Astronomy Additions 

My telescope is a Celestar 8 by Celestron.  The type of design is called a Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope or an SCT for short.  This variation of scope "folds" the incoming light so that it travels the length of the tube 3 times before exiting out the eyepiece.  This allows the telescope to be shorter than other designs of the same aperature and makes them more portable.  Here is a diagram of how the telescope "folds" the light.

SCT Diagram.

When searching for dim objects I've occasionally run out of travel on my C8 DEC adjustment knob.  This usually means that I have to center the DEC knob, manually "bump" the scope up or down, and then reacquire the object I was looking for.  This was the cause of some frustration until I came up with a low-tech fix.  I taped a pointer (a long nail that I bent at a right angle) to the lever that is attached to dec screw.  Then I measured the travel and created a grid of the same length (5 cm) on a
piece of graph paper.  I taped this under the nail and viola, instant indicator.  Now I recenter my DEC knob whenever I'm going to move from object to object and I never hit the end of travel.  Best of all it was quick and easy to do.  Here is a picture to show you what I did.
Declination pointer.

I received an email from Andre Lefranc from France.  He has a way to level your telescope using parts from the local hardware store.  Take a look here if you are interested.

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