Somebody I know just gave me this for next to nothing because they'd had it for years and had no desire to use it. I've always had an interest in astronomy, but I admittedly know next to nothing about it. I would like to change that. So when you talk to me, act as if you're talking to somebody that has absolutely no clue. Actually... it wouldn't be acting, it's the truth.
The specs are 800x90mm. It comes with a 3x Barlow lens, a 1.5x erecting lens, a 6.8-16mm zoom eyepiece, and a 1.25" 20mm eyepiece. It also comes with a disk "Galileo Planetarium 1.8".
I've assembled the telescope and synced the finder scope with the telescope. It's ready to go. I just have a few questions (I'm sure I'll have more later):
- Is this Planetarium program that came with it any good, or is it dated now? Are there some good free programs out there now that are better? If so, what?
- I understand that the erecting lens is to make the images appear right side up. Is this needed, or recommended when looking at objects in space? Will it have an adverse effect (i.e. distort, darken the image).
- This 3x Barlow... I've heard that these things can be rendered irrelevant depending on the power of your telescope, and that you may actually not be able to see anything if you try to get too much power. Does this thing serve any purpose for me? Would I be better off just using the zoom eyepiece at 6.8 or so?
- Should a Barlow and the erector lenses be used at the same time? In the instructions it said to make sure to remove the Barlow lens if you're using it before inserting the erector lens. I don't know if this means you're not supposed to use the two together, or if it just means the erector lens should be inserted first, directly into the focusing tube, then you can put the Barlow in after that.
And if anybody has any other general advice for me, or about my particular telescope, I'd be grateful as well. And remember, you are talking to a complete noob here, so try to put things into Lehman's terms if you could.
Thanks in advance