The universe is simply infinite. And even the nearest planet or star system is at a tremendous distance.
We just can’t get there for now. But then, at least we want to watch it. See it.
A lot of people buy expensive telescopes to enjoy their fair share sky. After a while, most of these people, due to no skywatching background complains of seeing nothing more than the Moon craters. Sounds familiar?
So in this guide, today, we will unearth some tips. These are the 8 simple DIY telescope improvement tips that have been the most effective so far for me.
You see, observing the sky is not like spying your neighbors with binoculars(which is a bad idea). It takes a lot of sense and skills to work together. A good sky observer has patience and able to stare through the eyepiece for hours.
To be very very clear, improving telescope performance is not just about tuning scope. It’s a part of it. But you also need to tune yourself and your eyes.
And with that being said, lets;
Get started with this 8 DIY telescope improvements
1. Look for clear sky
There’s no substitute for the clear sky. In fact, it can indirectly add an extra inch to your aperture. Look up in the sky at day time for clues. Are there clouds? When the sun is over the head, block it with your hand and see if its clear blue around it. At the sunrise or sunset, make sure there are no clouds at the horizon.
2. Avoid light pollution
We usually observe the sky at night time. The simple reason for this is because we need our surroundings as dark as possible. So that you can explicitly get to see the light coming from that cute little distant object. But in our modern society, there’s light pollution everywhere. So its never gonna be an ideal spot. So what you have to do is go to a dark place.
And it should be with the least artificial light (eg. Street light etc). Going away from the city is best when you want to see faint/far distant objects.
3. The new moon is great!
One of the best nights out of all for stargazing? The new moon! It’s because, on these nights, there is zero light due to the moon reflection – resulting in minimum light pollution. So aim for longer hours of observations especially these nights.
4. Let your eyes adapt to darkness
Understand your eyes. They are on the habit of brightness. So it will take some practice for your eyes to adapt to darkness. And your pupil to setup.
When you start observing in dark surroundings. Make sure you don’t see sources directly (like phone, or light bulbs, etc.). It will disturb the adaptation. Use a red flashlight if needed and still don’t directly look inside it. It may take up to half an hour for your eyes to be at its 100% ability.
5. Keep staring!
You know what? There’s a secret! To actually notice the details. Just keep staring at the object constantly through the eyepiece. And as you keep on, the details start to unlock. It may take an hour to enjoy the full view. Off-course, the time varies with distance from the object. And you can take small breaks in between as you stare. But just don’t disturb the concentration of your pupil with shiny things.
6. Thermally optimize the scope
It’s likely that when you put your telescope outside to start observations, it will be warmer than outside air.
What then happens is, the scope radiates heat which can cause the problem to view. So no matter how small your scope is, it’s better to allow it to collimate to the outside temperature.
For scopes up to 4 inches, it usually takes 20 minutes. And for scopes larger than 4 inches, add 10 minutes extra per extra inches.
Usually, the reflector scope takes less time for the process than Refractor.
7. Stabilize your telescope mount
Hold it strong! As you zoom-in the objects, the tiny vibrations your scope makes, are also zoomed-in. It’s a big problem when you zoom high. You just won’t be able to see things at its best. They just won’t look clear! Its usually a big problem with cheap, lightweight telescopes.
So what you have to do is to stabilize it. Suspend some heavyweight (like Backpack, or water bottles, etc.) to the tripod. I hope you got the clue!
Interested in nebulas & galaxies? Here are the 3 top telescopes for deep space stargazing.
8. Don’t touch the scope
You see, when you are looking at a far distant object at 50x magnification or 100x or 200x magnification, the field of view is super-narrow. At this point, even a pin-tiny vibration has a huge impact. And so when you touch the telescope it’s highly likely to lose your hardly found target. Hence, the only thing to touch your scope should be your eyes.
Over to you!
I hope these 8 DIY tricks will help you achieve maximum performance as you adapt these telescope improvements. Skywatching is a lot of fun and thrill if you put the efforts in the right direction.
If you are unhappy with the performance of your current telescope then you must try these tricks before throwing it away. For beginners, I recommend buying one of these telescopes. And finally, please let me know if you tried any of our tricks? Or maybe you have your own findings that you would like to share with us?