Telescope help again

  1. Hmmmm well i purchased a meade 2114 atts reflector telescope and in the manual and on the star guide it shows you can veiw comets and stars and even jupiter and mars and all the planets well when i tell it to find these its motors kick on and it moves and then stops and see that it has cordinates on the autostar device.and i can here the little tracking motors moving. so i leave it outside for a while and when i go back i look through the eye peice only to see the blackness of the night sky. Please help
  2. jcsd
  3. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    It beeps when it finishes slewing and the display no longer says "slewing". You'll continue to hear the motors after that because the earth rotates and the telescope needs to be constantly moving to track objects. So if the object you're looking for isn't in view after the beep, your alignment is bad. Does the object at least appear in the finderscope? Heck - can you spot Jupiter with your naked eye (Jupiter should be the first object you try to view)? No offense, but I'm sensing that you're not putting a whole lot of effort into this...

    Maybe we should take a step back and start from scratch - can you describe exactly how you're setting it up and aligning it?
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2005
  4. well lets see here. I take it ouside into my back yard. I extend the tripod legs to full length. I turn it on and put in the time to the exact second.I put it in home position after setting it to easy align(maybe i have home position wrong but i point it north and level to the horizon)and its easy to tell where north is i live right on the beach and the water is the gulf of mexico which is south. After home position I let it find that first star then do what the book says(aim it towards the brightest star in the area then hit enter again so it slews again and then let it calculate if it has aligned and it always does(it says align succesfull on the autostar) I then go through the menus until jupiter or whatever I want to veiw is selected i hit enter, it shows coordinates and i hit "go to". So then it starts slewing and eventually points to the spot in the sky.Then the tracking motors kick on. So i look through the eye peice and see nothing.I think that maybe it needs extended light exposure so i pull up a chair and read for a few hours then i look again and nothing is there. Do i need to be able to see jupiter with my naked eye to be able to see it with the telescope?And i didnt take offense but I have spent every moment of the night until i go to bed to try to see, im giving all the effort i can and feel silly that i cant see much anything but the moon and some stars. Thanks tremendously for the help
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2005
  5. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Jupiter is extremely bright, so if you can't see an extremely bright object with your naked eye in the general area that the telescope is pointing, it isn't pointing at Jupiter. That's why I suggest finding Jupiter first - you can even find it manually if necessary.
    This could be your problem - it doesn't sound like you're close enough to north with your home position. Have you tried ligning it up with the North Star (the manual tells you how to find the north star)? Or using a compass?
    The stars it aligns to are among the brightest ~5 stars in the sky: can you see them with your naked eye first, then the finderscope, then the eyepiece?
    There is no camera in the telescope - its straight from the sky to your eye. After you hear that beep, it's either found the object or it hasn't.

    A few other possible issues:
    -Use the 26mm (or whatever the highest number is) eyepiece for a wide field of view first and make sure you get it focused on the alignment stars.
    -Scroll through the menus to where it has your location (read your manual) and make sure you have it correct.
    -Make sure you are entering daylight savings time with the time.
    -Take the scope outside during the day and align the finderscope by viewing a distant object. An out-of-alignment finderscope can be an enormous headache that simply doesn't need to happen.

    Use your eyeballs - don't just assume the telescope knows what it's doing (until you have a lot of practice using it...). And even if it doesn't find Jupiter for you (its possible it just missed by a degree or two and is still in the finderscope), find it yourself. I've been using my telescope to look at Venus and Mercury, which are visible at the moment of sunset, and except for pointing it north (with a compass), I don't align the telescope at all before aiming it manually, because there aren't any stars available to align it to.

    Have you found Jupiter with your naked eye yet? It is by far the brightest object in the sky after about 9:00 (when Venus sets...) and it is about 30 degrees up, in the southwest.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2005
  6. Thanks for all the help man. I will go out there and get the finderscope aligned. Hopefully tongiht I will get to see jupiter. I havn't tried looking with my naked eye after the sunset for any planets I thought I wouldn't be able to see them with my naked eye. I wonder could it be the moon thats sheilding jupiter from my veiw with its light, because the moon has been exceptionally bright lately?
    I may have to buy one of the filter peices(any recomendations)Not to expensive though I am a man of only 15 and buying that telescope drained my cash.
  7. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Don't worry about filters until you've got some experience. You really don't need them. Jupiter is extremely bright - bright enough you may mistake it for a plane, or about 5x brighter than the next brightest object in the sky. The moon won't wash it out even if they are right next to each other.

    I just checked - Jupiter is a little lower than I realized - about 15 degrees up, and in the southwest, right after sunset. By 10:00, it will have set.

    But hey - since the moon is up, look at the moon. Its best when it is in a partial phase (shadows aid depth perception).
  8. in how much detail can you see jupiter. With your help i saw it but it was a bit undetailed just a big massive ball of red but this was great and i enjoyed it for hours should i use the 9mm? because i used the 25mm
  9. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Once you have it with the 25mm, yes, use the 9mm. That'll almost triple the magnification. You'll notice it'll start getting maybe a little fuzzy - you'll be at about the limit of your scope's magnifying power. You should be able to see several cloud bands. The great red spot was not visible tonight, but the moons Io and Ganymede were about 1 Jupiter-diameter away from the planet, right next to each other, and should have easily been visible. Callisto was somewhat further away on the same side, in the same plane.
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