What Does A Finderscope Do On A Telescope?

A finderscope is an aiming accessory that is used in astronomy. It comes in the form of a small optical tube that sits parallel to the body of the main telescope.

Users are provided with a wide field of view which makes it easier to locate objects that can then be viewed in more detail through the main telescope. 

Finderscopes also have a very low magnification whilst others will not have any magnification at all.

Furthermore, you will also find that certain finderscopes have impressive light-gathering qualities. This will make faint objects much more detailed and clear to see. 

What Does A Finderscope Do On A Telescope?

It is important to make sure that your finderscope is correctly aligned and positioned along the same line of sight as the main telescope for it to be effective. A finderscope is still a necessary addition to manual and basic telescopes. 

If you are going to be using this accessory during the daytime, you must make sure that you use specially designed filters that will protect your eyes from potential damage caused by exposure to sunlight. 

Ultimately, a finderscope makes it possible to view objects that would not be visible if you were to simply look straight through the lens of your telescope. This device focuses on the same section of the sky but enhances the view.

There are two different types of finderscopes available; an optical tube finderscope and a reflex sight finderscope.

The first is a refractor telescope with a magnification between 6X and 9X. Some optical tube finderscopes will be designed with a 45 degree viewing eyepiece, whilst others will only provide you with a straight view. 

The latter is often referred to as a red dot finder. A tool of this kind does not have any magnification power and will instead project a red dot into the sky which can then be used to align and locate an object. This type of finderscope is the easiest to use.

Try not to get confused between a finderscope and a guide scope as you will often find that both terms are used interchangeably, although there are big differences between both types. Unlike a finderscope, a guide scope is an automated device that functions via a camera and a computer. 

Do You Need A Finderscope On A Telescope?

Many people would agree that a finderscope is an extremely useful astronomical resource.

If you are new to the world of astronomy and in the process of investing in a telescope for the first time, you may currently be curious as to what accessories are necessary and what ones are not.

Although it is possible to use a telescope without a finderscope, this device is going to make it much easier to locate celestial objects. 

Typically, a finderscope will have a smaller magnification than a standard telescope. As such, you will benefit from a larger field of view. This will make it much easier to locate an object and view it in greater detail.

Some telescopes have crosshairs and this refers to a series of lines within an optical piece. The purpose of a crosshair is to enhance the focus of the lens and improve the accuracy of the telescope when pointing it in the direction of the target. 

Although you will still be able to see some planets without any telescopic aids, many people would likely find it rather difficult to locate certain celestial objects simply by looking through the lens of the main telescope.

Furthermore, when using a telescope alone to view objects in the sky, you will soon discover that they appear so small that you have to move the telescope around quite a lot to find anything of interest.

This can be rather disorientating for the individual who is trying to use the telescope. 

As we have previously mentioned, there are different types of finderscopes available, some of which will be easier to use than others. 

For this reason, you may find that there is a particular model available which is best suited for your needs and expertise and more worthy of your purchase. 

How Do You Align Finderscope With A Telescope?

When you order a telescope online, it will not come with the finderscope already attached. As such, you will be responsible for aligning it during the initial stages of setting it up.

When a finderscope is properly installed, it will replicate the image that you see through your main telescope except it will be clearer.

If you are going to disassemble your telescope for storage purposes in between uses you will need to familiarize yourself with this process because you are going to be doing it regularly. 

Aligning a finderscope to your telescope is a fairly straightforward task and can be done by following a few simple steps.

First, you will need to attach the finderscope to your telescope. Some telescopes will have an allocated place for you to fix the finderscope, but others will require a mount. 

It is recommended that you set your telescope up during the day because trying to align it at night is going to be rather difficult as there aren’t suitable objects to focus on. 

Focus your telescope on a prominent object that is a tidy distance away, then select the eyepiece with the lowest magnification. 

Now that your telescope is pointing at the object in the distance, you can center the finderscope. You must make sure that you do not move the telescope as you do this because this will affect the accuracy. Often, your finderscope will display an upside-down view and this is normal. 

Once you have centered the object and locked the finderscope into place, next you will need to check that both lenses are properly aligned and accurate.

Look into the lens of your main telescope, if you have successfully aligned it you should now be looking at the same position. If movement has occurred, you will simply need to look through the eyepiece and recenter the object. 

Gordon Watts
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