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I just got a Celestron 8 and I'm a complete rookie: set up scope early so it would acclimate to the temperature. No difficulty locating Mars, but I see a dark planet with its circumference slightly illuminated and the night sky around it is bright? (scope in good dark location and nice dark sky) No amount of fine tuning makes a difference. What am I doing wrong?

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    $\begingroup$ This sounds like something is very wrong. Perhaps what you think is "mars" is the shadow of the secondary mirror and you are very out of focus. I suggest you "practice" during the day. Mars should appear as a very small disc perhaps with some surface features visible (but Mars is small and hard!) $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Nov 8, 2020 at 16:17
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    $\begingroup$ Can you take an image so we can see what you are seeing. As James pointed out, there must be something wrong with the setup you have. $\endgroup$
    – Rory Alsop
    Nov 8, 2020 at 16:42
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    $\begingroup$ See answers to Black dot visible when looking into the telescope and Mirror telescope: blocked sight and Struggling to use my new telescope and Astromaster Celestron 130 EQ The middle two have photos for comparison, because they are Newtonian telescopes you can also see the secondary mirror's spider mount in the shadows. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Nov 8, 2020 at 21:36
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    $\begingroup$ thanks very much, will do bit of daytime practice $\endgroup$ Nov 8, 2020 at 21:39
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    $\begingroup$ Great, but please be careful to avoid pointing anywhere near the Sun! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Nov 9, 2020 at 2:45

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Sounds like you are very out of focus. Dial the focuser all the way out towards you. The little knob on the right.

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    $\begingroup$ thanks+++, that worked , saw mars tonite. $\endgroup$ Nov 9, 2020 at 0:53
  • $\begingroup$ @kilroryOConnor That's great news, congratulations! Btw you can consider clicking the "accept" check mark next to the answer This will give you a small reputation (points) bump and one to this answer's author as well, and also indicate to future readers that this question has been answered. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Nov 9, 2020 at 2:44
  • $\begingroup$ Excellent. Welcome to astronomy and clear skies! $\endgroup$ Nov 10, 2020 at 3:01

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