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First views from newbie


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Ok just thought I would share some initial thoughts....

2 weeks ago I took delivery of my new SW 127MAK scope. The first night was clear skies, so I set up the scope outside, made a coffee to let the scope 'cool down'.. Now what to do first.. Align the scope to use the GOTO. Got alignment first time!!!. First thing to view was Mars.. OK so I have a small orange ball of light in the view finder, and nothing in the eye piece... turns out the finder and scope are miles out of line.. played with getting this sorted for about the next 20 minutes, finally I have the same view in finder scope and eye piece :).. I was hoping to see my eye piece full of bright orange Mars, but No.. I have a small (5mm) ball of something. OK what next?. Sirius is bright.. off I go to Sirius, and what do I see.. A small white dot in the eye piece. This was NOT what I was hoping to see :). So back indoor for a read on this forum and a coffee to warm up.

Back outside I know that my expectations of a big image of Mars etc is NOT what I am going to get.. continued to 'play' and get used to the scope and kept going back to Mars.. Just for another look....

Day 2 and another clear sky :D. Today was a 'Big' day.. Having set up and aligned the scope I punched in Jupiter and off went the scope, a little playing to line Jupiter in the finder scope, and then over to the eye piece.. Well I can tell you I had the biggest grin on my face ever.. There it was, Jupiter and 4 small white dots for moons, not the full eye piece I had originally hoped for but there it was crystal clear. (I was actually shaking with excitment ;).)

Since then I have now seen Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, M42 and taken some fantastic photo's of the moon but attaching my Nikon directly to the back of the scope...

Now I am hooked................and the skies have gone all cloudy :p

For any other newbie's that are hoping to get a big image of planets etc, DON'T set you expectations too high!!!!

Cheers

Paul

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Hi Ya Hawkeye - nice 1 mate, Mars isn't very good at the best of times, this time around it only reaches about 14 arcseconds - so small in any scope, a polarising filter may help a little to dim the overall "brightness" of the little ball - I use it on my 127 Mak and can see the polar cap and the larger darker regions of Mars (eg syrits major) patience and good seeing is needed - 1 night you can see Mars shimmering and shaking (bad seeing) and struggle to get good focus, another night you have a look and the atmosphere is somewhat steadier (better seeing) and little "breaks" in the seeing allow you to see better detail.

Stick with it and get used to observing at the eyepiece, you'll see subtle changes in Mars

Mars Profiler

Try this site - its called the Mars Profiler - it shows whats visible for a certain date and time - you can also change the orientation to match the view through the scope.

All the best and try it night after night and things will improve. Cheers Paul.

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Nice report and useful for those starting out in the hobby :p

You mention disappointment at Sirius appearing as a "dot" as well. All stars will appear as point points of light whatever scope is used. They are just too far away to show disks unless you have something with the power of the Hubble Space Telescope.

I guess expectations of what can be seen visually through a scope are set by the images we see all over magazines and the web. As you now realise these are very unrepresentative of the visual view.

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Where stars are concerned you may find more enjoyment hunting out some of the double stars like Alberio in Cygnus, Mizar & Alcor in Ursa Major, and the 'Double Double' in Lyra. This latter one took me some time but it's fascinating when you do manage to resolve them with the right eyepiece. Something else to look for if you haven't tried it yet is the Ring nebula in Lyra. It will only be small because if you magnify it too much it becomes too faint to see in the 127mak, but nevertheless it's still peculiar to see this little 'smoke ring.'

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Hi Everyone,

Oh trust me I will be out there at every opportunity I get, I am well and truly hooked.

The main reason for posting my comments was for all the other newbie’s, to explain as you have all said, what you see in the glossy pages of the magazines is not exactly what you will see in your eyepieces..

BUT you will see some fantastic things in miniature, that will bring a smile to your face...

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