How to work a telescope: Step by step procedure


As you’re here trying to find out how to use a telescope, I’m going to assume you’re a new owner of a telescope! This is really cool and congrats to you! Working a telescope may seem a little tricky at first since there are a lot of features that you need to take into consideration for you to make efficient use of your telescope.

The telescope is such a kind of device that is used for focus target vision. Telescopes are used to collect measure radiation, a reflex from a distance goal. They are used to collect incoming radiation. In simple words, it is an optical device that gives your eyes a tour of the big mysterious universe. Imagine seeing the milky way, in clear weather, that feelings got to sum up to something.

But of course, at first, you’ll have to learn how to use it properly, telescopes need a lot of different settings, depending on the subject you want to observe.

So let’s get started on this guide to the amazing journey of limitless space. However, before we get started on that, a few words of advice more like warnings that you always need to keep in mind, NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN THROUGH THE TELESCOPE without proper filtration, it is already harmful enough to look at the sun with bare eyes, so imagine what immense damage they could do with a strong magnification lens! so remember you have been warned, there are required filters available to buy in the market for safe observing the sun.

Working with your telescope: Step 1

The universal first step of literally beginning anything new is to know your equipment, learning about the new things helps a lot to keep up the motivation and gives you a decent idea about what to expect. Suppose you cannot expect to watch a star’s death with a basic telescope. So, learn as much you can about its features, how you can make the best use out of it, etc.

Working the mount: Step 2

Check what kind of mount does your telescope has, most backyard telescopes have alt-azimuth mounts, which are also those tripods that we see to be used in cameras, they move in straight lines – right, left, up, and down. They are the most common mounts that you must have seen them be used to supporting cameras, spotting scope, and telescopes.

Some advanced telescopes model also uses alt-azimuth mounts. Or they can be equatorial one, which instead of going in a straight line like alt-azimuth, it moves in parallel. They are designed in such a way to compromise for the rotation of the earth, they are ideal for moving stars and comets. You can easily identify them since they come with a counterweight on the axis. In the case of,

Non-computerized Mounts:

Take a positional adjustment and then start by loosening the lock and take on the right appearance. Then hold the optical tube and pull or push it towards the direction you want it to place. If you do a great job at keeping objects in the field of view of your eyepiece you can use it in slow motion control function for an object once you are very close.

Computerized Mounts:

Start by moving your computerized telescope by using the included hand controller. It is wise to set the motion depending on how far you want your telescope to wander. When moving from object to object you should choose the faster speed and if you’re keeping the object in the center of your eyepiece’s focus, then go for the slower speed.

Of course, spend a considerable amount of time experimenting with the direction manual of the hand controller, there is no harm in starting prepared. Make sure to check the instruction first, try to use the computerized telescope to move so that if sometime anything causes it to “lose its place” in the sky, however for that it is given that you do a second alignment procedure if you want to take advantage of its “Go-To” feature.

Working the eyepiece: Step 3

Now let’s move to one of the most important parts of the telescope, the eyepiece. With the package of the telescope, you should have received at least one eyepiece. It is designed to accumulate the concentrated light emitted by the main objects into a goal telescope.  The main reason you bought the telescope was to enjoy celestial images of the great void, and the eyepiece is the main actor that does that for you, by concentrating the light that results in the image you’re so fond of.

They also come in various models, styles, and focal lengths just like the telescope itself, so you can also buy one externally that is compatible with your telescope. However, one thing is bound to catch your curiosity, is that what do these numbers printed on the eyepiece stand for, well guess what I’m going to tell you about now? The numbers stand for the focal length of the eyepiece. Now it is normal for you to think the bigger the number, the greater the power, but it is quite the opposite.

A bigger number instigates a longer focal length resulting in lesser magnification, on the other hand, the smaller the focal length, the greater the magnification. Now if I ask you for a small eyepiece and you have 10mm and 27mm, which one will you hand me? Yes, 10mm is the right answer.

See how fast you’re learning! Now the package may also consist of a Barlow lens, which works as a conjunction lens for the eyepiece and does not have any productivity of its own. They are said to be the best way in the budget to increase the magnification power of your telescope lens.

We almost forgot another important piece which is the finder, they do just what the name suggests, help to find things. Space is a big area, and the finder provides you with a small magnification that gives you a bigger field of vision and helps you lock down the subject you want to see with a crosshair, then you can see the more magnified version of that with the eyepiece of the telescope. You’ll find the finder on top of the telescope’s barrel. It is a light slender version of the telescope, adjusted in a bracket.

Looking through the telescope: Step 4

Finally, after you have the basic working knowledge of your telescope, it is time to take it out on a run. Pick something you want to see then choose a night with a clear sky, and position your telescope somewhere with the best chance of catching it, such as the window, roof, backyard or you could go out on a drive with it if you’re up to.

You could know about what object is closer to your location and has a better possibility of being caught as a clear image with your telescope. I recommend planetarium, star atlases, and other advanced apps and software. But of course keep your expectation at a moderate level, if you think the image through the telescope will be just like the internet on your first try, then you’re going to be so disappointed. In reality, it takes a lot of planning and setting up to, also a whole lot of patience. Let me give you some basic ideas about the setup.

Choosing a place away from any source of hit helps the image to come out better. After you have a target fixed, point the telescope as best you can from your position and look through the eyepiece to check if you have the target on view.

The object should be in the field of view if you’re lucky, but if it isn’t, try using the slow-motion control knobs also the dials on your telescope’s mount to make adjustments, whatever it takes to get the target in the center of the eyepiece. When you finally get it, tighten the lock knobs on the telescope so it won’t move. Remember, while looking through the finder, use the adjustment knobs frequently on the finder bracket to lock your target as accurately as possible in the finder’s wide field of view. I hope I was able to clear out some of your confusion.


Using the telescopes will require a lot of time and I suggest before you startup you get that this is what you signed up for. Nothing beautiful comes free and neither does the mesmerizing beauty of the universe after you start you’ll see how many factors affect the view of the telescope.

A little change in the humidity can make everything look blurry and little wind can mess up your focus, but over time you will gain experience and learn how to proceed with various obstacles. And of course, whatever nuisance you had to deal with when you’ll have the telescope focused on your desired object, that amazing scene will be very worth it. Mother nature has so much of her wonders and beauty out in the open, just waiting for us to discover them.

Good luck!

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