my 11 inch schmidt cassegrain

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verona

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My buddy and I bought this telescope on a whim not knowing anything about astronomy. Now were trying to use it. The moon looks great but mars looks like a ball of fire. We've tried different eyepieces but that does nothing. It's like we can't focus on anything farther than the moon. Any suggestions?
 
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CalliArcale

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*drool* You've got an 11" SCT? I am seriously jealous. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /><br /><br />Most likely, it is out of collimation. This is very common in reflector telescopes -- the various mirrors inside need to be precisely aligned or you get all kinds of weird effects. Do you have the manual that came with it? It should include collimation instructions. Otherwise, if you know the make and model, you may be able to search online for information. There are usually screws someplace that you can fiddle with to make fine adjustments to the angle of various mirrors.<br /><br />I used to have a link to a page explaining very well how to do it, but I can't seem to find the bookmark.... <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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billslugg

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I am sorry Sir, but your instrument is damaged beyond repair. Your only salvation would be to send it to me for proper burial. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> </p> </div>
 
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adrenalynn

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Totally agreed with Cali, but I disagree with Bill. [send it to me...]<br /><br />If you can tell us the brand at least (model helps too), we can likely instruct you. If you bought it from a REPUTABLE dealer, they should bend over backwards and jump through hoops to show you how to collimate your scope.<br /><br />Welcome to SDC! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
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bobw

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If Mars looks like it is squirming around, like you are looking at it through the heat ripples over a barbecue, like it is at the bottom of a swimming pool, then that is atmospheric disturbance. <br /><br />That's what it sounds like when you say "ball of fire", to me it implies motion. Nothing to do but wait for the air to settle down. It is frustrating to get a clear night, set up the scope and find everything swimming around. Sometimes I have to look for a long time to get a few good minutes of steady air. <br /><br />Stars will writhe around too. I wouldn't try collimating it unless stuff looks like it is standing still.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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verona

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Thanks everybody for the help. Its new so maybe it needs collimation because of shipping but Mars was close to the horizon and it was right after sundown so it probably was the heat. Thanks again.
 
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