When i zoom closer to the likes of the moon or venus (or any star come to think of it) i see my circular mount from my mirror in the centre of the image! looking towards closer objects (ie land) my zoom works perfectly! is there something i'm not doing (or not set up)? any serious suggestions on solutions, I would be very grateful for!
Most telescopes do not have a zoom-- they have different numbered eyepieces that give different magnification-- you can buy a zoom eyepiece however.
From what you describe -- put the eyepiece with the LARGEST number written on it into the telescope-- this is the LOWEST magnification. Now focus on the moon and or a distant land object during the day-- once it's in focus -- nice and sharp-- replace the eyepiece with the next LOWER number-- for more magnification. AND-- refocus the telescope for that eyepiece.
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I'm having the same problem with my Astromaster 114 EQ . I can see better than the scope , but it is clear when I focus on images about 35 40 away in the daylight. I am now ready to trash this thing. For I had a Meade many years ago and it was great ,but I gave it to a friend to use, but he broke it. Next time Meade.
Once you are polar aligned, rotate the tube to a star in the sky that you KNOW the name of. Look up the Right Ascension of that star on a cell phone app or a laptop planetarium program like this one: www.stellarium.org
Rotate the RA setting circle so it matches what the phone or laptop indicate. LOCK down the RA circle. Your scope is now adjusted to the sky and you can use the numbers on the DEC and RA to find other objects of known RA & DEC.
Your scope must be pointed directly at the objects in the sky. They are very tiny, and no bigger than the tip of your finger held at arms length. Try for the moon first, and buy a good star chart like, "Sky & Telescope Pocket Star Atlas" available on amazon.com.
All telescopes have very small fields of view, 1 degree or less usually.
The likely hood is, that the scope needs collimating. If you don't have a collimator, you can easily purchase one, online. I discovered the same problem with my scope, until I collimated it. There are many different types available, 'Red Dot' lasers, or just simply a pin hole in a eye piece fitment. The 'catseye', is the one I got. It may seem a little complicated at first, but after you have figured it all out works, it will become clear, and once you've collimated for the first time, it takes no time at all to re-collimate. There ya go, fixedYa! P.s, don't forget to give a good thumbs up thankyou :)
It won't increase viewing power by hundreds of time but it should be able to show you a close up view of the moon and planets where they look closer (or with the moon, parts of it look closer). When you say it looks further away, something is quite wrong as you know. It sounds like the eye piece is backwards in the mount? Can't imagine what else would make it smaller. Also can't imagine you could even get it in backwards. I have a scope by Meade that is essentially the same Newtonian design. Best of luck.