How To Tell If Telescope Needs Collimation

How to Tell If Telescope Needs Collimation?

There are times when you might need to know how to tell if telescope needs collimation. There are several ways to check it, depending on the type of telescope and your observing requirements.

Collimation refers to the process of tightening the surfaces of the telescope’s eyepieces to match the shape of the objective lens. It also involves tightening the focusers on the telescope to correct for the telescope’s movement, so that you can clearly see planets and galaxies.

However, this does not always work well in the case of the larger telescopes. They usually need to be de-collimated before they can be realigned properly.

The Mechanics of Your Telescope

How To Tell If Your Telescope Needs CollimationSometimes, while you are looking at the object you wish to look at, the scope would keep zooming and will require a great deal of concentration to keep the object in view. In this case, you need to know that the telescope has a lot of motion and will require more effort to keep it in view.

Another way to check the scope is by keeping the vehicle aligned with the object you are studying. Once you have aimed the scope at the object and were prepared to make an image, it is now time to check the reticle alignment. This requires that you aim the object at the eyepiece to make sure that the eyepiece is centered with the reticle.

The reticle would be misaligned when you have placed the article a little off-center with the object. In case, the scope does not align with the subject, you can use the circular checkerboard method to check it.

The Understanding of Your Telescope

It is a simple thing to make a big circle, which is much smaller than the objective. You have to use a marker to center the marker on the reticle and then to place it on the circle. You have to verify that the reticle is exactly inside the circle.

If you find that the reticle is off by a little bit or it is not centered with the center of the circle, you should take the scope back to the store. Most retailers do not provide what they call a “phantom” error. While it can happen, it is still better to check it and have it checked by an experienced retail service associate rather than try to do it yourself.

The reticle can also be aligned by observing it using the field of view. It would not be a problem if the eyepiece is adjusted to its highest point. In case, the eyepiece does not come to its highest point, you can take it out and re-adjust it until it is there.

Additional Telescope Aspects to Check


Another thing to check if the scope is indeed collimated is by checking the telescope optics. If you observe the scope and you can see some fuzzy images, you should pay attention to that the telescope has been reconditioned. It would be better to return the scope to the store for proper trimming and cleaning.

It is also important to check the zoom. It would be nice if the zoom is just slightly off-center with the object. However, this is one of the cases where you have to rely on your eye.

You have to pay attention to the aperture size as well. You can check it using a micrometer; if the aperture is less than half the diameter of the eyepiece, it is a sign that the scope is not in good optical equipment.

Information Regarding Telescope Alignment

A good telescope alignment is essential for keeping your telescope performing its best. It allows you to acquire clearer views of the sky and helps keep the telescope from getting in the way.

What does a telescope look like with a good or bad alignment? A good alignment is when the telescope appears as if it is perfectly straight. It is at this point that one can tell that there is still a little bit of work to be done, but it will not be too much to undo.

The problem arises when the alignment of the telescope gets out of whack. When this happens, the telescope becomes unstable and starts to wobble. At this point, it will need some adjustments to return to its normal state.

In Conclusion

Now you know how to tell if telescope needs collimation. Just keep in mind that a scope is a physical object and you need to make sure that it is in perfect condition before you start making observations.


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