Hello people! First post and all...
About a month ago I went and bought myself a telescope, my first telescope. Nothing biggie just 110mm, but boy oh boy do you see a lot more with that than with a pair of 50mm binoculars that I used to use. Anyways, I like to think that after a while I've come to be pretty familiar and handy with it, but as always, there's few things that have left me wondering.
First the most important. Whenever I have used it in temperature ranging from -10C to -20C some frost seems to be forming on its surface, on the mount and on a table I've been using (in other word everywhere). This is normal of course and I don't really care about the table or the mount, but I am a bit worried about my optics. One time when observing I started to notice a growing white circlish area on the eyepiece. It was impossible to use the EP after that so headed back inside. I covered all optics before I read from the Internet (skyandtelescope.com) that that should not be done. I quickly uncovered them and found all the optics covered with water. I let them dry and found nothing special in them except on the eyepiece that was covered by frost (it was the only optic that was covered by frost). Everything else seemed as before, but the EP had a few small spots on it. When I've used the telescope again in similar temperatures, no frost has formed on the EP (everywhere else it has) luckily, but after bringing them inside they are soaking wet (effect of bringing cold object into a warm room no doubt). Now this looks really bad and something tells me it's not a very good thing for the optics even though after drying up they seem to be fine. My question is: have I've been slowly killing my new telescope? Should I be doing something to prevent this or protect my optics somehow? What's the situation of the spotted EP? The spots don't seem to bother the observing (I don't think I even see them when I'm looking at the sky). I don't really like the idea of cleaning optics in fear of scratching it. Are these kind of things happening to everyone else too?
The mount I'm using is a equatorial one. I'm puzzled, because I don't seem to be able to turn the telescope towards every location on the sky (after I have aligned it with Polaris, that is). Not without banging it through the mount. It would seem that the only way of doing it, would be to rotate the telescope upside down, but it turns the finder and eyepiece also into impossible location (should it even be used upside down?). Is this normal? What am I missing?
This last one I just don't get. When you are looking at object near the zenith, how do you use the finder without breaking your neck? It's quite hard to use it comfortably at any position actually. After my first night of using the telescope I had heavy shoulder pain for three days! Any helpful tips on using the finder?
Oh and had my first view of Saturn at new years eve: breathtakingly beautiful!