What is a Finderscope and how do you use it?

It is a very important tool for anybody with a telescope.

I have had a lot of different experiences with people who are unfamiliar with telescopes. They are almost always awed by the experience! But one thing I have noticed is that they almost never look through the finderscope! So, I have written this little article/tutorial to explain the benefits and uses of the finderscope! (It's that little tiny telescope that sits piggy-back on the bigger telescope).

Using a telescope can be a little bit of a challenge. It takes some practice to get good with it. The finderscope helps with this by helping you to find things much easier.

I will show you a couple of pictures to explain how the finderscope helps.






Here we go, we are looking at the night sky! Nice!

When we are looking through the telescope we are seeing a very small part of the sky. It is so small that you have to move the scope around a lot to try to find anything. It can be tricky and a bit disorienting. It's like trying to drive your car while looking through a paper towel tube.

But when you look through the finderscope you see a lot more sky. And it usually has some kind of a crosshair on it so you know where the center is. So right there, where the cross hairs are, is where the actual telescope is looking. See how this can be much easier to find things? You find something with the finderscope then you look in the telescope and there it is!


The only thing you have to do is to setup the finderscope so the crosshairs are pointing to the same place as the telescope. You do this by pointing the telescope at something easy to find. Then youi adjust your finderscope so it is right on the spot. Now your finderscope and telescope are lined up.




With most telescopes you do this alignment by adjusting screws on the finderscope. The picture here shows one of the silver screws that is adjusted.






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