Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Star pointer finderscope?

Is it worthy or not to spend some money on it

In my opinion, two tools are of essential importance for the star hopper no matter how bright the sky is: a “pointer” finderscope and an optical finderscope. The first one will be like the compass and the second one the map.

Any “pointer” finderscope works basically the same: you have to align it with the celestial object you can see with your naked eye. It does not magnify the image. It is only a guide to aim your scope in the sky. After you have that departure point on your finderscope you can start your journey through the stars.

Some folks can point the telescope to a bright star without a finderscope’s aid and some others use a green laser to point the scope. If for any reason you can’t point your telescope easily or you can’t use a green laser in your zone, this post is for you.

Average price is less than 17 US dollars 
I have the model provided by Celestron on the SE scope series and in my Bortle 5 skies it works well enough to point the scope to stars until 5th magnitude. I wish that the red dot would dim even more to be more accurate, but since I use it with my RACI, this is not an issue as the star will appear inside and almost centered in the 5.5° of FOV provided in the finderscope.

It shines a unique red dot that has to 
be aligned with the celestial object. Simple!
This is the cheapest model I have seen in the market and it is good enough to be a supplement of an optical finderscope. Do we really need to spend more money on another model? That is a personal decision, but if you want to save some bucks you can invest in a good optical finderscope (a RACI is what I recommend) and get a cheap pointer finderscope.

It uses a CR2032 Lithium Battery
 easy to get anywhere
You may say that you don’t have a way to attach it to your scope. That is valid excuse so I have a second option. The easiest way to attach to any tube is with a Telrad. With just double sided tape you can have a strong attachment plus the bull’s eye in the Telrad works much better than a simple dot that you have to superimpose on a star.

Thanks for letting me share some pictures and information based on my personal experience. I’m looking forward to your comments and opinions about it.

Clear skies,


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