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Green Laser use with Telescopes

SKYFINDER

Caution : DO NOT POINT A LASER INTO THE SKY AROUND AIRCRAFT : YOU COULD BE ARRESTED FOR DOING SO

The field of view of an astronomical telescope covers a tiny portion of the sky; typically a one degree or smaller circle. This makes it almost impossible to aim a telescope by looking through the eyepiece. Virtually all telescopes include some type of aiming device, popularly known as a finder. When a green laser pointer is mounted on an astronomical telescope and adjusted so that the beam direction coincides with the telescope''s aim, it serves as an excellent finder, having many advantages over conventional finders. Some of the advantages are unique. Most importantly, it frees the user from having to line up their eye with the finder device. This sometimes eliminates the necessity of having to perform bodily contortions, having to lie on the ground, or having to climb a ladder to look through the finder. The observer just places the end of the beam at the location they want to observe.

 

When a telescope is aimed at an object that''s invisible to the naked eye, the SkyFinder allows more accurate aiming than unity-power finders such as Telrad, QuickFinder, red dot, or gunsight types. The reason is that with a SkyFinder you are standing or sitting straight up with both eyes open as you look at the sky. From this vantage your ability to point the beam at the object''s remembered location, judged by it''s relationship to nearby stars, is unaffected by the distorting influence of tipping your head and viewing with one eye. It is like the ability to straighten a picture on the wall more accurately when you are facing it squarely, then with your head tipped

 

I am producing a variety of brackets for mounting a SkyPointer to a telescope for use as a finder. They all allow adjustment of the beam direction via six nylon adjustment screws : three in front, and three in back. The SkyFinder aiming adjustment can be perfected by viewing the beam through the telescope eyepiece. You can see the beam enter at the edge of the field, and you adjust the aiming screws so that the beam ends at the center of the field.

When a group of astronomers are observing together, this ability to see the laser beam through a telescope or optical finder creates another unique use of the SkyFinder : if an observer with a SkyFinder is viewing an interesting object, everyone in the group can locate the object for simultaneous viewing by aiming their telescopes at the end of the beam. If the SkyFinder is mounted on a go-to telescope, everyone in the group can share the advantage of the go-to scope''s automated object locationg ability.
Courtesy Of Howie Glatter USA