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Skywatcher explorer 130m advice

Thu May 26, 2016 8:49 am

Hi, I have a Skywatcher Explorer 130m which I'm having some problems with. Everytime I try to view a planet or other object my telescope will move slightly when I have it set and go to look through the eyepiece. The object then goes out of view so I have to adjust the scope again. Am I doing something wrong with my setup?

Also, any recommendations on additional equipment that will help with increasing size and/or detail of planets and objects? I'd like to see more and eventually do astrophotography.

Thanks in advance.

Re: Skywatcher explorer 130m advice

Thu May 26, 2016 10:04 am

I assume you have the motorised version. The tracking motor will only keep the object in view if the telescope/mount has been aligned correctly. Did you go through the polar alignment procedure as outlined in the manual?

EDIT
Basically you need to level the tripod, set the angle of the mount to the same as your latitude, and point the axis to the north. For a better alignment you need to set the Declination (Dec) to '90', and then align the telescope on Polaris. It will help to have adjusted the finder scope beforehand of course.

Re: Skywatcher explorer 130m advice

Thu May 26, 2016 10:39 am

I thought it wasn't necessary to polar align? I guess it is?

Re: Skywatcher explorer 130m advice

Thu May 26, 2016 10:53 am

As the earth rotates (and we with it) it will move the telescope away from the object we are looking at. The tracking motor turns the telescope in the opposite direction to keep it in view. Unless the telescope axis is aligned on the celestial north pole it won't move in the right direction.

For most observing it needn't be very accurate. You need only keep it in view long enough to observe the object. Once you have set the latitude angle, you won't need to change that again (unless you move a lot!) You will soon work out which way is north, and be able to rotate the telescope to the right direction. That will be good enough. If you want to do photography however, you will have to be a lot more accurate.

Re: Skywatcher explorer 130m advice

Thu May 26, 2016 6:26 pm

I see. I should of been more clearer in the fact the motor isn't turned on when I'm viewing. Its the telescope itself that moves. All I've done so far is point and look. Not very astronomically professional :) I'm wandering if it's a balance issue or an issue with the mount itself?

Re: Skywatcher explorer 130m advice

Thu May 26, 2016 10:53 pm

There is no harm in using the telescope manually (without the motor drive) but if you are not using the motor at all, then the rotation of the earth will cause the object you are looking at to sail out of view - as you have observed. The problem is not that the telescope itself is moving.

You could continue to use it manually, of course, but you now might want to align the telescope and get the motors going. That will track the object you are looking at which is what the motor is designed to do.

Re: Skywatcher explorer 130m advice

Fri May 27, 2016 2:08 pm

Firaxia wrote:I see. I should of been more clearer in the fact the motor isn't turned on when I'm viewing. Its the telescope itself that moves. All I've done so far is point and look. Not very astronomically professional :) I'm wandering if it's a balance issue or an issue with the mount itself?

If the telescope is visibly moving when it's set up, then yes it is likely to be a balance issue.
The scope should be mounted in the rings so that when it's lying horizontally it's stable - i.e. neither the mirror end or the eyepiece end is trying to dip.

You should then slide the counterweights up and down the rod until the scope is balanced on the other axis.

The aim is that you can move the scope into any position and it will (more or less) stay there just by the friction in the mount.
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