Finally been breaking out the telescope to get a better look at things recently, and have been attempting to take advantage of Mars's and Venus's positions in the sky, but I haven't been able to see them any better than pin points of light, even after focusing on them.
I'm using a Celestron Starsense Explorer LT 114AZ Newtonian Reflector, aperture of 114mm, focal length of 1000mm, and focal ratio of f/9. The lenses I've been using are the 25mm and 10mm along with the 2x Barlow Lense that comes with it.
Taking the time to research during the day where the planets will be at, and how close they will be to the associating constellations so that I'm not entirely relying on the StarSense app, I'm extremely confident I found them. I'm currently in Kansas and typically check the sky after 9 pm to make sure it's dark enough. I'm just at a total loss as to why I'm not seeing planets, and am instead seeing what looks like to be stars. Checking the app, finding Gemini, Taurus, and Orion, then aligning my scope finder a few times on the horizon and on objects far away to make sure I have the right spot leads me to believe I have found the correct object. I have no idea what else I could do to improve the sight.
I also am always taking out on my back patio and am out there more than an hour or so.
Any pieces of ideas, or thoughts would be welcome. I've only been doing this off and on for about a year. Let me know if there is any further information that I can give, that I neglected on.