only see black through telescope

Only See Black Through Telescope [Causes & Solutions]

The first stargazing experience is always memorable. But what if you put your eyes on the lens and everything is pitch black?

Surely not the image you were looking for we suppose. So, the first thing to come to mind is if you’re not operating it right.

What could be the reason why I only see black through telescope?

The first reason why you may see black through your telescope is because the focusing hasn’t been done right. Having a central obstruction can also be a reason. It mostly happens in telescopes with a secondary mirror. Incorrect eye relief can also be the cause.

Need some oriented explanations of it? Then keep reading our blog post till the end. We’re positive that you’ll find the answer you were looking for.

So, let’s dive in!

Reasons Why You May See Black Through Telescope

Telescopes are fancy devices to own. Unlike any regular devices, telescopes are pretty complex to understand. You won’t know how to use it unless you learn it first.

If you’re a new astronomer learning to use a telescope will take a little time. Also a few rounds of practice. A common question to come across is why do I only see black through my telescope?

This question mostly comes from beginners. Now here we’ll tell you a few things that you may have been doing wrong. So keep reading until the end.

New Telescope?

The telescope you’re using is brand new? The reason we’re asking this is because many people have some issues with new telescopes. So if it’s brand new this may not be so uncommon.

Telescopes from different brands may have different ways of use. Also if you’re trying a new model that can also be a reason.

Maybe the usual process that your old telescope worked on doesn’t work on this? So, how to look through a telescope?

The first thing you should do is to read the user manual. Read through all of the sections. If you can’t understand something you can just seek help from the manufacturers.

They’ll show you how to use it. If that’s not an option you may need someone who’s more knowledgeable on telescopes.

Focusing Of The Telescope

Source: pxhere

If you’re seeing black through your telescope, chances are high that it’s not focused properly. It’s a pretty common issue if you’re new to astronomy. If not focused right you may even see eye reflection on a telescope.

At first, everyone faces trouble in focusing an object through a telescope. To overcome it you’d need to familiarize yourself with your telescope with a little practice. So How to focus a telescope?

Experts suggest using the telescope in daylight first. You need to decide on an object that’s a few hundred yards away from home. Then try to align the object to the center of your eyepiece. 

It’ll be an easier start for you. Move the telescope tube around until you successfully align it on the object. This way you’ll be able to practice focusing your telescope in the right position. 

You’ll also learn how the alignment of the telescope works. This helps immensely when you try to find stars in the night sky. You can practice it on astronomy or birdwatching binoculars as well.

Start with the lowest power eyepiece that you have. Most telescopes come with a 10mm and 25mm eyepiece. For the beginning, it would be better for you to start with the 25mm eyepiece.

Since it’s of less magnification power, it would be of good practice. It’ll help you get comfortable with an operational standpoint. 

Once you successfully align it on the object, use the focuser to sharpen the image. The focuser is the drawtube that has a dial on it. You can move it back and forth until you get a clear image of the object.

Now try the same with a 10mm eyepiece this time. Of course, practice it in the daytime. It’ll be much harder if you do this at night time right from the beginning.

If you want, you can always use a telescope focuser.  

Central Obstruction

There’s something called “central obstruction” in telescopes. In many telescopes, you’d find secondary mirrors just in the middle of the light path. 

Whether it’s a secondary mirror reflecting telescope or secondary mirror reflector telescope they’ve different conditions. With these types of telescopes, you may see a black obstruction in the center.

Central Obstruction-

Source: freestarcharts

Under a certain level of magnification and brightness, this central obstruction shows up. It’s the small-sized secondary mirror inside that creates this obstruction. 

You can notice it better in the daytime. Specifically when your iris dilates less than a certain point. The obstruction shows up on the front of the telescope. So this may be the reason why your telescope only shows black

Another cause could be you forgot to remove the lens cap. Although it sounds very silly, many rookies do make this mistake. But there’s nothing wrong with that.

What’s important is that you learned something new. And now you know what the problem is.

Eye Relief 

Eye relief could be another reason why your telescope only shows black. The eyepieces we use on the telescope have different eye relief.

It’s the minimum distance that you need to put between the eyes and the lens. If you’re too close to the lens or too far away this may happen. 

When your eyes are slightly off the center it may show partial blackness. It may look like a black spot in telescope eyepiece. So, it’s important to know the right distance for eye relief. This too comes with practice.

Some eyepieces have a feature called extending rubber eyecups. It helps to find out the right eye relief. But if you wear glasses it won’t be of much help.

Here’s our recommendation for such extending rubber eye guards.

So practice figuring out the right distance in the daylight. It’ll be easier to judge and locate objects. Also, you’d find the best position to see images through your telescope.

If these aren’t the issue you’re facing trouble with, maybe your telescope needs collimation. In that case, you’d need to have a basic idea of telescope collimation.


We’ve added some questions and answers you may come across while dealing with your telescope. Hope this helps.

Why can’t I see planets through my telescope?

Planets look so tiny from our telescopes that sometimes you’ll fail to find them. Because they are too far away to fill a noteworthy portion of your FOV. That’s the case even if you’re focusing it right and using a high magnification eyepiece. The best shot is to use powerful eyepieces.

Why do I see a cross in my telescope?

You’re seeing a cross because the focus isn’t in the right position. Also, your telescope has a secondary mirror in it. It is the cross you’re seeing also the supporting vanes of it. Another reason could be you’re watching through the finder scope. Because it has crosshairs.

Why do I see Blurry images in my telescope?

If you see the images come out blurry, you’re probably using too much magnification. Using magnification power above 200x makes the images blurry under certain situations. It’s related to the atmospheric condition. Because the same magnification may have a different outcome in summer or wintertime.


So have you figured out why you only see black through telescope? We hope you did. We are optimistic that our provided information will be of use to you.

If this enhances your stargazing experience then we’ll feel successful. So good luck with your stargazing projects. See you next time!

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