Accessories to go with your Telescope

Once you have carefully selected a telescope, mount and eyepieces .the next important thing you need to carry with your telescope are the accessories .There are so many online sites from where you can buy the accessories ,but the main thing  is what all things are really required for making you observation much better .This blogs talks about all the accessories  that you need to carry for good  Night sky observation.

Finder scopes

Your telescope is useless until and unless it is being aligned properly .For this you need a good quality finder scope.

Finder scopes basically come in two optical configurations.

  1. Through type, this type of finder scope inverts (flips) the image, but main advantage of allowing the observer to find the object easily with normal standing position

Finderscope2. Right-angle finder- this keeps the field of view correctly oriented, but some people find difficult to find objects  by looking “at the telescope” since you need to bend a little.

Right angle finder

Never buy a small finder scope, always purchase finder scope that has a front lens at least 2 inches (50mm) in diameter. This will make sure to let  enough light to pass when you are looking at fainter objects. As to the magnification of the finder, choose 7x, 8x, or 9x. Purchase finder scope having mount with two supporting rings to hold the finder scope properly and six adjustment screws this will assure the rigidity of the support  and it is quite easier to align once aligned it will remain as it is. Never go for mount with one ring and three adjustment screws. You can use this site to buy finder scope, choose the one which match with your telescope.

Lights and magnifiers

If you plan to use a planisphere or book while observing, you’ll need light. Red light is best because it affects your dark adaption least. Do not carry bright ordinary flash light. A bright light, even if it’s red, will draw the ire of observers around you and will not maintain your night vision. You can carry a laser light to point towards the stars or celestial objects. Always buy a long range laser beam laser

Laser Beam

Clocks

When you are out for night sky, noting time is an important factor , observing the rise and set time of celestial objects in the sky .Use a recently set wristwatch with backlight will make your  job easy. You can set it to either local time or Universal Time, depending on your preference, but be sure to note which time when you’re making your observing log entry.

Storage cases

Storage Cases

Telescope contains mirrors and lens, any optical instrument needs to be carried properly in a storage case and should be treated with extra care to avoid dirt scratches, dents and other type of mishandling. A good storage case should have foam-padded storage case. It must be sturdy and has to be made up of high quality material and should be waterproof and dust proof. The telescope should have a foam padded carry bag which is waterproof, dust proof and easy to carry.

Protective scope covers

Scope Covers

A proper telescope cover secured with elastic or bungee-style cords made up of dust free and waterproof material is required to protect the telescope from Dust, dew/mist and harsh sunlight is required whenever you set up your telescope in an open place.

Batteries and power supplies

Whenever you are doing night sky observation in a remote area  power supply for charging electronic equipment is a major problem .You need to carry Power tank

Power Tank

Focusers

Focusers

Focuser help in fine adjustment of the eyepiece.  There are mainly  two types of focusers

1 the rack and pinion, in which a small gear drives the tube that holds the eyepiece,

2 the Crayford design, in which the drawtube rides on small bearings.

Focusers should have no sharp edges. There should free in-and-out movement to accommodate your eyepiece .Try to purchase a focuser which will accommodate both 2″ and 1¼” eyepieces. Some advance focuser have two-speed focusing mechanism. The “coarse” focusing knob is for quickly establishing a near-focus position; you then switch to the “fine” knob to obtain a sharp image. Other type of focusers incorporate motor control and a few even have a digital readout that allows you to return exactly to a previous focus setting.

MOTOR DRIVES AND GOTO

Goto mount works on software in a microprocessor-based integrated controller or a personal computer that automatically point a telescope to celestial objects

ALT AZIMUTH GO TO

Alt-azimuth GoTo

Alt-azimuth GoTo mounts has to be aligned on a known star known as “alignment star” which has to be aligned at the centre in the eyepiece. From the inputted time and location and the star’s altitude and azimuth the telescope mount will know its orientation to the entire sky and can then find any object.

For accuracy purposes we do, a second alignment star , in which a star is chosen which is far away from the first alignment and if possible close to the object you need to be observed. This is because the mount might not be level with the ground; this will cause the telescope to accurately point to objects close to the initial alignment star, but less accurately for an object on the other side of the sky.

EQUATORIAL GOTO

Equatorial GoTo

For an equatorial GoTo telescope mount, the user must align the mount by hand with either the north celestial pole or the south celestial pole. Assuming the user is accurate in the alignment, the mount points the telescope to a bright star, asking the user to center it in the eyepiece.

You can use this site for Motor drives and Goto accessories

BARLOW LENS

Barlow lens are generally used to Decrease the eyepiece’s focal length which dependence on Barlow’s divergence. Mainly Barlow lens comes in range 2x or 3x, they are rated for the amount of magnification they produce .Adjustable Barlow can be made by adding an extension tube between Barlow and eyepiece.

Barlow lens

DSLR cameras

Whatever you observe need to be capture in astrophotography, for that you need a DSLR (DIGITAL SINGLE-LENS REFLEX) . DSLR camera is different from digital camera, because in the reflex design scheme, the image captured on the camera’s sensor is also the image that is seen through the view finder. Light travels through a single lens and a mirror is used to reflect a portion of that light through the view finder – hence the name Single Lens Reflex, the DSLR design has the advantage of being parallax-free: it never provides an off-axis view. You need Camera adaptors to fit DSLR with your scope .Choose a better adaptor depending upon your telescope and DSLR camera .You can use this site for camera adaptors

EXTRA EYE PIECE

Make sure the telescope accepts the 1.25″ size it is OK if it also takes the 2″ size as adapters are widely available to allow using 1.25″ eyepieces in scopes that take 2″ eyepiece. Telescope comes with 2 eye pieces, one should produce a lower magnification (in the range of 25x – 50x) the second one must be having higher magnification (in the range of 90x – 120x). If you want to buy an extra eyepiece make sure that the focal length of one is NOT simply twice that of the other. For example a 20mm eyepiece and a 10mm eyepiece . Why this is this not the best choice is this can be achieved by using decent quality 2x Barlow lens  which can double the magnification of any given eyepiece .The best eyepieces for any telescope are 25mm focal length and one in the range of 10m – 7mm (depending on the scope’s focal length. You can always add more eyepieces later if your interest grows!

SOLAR FILTERS

One of the most important accessories you need to carry with your scope is solar filters. Whenever you are doing sun spots observation and solar eclipse observation this filter protects your eye from sun’s light and harmful radiations

Solar Filters