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New need help please


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Hi I'm Anthony and new to all this and am looking for some advice we have purchased my son a telescope for Xmas and I was wondering if there is an app I can get to show us where to look and what the telescope is pointing towards. He is mad on the whole solar system but is 6 so has a 6yr old"s attention span so if I can speed up finding things for him all the better.


Many thanks Anthony 

Edited by Anthony
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Hi Anthony and welcome to the forum. You can go online and use Stellarium if using a web browser or Sky Safari which is a great app both on IOS and Android.


There are apps which you can hold up a phone (in a cradle to keep it steady) to the eyepiece and it will take a mini snapshot which it uses to do “plate solving” which will tell you where you are looking. Celestron supply an app with some of their own telescopes which do this. https://www.firstlightoptics.com/celestron-starsense-explorer-series/celestron-starsense-explorer-lt-127-az-telescope.html

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Stellarium is very useful. You can input your location and it will show you what is where in the sky at any given time. It is easy to use and should enable you to get an idea of where to look and what you are looking at. Hopefully you could then locate a target within his attention span.


The folks on here are very helpful and I am sure they would love to help a young budding astronomer. Therefore, if you state what scope you have, it may prompt some suggestions as to what you can realistically expect to see.


Welcome to The Yard and I hope you find it useful.

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A simple no frills one is Sky Map on Google play app store, it is not as sophisticated with bells and whistles but for straight to the point object searching via your phone as you aim your phone up to the sky (it uses the internal compass to pinpoint), and it will show the details and can tell you what you are looking at as well as more information as needed. It is also free from adverts, or at least it used to be.

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14 minutes ago, Anthony said:

Thanks guys so would I be able to attach my phone to his telescope and then use the app to aim the scope?


I think there's an app for that lol. Seriously though, that's how push-to finders work.

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I have no experience of ‘push to’ finders, but I believe they rely on the phone being mounted to the scope in such a way that they move together and the app recognises what the phone and scope are pointed at. So in effect you ‘Push’ the scope manually around the sky and the app helps you to ‘find’ your target.

Hope that helps.

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I wouldnt recommend a telescope for such a youg age , best to start with some small binoculars to learn about the sky and planets. Again he will be in bed in spring summer months when skies are viewable so best to learn about astronomy to give a knowledge of the subject. What scope was it you got him?


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He has a vast knowledge of the solar system a surprising amount to be honest 


The scope is at in-laws atm but iam picking it up tomorrow so will let you know 

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33 minutes ago, Anthony said:

this is what we have along with a tripod 




The dew shield appears to be missing from the OTA.




If that's an ST102 it should look like this above.




They're removable from many refractors so you can clean the objective.




The reflex finder in your picture is in back to front.




It should look like the Orion EZ II on my old 130M above.




Not sure what's happened to the rest of your Barlow. It should look like the one on the right above. You should be able to take what's left of it off the diagonal.

Edited by Nightspore
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2 minutes ago, Anthony said:

We have the dew shield 



Good, they are important. You can buy vinyl dew shields. I often use them as an extension to the integral shield. The longer the shield the longer before any dewing occurs.




The ST102 is a pretty good achromat. They're built like tanks.




Mine has an aftermarket focuser now but it's basically the same. See this review.

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