“How to use Telescope for Stargazing? written by Nilesh Bandekar ”
Stargazing! A wonderful way to tune in with the Universe! You can witness the beauty of the cosmos with your naked eyes. But if you want to enhance your stargazing experience, we suggest you use a telescope which brings stars & planets much closer to you! Oh wait, did you say that you never handled a telescope before? Don’t worry, we got your back. Here we tell you how to use a telescope for Stargazing!
Before we start with how to use a telescope, we first have to understand some essential parts of a telescope which include the lens/mirror, eyepiece, finder scope, mount, tripod etc. Each part of a telescope works together to function properly. Use the picture below for reference.
Lens/mirror– Depending upon the type of the telescope, it will have either lenses or mirrors, it is the most important part as it captures the light and magnifies the object that is afar. There is one bigger objective lens and one smaller eyepiece lens.
Eyepiece- It is a part of the telescope from which we see the object. The main function of the eyepiece lens is to magnify the image that we are looking at.
Tripod– Telescopes are usually difficult to use only with hands, they need structural support on which we can mount our telescope. Tripod is used as that structural support which helps keep the telescope steady. It also moves horizontally & vertically so that we can point our telescope in the desired direction.
Note that there are different types of telescopes such as refracting telescopes, the Newtonian reflector telescope etc. and some parts of it may vary depending upon the design. The parts mentioned above are just to give you a basic idea of telescopes. If you’re interested to know more about the types and functioning of telescopes then do check out this blog- ( https://stargazingmumbai.in/telescopes-stargazing-mumbai/#comments )
Now that you are familiar with the essential parts of a telescope, it’s time to understand how to use it for stargazing! Start by finding a perfect place for stargazing, away from the city. Check weather & light pollution, if everything is suitable for stargazing, then you’re good to go!
1. Set up your Telescope
After you find the right place, you have to set up the tripod and mount it first. Then attach the telescope to the mount. See if it’s steady, if not then make the adjustments accordingly. You can practice this before during the daytime to get familiar with setting up the telescope.
2. Align your Telescope
You have to ensure that your telescope is aligned properly. This helps us to get a better focus on objects. Without proper alignment, it is impossible to properly focus.
After deciding on an object to observe, you have to adjust the focus. You can do this by adjusting the knob on the telescope up and down to get the object in proper focus. Try taking it slowly otherwise, the image will look diminished. After adjusting the focus, you will get a crisp and clear image of the desired object.
4. Adjust Magnification
Now you’ve got a good view of an object, it might be a star or a planet. The next thing that you can do is magnify that object to bring it closer. You can do that by changing the eyepiece. The eyepiece is responsible for the magnification of the image.
These are the basic steps to get started with stargazing using a telescope. But there’s still a lot more to learn. You’ll get familiar with handling a telescope after some time. If you don’t own a telescope but still want to experience stargazing using a telescope, then you can join one of our events of overnight stargazing. Our team will take you on a journey through the night sky! All you have to do is take things slow, be patient and enjoy the process, that’s the key to making the most out of a stargazing session.