It is a treat to have the stars and galaxies crystal clear right in front of their eyes for all the stargazing people out there. For that matter, you can use different devices like telescopes and spotting scopes. However, among the different types of telescope, the most commonly used one is the reflecting telescope.
A reflecting telescope is a device that uses multiple curved mirrors. The mirrors are projected at such an angle to each other that they create the image through reflection. Since it is a device you can use anywhere, even on your balcony, you need to know more about it.
How to use a reflective telescope?
⇒ Eyepiece and its magnification:
You need to have the following points in your mind when you talk about the eyepiece of a reflecting telescope:
- You will observe a number of the eyepiece, which is its focal length.
- You can calculate the magnification of the eyepiece using the following formula:
The focal length of the telescope / Focal length of the eyepiece
- You can check the telescope’s focal length from the instruction manual, which comes with every telescope.
- As a beginner, you need to start observing the objects with the telescope having the lowest magnification of the eyepiece.
- Remember not to mistaken the number mentioned on the eyepiece as its magnification. It is the focal length of the eyepiece.
⇒ Should magnification be high or low?
The magnification of an eyepiece is related to the field of view. Yes! Now, what is the field of view?
- Field of view is the part of the sky you can view when you are looking through your reflecting telescope eyepiece.
- It is worth mentioning here that people believe that if you go for higher magnification of the eyepiece, you will have a wider field of view. However, the reality is the opposite of this.
- If you opt for a telescope with low eyepiece magnification, you will better enjoy your stargazing experience. Yes! The reason being, you will easily find and capture your target objects looking through the eyepiece.
- An added advantage here is that you will get to see the sharpest and the brightest image of the planets.
Now when you have spotted a particular object using the low-magnification eyepiece, what will you do next? This is the question we will answer as under:
- Now you will move the telescope such that you can have the object right at the center of the field of view of your telescope. If you cannot have it in the middle, try to have it as close to the center as possible.
- At this point, you will replace your eyepiece. Yes! You have to switch to the eyepiece with high magnification.
- Check again if the object is still at the same point where you saw it using the lower magnification eyepiece.
- If it is not there, you need to use the low magnification eyepiece again and try again.
Things to Ponder:
There are some points which you need to remember when you are trying to use the reflector telescope for astronomy:
⇒ Magnification dynamics:
You need to have the basic information of the principles of optics here:
- If you have a high magnification eyepiece, it will give you a blurred image.
- The image may even faint away if you increase the magnification beyond a specific limit.
- You can try using the Barlow lens to adjust the magnification. A Barlow lens doubles or sometimes triples the magnification, keeping the image clear and sharp.
- Inserting a Barlow lens is easy. All you have to do is remove your telescope eyepiece from the focuser, install your Barlow lens and then again insert your eyepiece into the Barlow lens.
- Bear in mind that you can have the best results if you use the Barlow lens with low magnification eyepieces.
⇒ Disappearing of objects within Field of view
It may sometimes happen that you observe different objects appearing in one moment and then disappearing in the next. Yes! There is a reason behind this.
- The reflecting telescope is serving you dual purposes
- It magnifies the objects in the sky.
- It also magnifies the rotation of Earth.
- If things are quickly disappearing in your field of view, it means that you are using the telescope with more magnification than is required.
- You can get hold of these disappearing objects if you move your telescope accordingly.
- You can have the motorized mounts for this purpose. They enable you to keep track of the objects in your eyepiece.
⇒ Telescope Magnification:
- Always go for a suitable magnification of the telescope. Otherwise, you will end up having blurred images in case of extra-high magnification.
- If you have a blurred image, it also depends on other factors like the nature of the target, the atmospheric conditions such as clarity and stability, and the size of your reflective telescope.
Advantages of Reflective Telescope:
⇒ Interest boosting activity:
When trying stargazing, it improves your concentration level and the interest in seeing the far-off objects like they are located closer to you. When you use the reflective telescope and learn to zoom in, it gives you an extraordinary feeling.
Then if you observe the tiny smudge of light and have a closer look at them, you get to see a lot of stars clustered together. It feels just like you are visiting them.
⇒ Basic Astronomy:
It might be a frustrating experience as a beginner, but with time, you feel well-connected to nature. When people would be sleeping at late-night hours, you would be looking for the lost stars, hence keeping you in close contact with that unseen universe. With the passage of time and practice, you will feel addicted to the activity.
Now when you are well-aware of the mechanism, working, and uses of the reflective telescope, you can enjoy your favorite hobby of stargazing right from your balcony. All you have to do is keep the essential points in mind, and you are all ready to see the stars and galaxies that are located so far yet so near to you with the help of your reflective telescope.
This will boost your confidence and interest to stay closer to mother nature. One day, you will be an expert stargazer who enjoys the activity to the fullest.