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I recently got my first telescope, a Bushnell reflector telescope. I spent a good while setting up my alignment. And I can see the moon perfectly! I went to look at another, Mars. I got it aligned in my finderscope. And i go to focus to see. And i see....basically the mirror in my scope with the lines. Its clearly getting light from the star....but i can't get it to focus on the star at all! Help!!enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ If you have the focus set from looking at the Moon, you should not need to change it when looking at another object (unless you change eyepieces). What does Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars look like when you try this? $\endgroup$ – JohnHoltz Jul 22 '18 at 13:32
  • $\begingroup$ It looks like the photo i attached. No matter my attempts at focusing $\endgroup$ – Brittato Jul 24 '18 at 22:18
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It looks to me like you have two problems.

  1. You need to adjust the focus. All telescopes come with a knob that alters the focus. This is pretty easy.

  2. the shadow you see is from the secondary mirror, and it is off centre. I don't know what the word for this is (off-collimation?), but I had it the other night and I fixed it by wiggling the secondary mirror and making sure it was flush with the hole it's supposed to fit in.

Try using the focus and if it's still bad, take another shot and post it here and maybe someone with more experience than me can help.

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  • $\begingroup$ I tried focusing, and it didnt fix anything. I will try again tonight! $\endgroup$ – Brittato Jul 22 '18 at 14:19
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It's very disappointing that you have received only one reply to this so far.

But @Ingolifs is correct, the image is clearly out of focus since you can see the spider.

And as he has indicated, it also clearly needs to be collimated. The mirrors are very badly out of alignment. Just follow the manual. If you're part of a club, most of the members can show you how to do it. You probably didn't get a collimation cap with your 'scope so you'll have to go back to the store and get one. Or you can make one. Or, if you're part of a club, there will probably be members who have uber-cool collimation tools to help you out.

The first time you do it by yourself you'll want to have good, daytime-level light.

I'm guessing at the lines: they're probably a product of the poor alignment and may just go away after proper collimation. They may be an indication that your primary is being "pinched". There may be something twisting or squeezing your mirror. Make sure it's not mounted too tightly.

Hope this helps. Good luck with it.

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