We have a Bushnell 78-8846 North star telescope. We are now seeing a black dot and a straight line to one side when looking through the telescope. How do we fix this problem? The Bushnell manual has no info.
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Currently the rings of Saturn are nearly edge on so you won't see any details in them. Shortly the rings will appear edge on and the ring will disappear completely for a few months. Gradually, they will return and angle more towards Earth at which time you will be able to see some of the ring details.
There are many factors that can reduce your ability to see planetary detail. I had my Celestron 200mm out the other night looking at Saturn but saw no details because the atmosphere was too unstable. There are also limits to what a telescope can realistically view.
There is a general rule of thumb that states you can expect to view 50x per inch of aperture. Your telescope has roughly 5" of aperture. 5 times 50 equals a maximum of 250x. However, this is a guideline. On bad nights like I had you'll never reach that 250x since objects will appear blurry or unstable. On good nights, you can exceed this.
You can calculate your telescope power by dividing your telescope focal length by the focal length of the eyepiece ( that 4,9,20mm number).
An excellent object to look at when it comes back in view is Jupiter. It's always interesting and you can see four of it's moons.
This is an astronomical telescope so there is no erecting lens combination. So, everything you look at will be upside down.
As a refracting telescope you have virtually no maintenance. A good thing.
This telescope has an equatorial mount. Basically the mount corrects for the off-axis spin of the earth. The quick and dirty way to align the scope is to set position on the mount to 0hrs and 90 degrees. Make sure you are setup on a level surface and then rotate the entire telescope and tripod so that it faces north. Depending on your Latitude and longitude Polaris or the north start will appear higher or lower in the sky. Polaris is called the north star because it is within 1degree of the true north and it is always in the same spot throughout the night and year. The mount will have a third adjustment point near the base to adjust for the apparent change in position caused by the curvature of the earth. Once it is lined up try pointing the telescope at a bright star. The smaller the mm number on the eyepiece the higher the magnification. The beauty of an equatorial mount is that once you have it properly aligned on an object you only have to adjust on axis to keep the object in view.
I could write pages on this please re-post with some more specific questions and I will try my best to answer them for you. Good luck and happy star hopping.
The problem is you are way out of focus. Turn the focus knob alot, until the star image gets much much smaller. Keep going until it looks like a pin point or a star!. The spider vane and center black dot will disappear. This black dot is actually the secondary diagonal mirror reflection in the primary mirror. The peace signs are the secondary supports. Use the lowest power eye pieces. I would not use the Barlow lens that comes with this scope as it very poor quality. Also, using this high power with this small an aperature (tube diamter) & unstable mount will be very difficult indeed. Invest in some wide angle, long eye relief low power lens. Use these for a while before going to higher powers.