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Bibliovegan

Evening from the West Country

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Hi

Tonight was the first night I saw Saturn through a telescope. Wow - it's what I've been waiting for. Thankfully I had already realised I wasn't going to get Hubble style images, or colour, so for me I was just wondering how small it would be. :) Yes it was small, but it was very definitely distinguishable. I'm not sure I'd ever be able to make out the detail on the rings, though.

I've got a go-to scope (Celestron NexStar 102 SLT) and once I got it aligned properly it was great - though I think I'm going to be challenged when it takes me to e.g. M65 and I don't know how to focus to see it (or whether I'm being too ambitious from a town - even one in Wiltshire).

Anyone got any recommendations for specific sites I ought to be able to see with a 102mm f/5 - with either a 25mm or 9mm lens.

Would a Barlow on the 9mm make Saturn significantly bigger? I'm pretty sure it wouldn't take me above the maximum?

Actually, maybe these questions are for a different part of the forum, but hello anyway.

S

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Hi - welcome to SGL !

I'm from the SW as well - North Somerset in fact.

Newcomers to the hobby are often surprised how small the planets appear through a scope.

With your 102mm F/5 I reckon 120x - 140x would be the maximum useful magnification (under the best conditions) which would need around a 4mm eyepiece so the 9mm plus the 2x barlow would be worth trying.

The F/5 achromat refractors are not the strongest high power planetary scopes though so don't expect crystal sharp images and lots of detail.

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Thanks John, I might consider that then though I'm not rushing into anything. I must admit I'm not expecting miracles, just trying to work out what the best I might achieve will be without spending too much on accessories - though I'm sure that will come in time!

One bonus: I didn't get the usual box of clouds with this one. Not bad for a first night :)

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Hi Biblio and welcome to SGL :)

Try Alberio (double star), Plieades (open cluster), Andromeda (galaxy) with the 25mm eyepiece. You may have to wait for some of those to come round. The Beehive (open cluster) is good, also Bodes and Cigar (galaxies) for a couple of current challenges, and M3 or M13 (globular clusters). You can find them all in Stellarium - good beginners challenges. :eek:

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Thanks Brantuk! I think my mistake was trying to use too high powered an eyepiece (9mm when probably the 25mm would have been better for these), and a garden where next door's security light came on!

Am praying for clear skies when I go to the coast soon - and not for sunbathing, but for skywatching :)

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Hi and welcome to the forum.

There's plenty of observing groups in your neck of the wood be it with Wiltshire Astro, Salisbury Plane group and Bath Observing group, so you won't get lonely observing the skies! :):D

Continued clear skies for now and on the coast.

James

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Hi Bibliovegan, Welcome to SGL :)

A good book for getting started is Turn Left at Orion. Full of handy advice for the novice, a set of seasonal targets suitable for small 'scopes and directions on how to find them.

Edited by david o

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Hi, BV, and welcome to the forum.

Focussing: If you focus on a bright object (star) then you should not have to alter the focus when you slew to a faint object (M65). Focus can be helped using a simple 'Y-mask' - three strips of card (wire even) formed into a 'Y' and laid across the front of the scope. This produces diffraction lines through a star as an X, with a further line cutting across it. When this line exactly bisects the X you are in focus. A lot easier than it sounds and really good focus can be achieved.

HTH

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Welcome Biblio, enjoy the Lounge.

JohnH.

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Hi and welcome

I had my first night with my own 'scope last night and loved finding Saturn and one of it's moons too (a tiny pin ***** of light about 5 or 6 Saturn diameters away).

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Hi, welcome to SGL :D

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Thanks for your welcome, and for the tips. I'm hoping that it will stay reasonably cloud free this evening, but I'm not convinced! I will certainly try more M objects now I know how to stay in focus!

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Hi,

Welcome to SGL.

Hope you have a good night to-night and many more after.

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