Hi guys. Long time lurker, first time poster.
I just got a telescope today, one I purchased off eBay (please, withhold derisive laughter).
Anyway, I knew going in that this was gonna be a rather cheap knockoff; indeed, it's a "made in China" generic-brand Newtonian. No worries. (And no reason for anyone here to get jealous. K.)
So, this being my first foray into stargazing (I'm a LONG way from claiming to do "astronomy") since junior high, I come to you in humble supplication. This gizmo is a 76mm-aperture Newtonian, nothing to get too excited about, but I'm told it requires something called "collimation." I checked out a book at the library that details the process, and it seems deceptively simple. Is this something a clumsy layman such as myself can do? Am I running the risk of destroying what bargain-basement optics I do possess? What are the pitfalls to avoid? How can I keep from breaking my new toy the day it arrived?
Second, and if anyone has time, do you all have any suggestions as to what I oughta gaze at through my 76/700 Newt? I want to show the moon and possibly Jupiter to my friend's kids later tonight. Is there anything else dazzlingly cool that a rookie can stumble upon in that big sky?
Thanks in advance for all your help. I love you all.