button anyway, and it took awhile and read it wasn't able to find stars once or twice, but it eventually finished. I then pointed it at Polaris and it showed a bright star not quite in the centre of the view, I adjusted it manually to center it, then had it find the Andromeda galaxy and it found (what I'm pretty sure is) that too, again just a bit off centre. I was using the 9mm eyepiece only because I forgot where I put the 25mm one, but I could see a fuzzy glob of stars, I wasn't sure if I should be able to see the galaxy arms or not.

For the targets not being centered I'm not sure of it's a camera calibration issue or not.

One thing I don't like is the big bulky D cell battery pack that powers the motors, I actually dropped it by accident the first use and broke the wire off and had to solder it back. I think I may have found a better solution though, I fly RC planes and multicopters and a lot of this flying is FPV so I already had a barrel connector (the same size as the one on the batter back) for my 19" TV modified with a lipo battery connector so I can power the TV for remote viewing with one of my 3 cell 12V LiPo batteries. I have a lot of these batteries so I'll just put a square of velcro on the telescope mount somewhere then I can attach a small 12v LiPo to it and save a ton of weight and not have to worry about wrapping the cord etc.

As for cameras, I'm wondering if it's worth my while spending a few more bucks to get this one, or this one - instead of this one - thoughts?

13. Sep 17, 2015