Why can't I see anything in my telescope when I have the Moon centered in the crosshairs of my finderscope?

Most likely your finderscope needs to be aligned with your main telescope. If you can’t find anything with your telescope, you may need to try aiming the telescope and aligning the finderscope in daylight. The finderscope is the small telescope near the eyepiece holder of your telescope. This is best done when the scope is first set up.  

Take the scope out in the daytime and point the scope down the street towards the top of a telephone pole, street sign, or license plate on a car (or any small target that's easily recognizable and a few hundred yards away). Using your lowest power eyepiece (the one with the highest focal length number printed on it), look into the eyepiece of the main scope and center it on the target.  

Now look through the finderscope and the first thing you'll notice is that the crosshairs are most likely not aimed at the same target. Adjust the 3 small round thumbscrews on sides the finderscope bracket to adjust the direction the finderscope is pointing. Once the crosshairs are on top of the same object you are viewing through the eyepiece, the alignment of the finderscope is done.  

Double-check your alignment by pointing the scope using the finderscope at another randomly chosen building or object and seeing if it is in the main scope. Time spent making sure you can quickly and easily direct your scope in daytime will save effort and frustration under the night sky. 

Now anything you point the finderscope at (such as the Moon) will also appear in your eyepiece. The finderscope should remain in alignment unless the finder is bumped into something, like when you move the scope in and out of the house. If this happens, simply realign it. This can also be done at night using a distant streetlight or a star.  

Updated 12/27/13