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By now I have used 3 different telescopes and a pair of binoculars and no matter what I try to look at at night, whether it be stars, planets, drones, the moon or whatever, everything looks the same. Like a round ball with a squiggly river going thru it, a big black hole in the top left hand corner with a big blob moving around inside of it. And then a few craters scattered about. But why does it all look that way even thru different pieces of equipment and in different directions.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Astronomy SE! Well stars and planets don't actually look like that, and since you've used several different optical systems, the only other possibilities I can think of is that 1) you've never managed to focus any of them properly, and/or 2) there's something wrong with your eyes. Please add some more information; a) do you normally wear glasses? b) are you wearing them when you observe? c) do you observe with someone else? If so, have you looked immediately after them when they say an object is in focus? (I have a hunch bad focusing may explain this) $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 12:46
  • $\begingroup$ What maters most in viewing through a telescope is brightness. Since the planets and the moon are pretty bright, they will tend to look the same through any telescope. If you look at deep sky objects, from a dark site, you should notice quite a difference based on the aperture of the telescope. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 18:58
  • $\begingroup$ No i do not wear glasses. And I was always pretty sure that i was focused in all the way. I will try to take a picture of what i see thru my telescope and post it to show you guys. I got to see the moon pretty good last night, but everything else i try to look at still all looks the same. At first i thought that there may be a crack in my lens or something, but there's not. Even drones at night look the same. I can see the red and green flashing lights, but they look like they're disguised as those same "planets" i've described before.. $\endgroup$
    – Carina
    Commented Dec 29, 2022 at 14:15
  • $\begingroup$ Do you see these aberrations with one eye or both? $\endgroup$
    – Woody
    Commented Nov 7, 2023 at 15:54
  • $\begingroup$ What you describe sounds like what you see when not focused. You say you were "focused in all the way" - this is focused in too much. Or maybe you were focused out all the way, and it's not enough, and you need to add an extender tube between the focuser and the eyepiece. $\endgroup$
    – Aaron F
    Commented Nov 8, 2023 at 18:25

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It may be the case that your binoculars are out of focus. Not sure what type of binoculars you have, but there may be a rotating ring on the eyepieces, or a rotating knob in the middle of the binoculars just past the eyepieces - by rotating this ring/knob, it should adjust the focus. Experiment with it and see if that gives a better focus. It also helps to hold the binoculars stable - you may want to try resting your elbows on some surface and hold it up to try and get the focus right. :)

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Also, if you press your eye(s) off-center to the eyepiece(s), things won't be focused, not to mention the possibility of distorting your own eyeballs and achieving weird effects.

That is, make sure your eyes are centered on the eyepiece! If the width between eyepieces on binoculars is not right for you, one or the other of your eyes will see this effect.

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