The first time you use your telescope for astronomical viewing, it will hopefully be a clear, moonlit night. It’s important to make sure visibility is very high to ensure you get off to the best possible start on your astronomical journey.
Getting out to a rural setting will help you find the undisturbed clarity that you are looking for. The further away you can get from the city and other unnatural sources of light, the better.
Take the scope outside and assemble it. To start observing, use your lowest-power eyepiece.
On cold or warm nights, wait about half an hour for the temperature of the optics and tube to become equal to that of the surrounding air, this is important to avoid condensation causing problems.
Point the aperture at the Moon and focus the eyepiece. The Moon is the best place to start your sky-watch because it is so easy to find.
The view is impressive, to say the very least.
You may go on to view distant planets, stars, and galaxies; but it is your first, breath-taking telescopic image of the Moon, our planet’s one natural satellite that will have you looking for more.
We must warn you, this brief experience may hook you for a lifetime as an amateur astronomer!
Although much smaller than the Earth, the Moon is obviously a world in its own right. Straight away, you will notice the large, flat, dark regions called Maria (the plural of mare—Latin for “sea”), impressive craters, and mountains that rival Mount Everest in height.
The Art of Patience
Even with a small beginner’s telescope or a pair of binoculars, you can view many of these features.
If you observe for a series of days, you will see many of the features cast shadows that become long or short.
A good example of the ever-changing nature of the night sky are the terminator (the line separating dark and sunlit areas on the Moon) shifts during the cycle of lunar phases.
And of course, that’s only the beginning of your new discoveries. Welcome to the fascinating hobby of amateur Astronomy!
A whole new world awaits you…
Got Questions about Using a Telescope?
If you have a question or query about your first time using a telescope, don’t hesitate to drop us a comment below or get in touch via the Chat Tool.