If you're in a bright lit area like me
it can really get annoying. Just try to get as far away from the source
as possible. It might wash out the images you see a little, but not
significantly. It's important to let you eyes adjust to the night
also. This could take up to 20 minutes, but it's essential for viewing
purposes. If you plan on looking at the sun you will need a solar
filter. It is better to get one that goes over the end of the scope
instead of using an eyepiece. Remember to keep your finder scope capped.
Finally, if you use star maps or need to write/see anything use a
red ultraviolet light. A regular old flashlight will impair your night
Aiming Your Scope
It is pretty easy to aim your scope
at night, you use the finder scope. You can buy a EZ-finder if you're
having trouble with your finder scope. It superimposes a tiny night-vision
red dot where your scope is aimed. It fits on virtually all scopes
and makes aiming it real easy. If you view the sun, like me, it
can be a real task since you can't use your finder scope or else
you'd go blind. Here is a little trick I found... just use the shadow
that the scope casts to aim it at the sun. Make sure that there
is as little a shadow as possible. If you did it correctly you should
be aimed right at the sun.
I live in a real shitty area and I
have trees, houses, and a soon to be cell phone tower blocking my
view. Try to get up high (on the roof of your house or a near by
hill) so you can see the horizon. The more sky you can see (more
stars and easier to spot constellations) the easier it is to locate
the objects your looking for.
If it happens to be a particularly
cool night you want to bring your telescope outside for 20-40 minutes
before you go out. The air inside the telescope has to cool down
to the outside temperature for optimum star gazing. Obviously bad
weather can effect your viewing, but something that is harder to
notice is dew. I recommend you get a dew cover. It will protect
your telescope. A great time to go star gazing is after it has rained
as long as the sky is clear. The rain will clean the air and make
it excellent for viewing. Just make sure it isn't really humid out.
Some telescopes you might have to clean. Most refractors require
little to none cleaning. All others do. The correct astronomical software and good awareness of what's in the sky is the key to viewing the sights you want to.