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I have an astromaster 70 and im not really seeing anything interesting, just stars a little closer, i was told i could see jupiters moons but i cant really see anything

You need to attend a local star party by a local Astronomy club and get the members to help you.

Download this free monthly star chart:

Jupiter is not up in the sky right now, during the evening-- however Saturn is up. All the planets follow the ECLIPTIC path across the sky-- the same path the sun followed during the day time.

Objects in the night sky are VERY SMALL-- smaller than the tip of your finger held at arm's length. Tonight try to find M42 the Orion Nebula, and M45 the Pleiades star cluster. See the sky map above.

Mar 30, 2011 | Celestron ASTRO-MASTER-70 EQ 70mm/900mm...


Binoculars make a GREAT first "Telescope"!

For beginners in the Astronomy hobby we usually recommend that they buy a nice pair of either 7x50mm binoculars, or 10x50mm binoculars as their first 'telescope".

Additionally they should buy one or two Astronomy books, one of which should be a star chart. You will use the star chart and the binoculars to learn a little bit about the night sky BEFORE you buy your first telescope.

Good books:

Objects in the Heavens by Peter Birren-

Sky & Telescope Star Atlas-

Turn Left at Orion-


Spend a few months learning the sky with the binoculars and JOIN a local Astronomy club. The members will help you learn the sky and you will get to look through their telescopes and decide on which one you should purchase. Did you know that the Astronomical League gives awards for completing several different observations using binoculars! Join your local AL Astronomy club to learn about observing awards using only binoculars!

List of Astronomy Clubs by State:

Clear Skies!

Read my other TIPS on my profile page.


on Jan 22, 2010 | Optics


What are those SMALL letters with numbers on the star chart?

Those are OBJECTS in the sky that you can try to find and observe!

"M" objects- this is the Charles Messier catalog containing over 100 sky objects he discovered in the 17th century!

"NGC" objects- this is the New General Catalog by J.L.E.Dreyer produced in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It has over 7000 sky objects that you can observe. Some of these are very dim and only possible to see in larger telescopes or from a dark sky observing site.

"IC" - this is the later Index Catalog produced by Dreyer Same web site

There are dozens of other sky catalogs! My computer GOTO telescope lists 30,000 objects in it's internal database.

Here is a very good star chart:

And here is a free monthly star chart:

I would also recommend that you download the free planetarium software Stellarium, install it on your computer, put in your location; and it will show you the sky for any time or date. The graphics of the sky on this free program are VERY good.

Another good FREE computer star chart is Cartes du Ciel. The free download is available here:

Clear Skies!


on Jan 02, 2010 | Optics

1 Answer

I see images in the daytime but at night complete blackness

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

All telescopes have very small fields of view, 1 degree or less usually.

Also read my TIPS on my profile page.

Apr 04, 2010 | Celestron PowerSeeker 114 EQ Telescope

1 Answer

Sky + remote rev 8 works tv but will not work

SELECT + i (flashes twice)

job done

Little Dish Fitter

Aug 29, 2009 | Star Manufacturing International R/C Sky...


So you bought a COMPUTER GOTO Telescope!

First the good news. Personally I believe a computer GOTO scope or a Dobsonian telescope with PUSHTO makes a great telescope for a beginner.

Why? Because you can use the hand controller to help you find those dim sky objects that are almost invisible from a typical suburban observing site with lots of light pollution.

Also if you pay attention you will learn many of the brighter stars in the sky, the Constellations, and the location of many of the brighter sky objects.

Now for the bad news. There are many cheap goto telescope systems being sold that do not work as advertised, and you still need APERTURE to see many of the dimmer sky objects. So a goto with a little 70mm refractor mounted on it will frustrate you!

Right off the bat let me list a few links to the better goto and pushto telescopes. See these web sites:
This is just the mount, you need to also buy the telescope tube. I would suggest a 6 inch Celestron SCT Optical Tube Assembly (OTA), and also what is called a "dovetail" metal bar to mount the scope tube onto the side of this goto mount. This is a computerized equitorial mount. It works differently than the scopes listed above.

That should be enough to get you thinking! All of the ones listed above will have good goto performance IF:

You read the manual TWICE!

Test the scope out INSIDE in the light before you take it out at night and learn how to operate the hand controller.

Follow all the instructions in the manual about training the drives and or calibrating motors.

Accurately center BOTH alignment stars. Yes you will need to learn the names of a few stars in the sky.

AND NEVER plug or unplug the hand controller while the scope is turned on! This can burn out the circuits in the scope!

I would suggest that your first goto telescope be like the very first link above; a Dobsonian with a PUSHTO hand controller. This is the cheapest and best entry point to own a computer telescope. Yes, the prices are a little higher and old timers will tell you you do not need the computer goto to find objects in the sky.

I disagree! Beginners get very frustrated with the hobby when they cannot find anything other than the moon or several bright planets; or search for several hours to find one other dim sky object. Also most of us live in light polluted cities, and hopping around from star to star to find something is not really possible.

Add eye problems like cataracts and you will only see 6 or 7 stars in the sky, not enough to use to find other sky objects.

If you decide to buy a GOTO scope, please attend several star parties at your local Astronomy club. Many of the members will have this kind of telescope. You can ask questions, and they may even let you DRIVE the telescope!

Remember, READ the manual, train the drives, and do all the other initial setup that the manual recommends. Yes, you will need to know the names of a few bright stars in the sky! Your new computer telescope is not as smart as 3CPO in Star Wars!

Clear Skies!
Joe Lalumia

on Dec 31, 2009 | Optics


DON'T buy that department store telescope!

You cannot buy a usable telescope for less than about $200. Sorry but that's just the way it is! Virtually everyday I am answering FixYa questions in the Telescope section from people that just purchased their first telescope for $89 off of Craigslist, or Wal Mart, or CostCo or WORST of all TOYS R US!

They just bought a JUNK "toy", that will soon be posted back onto Craigslist (for sale) or relegated to a closet or attic at home. These small "toy" telescopes do more to HURT the Astronomy hobby than just about anything I can think of.

Don't fall for the pretty color photos on the outside of the box, or the CLAIM that it is 550 power magnification! Walk away from any telescope or telescope advertisement that says this on the outside of the box!

Think about buying a nice pair of 10x50mm binoculars. This is about the same aperture as that 60mm worthless refractor telescope on a shaky EQ mount you are thinking about buying; and good binoculars and a star chart can be used to find many deep sky objects, including most of the Messier objects from a dark sky observing site. You can even get an Astronomical League award using just binoculars!

By buying one of these cheap telescopes you will frustrate yourself and or your child. Some of them are virtually impossible to use, cannot come to focus, or break very easily. The optical elements also may be plastic instead of glass. The focus mechanism and the eyepieces might also be made of cheap plastic.

You promised your child a telescope and now you MUST buy one? Ok, buy one of the ones listed below:

You really need at least 4.5 inches of aperture to begin to see the dimmer objects in the sky. Six inches of aperture would be even better. The scopes listed above are all, what we call, Dobsonian mounted telescopes. Very easy to operate- up, down, left-right motion. They can be pointed easily to the moon and planets, and the brighter sky objects; IF you learn EXACTLY where to point them. This is the biggest problem for beginners, finding those very small and dim sky objects.

Remember a telescope has a very small field of view. LESS THAN the tip of your finger held at arm's length! You can be right next to a sky object and NOT see it in the eyepiece! The scope must be pointed DIRECTLY at it! This is the biggest problem for a beginner, and leads to those questions here on Fixya like, " I cannot see anything in my new XYZ telescope".

I would also encourage you to locate your local Astronomy club and attend their meetings and star parties. The members will help you learn how to operate the scope, and also help you learn the sky.

A free monthly star chart can be downloaded at: . You can also install the free planetarium software Stellarium, put in your location and it will show what is up in the sky for any date or time.

Remember, MAGNIFICATION is the least important telescope quality. Aperture (the size of the lens in mm, or the size of the mirror in inches) , and quality optics is much more important than magnification. Usually I use no more than about 150 power in my 8 inch LX90 telescope. My usual magnification is somewhere around 100 power.

Again DO NOT buy those toy telescopes! It's a big waste of your hard earned money! Now go and read my Frequently Asked Questions TIP.

Clear Skies
Joe Lalumia

PS-- read these before you buy a telescope-

on Dec 27, 2009 | Optics

2 Answers

Star in the sky

The trick is that the Earth is the fifth point of the star. Try tapping on/around the pine tree towards the bottom of the screen, and drawing an upside-down star, you should be able to use that plus the four large stars to solve the puzzle.

Hope this helps,

-Nick F.

Mar 04, 2009 | Nintendo Professor Layton & the Curious...

2 Answers


By doing this trick--

Do a FAKE alignment-- (I assume that the scope is trained and has the proper date, time, and site)-- just push the buttons for the alignment stars that you cannot see. Then do a GOTO to a star that is in your field of view--- center the star and SYNC. Your gotos will now be OK in your limited field of view.

Jan 30, 2008 | Meade LX200R 8 in. (600 x 203mm) Telescope


Buying your first telescope

So you got the Astronomy bug or a young child and you want to buy a telescope. Here are some suggestions:

1. Never buy a telescope from Wal Mart or CostCo, or Ebay unless you know EXACTLY what you are buying. Most of the scopes on are also junk or toy telescopes. (I have bought two telescopes from; BUT I knew exactly what I was buying!)

2. Do NOT buy an equatorial mounted scope as your first telescope. You must polar align the scope to use it, and most cheap low cost EQ mounts are shaky and not actually built to support the telescope. Can you find Polaris, and point the EQ mount toward Polaris? Unless you polar align an EQ mounted telescope, it cannot be used!

3. Locate a local Astronomy club and attend their meetings and star parties. You will get to look through the member's telescopes and ask questions. Do this BEFORE you buy your first telescope.

4. Usually we recommend a small Dobsonian mounted reflector as your first telescope. See this web site: Try to buy one that is at least 6 inches in aperture. An 8 inch Dobsonian would make a great beginner telescope! The 4.5 inch makes a good child's telescope.

These are easy to use and POINT at objects in the sky, and you get the largest aperture for the least amount of money.

5. Buy several Astronomy books. For example, "Turn Left at Orion", and "Nightwatch". Read these before you spend your money. Also download a free monthly star chart at You can also subscribe to Astronomy magazine, or Sky & Telescope magazine.

6. NEVER buy a telescope that advertises MAGNIFICATION. This is the least important quality of a telescope, which is made to gather the light from dim and small sky objects. 575 power magnification written on the outside of the box is a LIE! Also, the pretty pictures on the box were taken by the Hubble Space Telescope! You will NOT see color in that 70mm telescope you are planning to buy.

7. The MOUNT is just as important as the actual telescope. A cheap department store toy telescope on a shaky mount will frustrate the beginner. You CANNOT buy a usable telescope for less than about $200. Sorry but that's just the way it happens to be!

8. A nice pair of either 7x50mm or 10x50mm binoculars should be considered as your first TELESCOPE purchase, along with a Star Chart. Learning your way around the sky is a big part of the hobby. A pair of 10x50mm binoculars is almost the same aperture as that 60mm telescope you are thinking about buying! The binoculars have a wider field of view which will help beginners SEE and LOCATE more sky objects.

7. The Astronomical League has a list, by State, of Astronomy Clubs on their web site: Join a local Astronomy club!

Again, DO NOT buy a telescope until you learn a little bit about the different types of scopes (Refractor vs Reflector) and their strong and weak points for each scope design.

Here are example of scopes NOT TO BUY! EQ shaky mount Cheap GOTO computer scope- plastic gears another shaky EQ mount I don't know about the microscope, but the telescope has the same aperture as a pair of binoculars! You might be able to see the moon and a few of the planets but with 60mm of aperture it's just too small and the mount is very shaky

Read this web site to learn about the different types of telescope designs.

If you are buying a telescope for a child buy a 4.5 inch or 6 inch Dobsonian. If the scope is for YOU, then buy an 8 inch or 10 inch Dobsonian. Like one of these:

Or one with a computer hand controller like these:

AND WATCH this video- the $800 telescope-- you will learn a lot about telescopes by listening to Andy talk about telescopes.

Notice how much stronger the equatorial mounts appear on this video, and his final recommendation of a Dobsonian reflector as a good beginner's scope in the largest size (aperture) you can afford. Remember-- objects in the sky are VERY small. Your scope and it's finder scope must be lined up exactly pointed at the same spot in the sky; or you will not see anything!

I cannot emphasize this point enough! Telescopes have very small fields of view, no bigger than the tip of your finger held at arm's length!

Here is a free monthly star chart that you can download every month:

Clear Skies!

RSS Link to all of TelescopeMan's Audio & Video Astronomy Podcasts

on Dec 01, 2009 | Optics

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