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crashtestdummy

unrealistic idea of telescope views?

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I also concur with the other sentiments regarding unrealistic expectations. I guess I was somewhat dissapointed by the views I got through my telescope when I first got it myself. However once I had done more research and understood the night sky I came to realise that we are talking unbelievable distances here and what your average amateur can see from their own back garden is nothing short of miraculus.

Your average Joe in the street has come to expect these high def Hubble type images and to that end anything less than that and they think it is rubbish.

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Hello,

First I want to start off saying that I am new to this hobby.  I wanted to get the kids into the hobby as well so for Christmas we got them a Celestron NexStar 6SE.  Last night was the very first time I was able to get it sky aligned after learning I needed a cardboard shim under the finder scope mount so that it would align with the scope.

For the first time last night I was able to look at Uranus and the Andromeda Galaxy.

As a new comer to this hobby I did first do my research (just not well enough).  I googled for images of what could be seen through the 6SE and saw some pretty amazing pictures.  I should have known right then that they were "pictures". 

I found last night that Uranus just looked like another star through the eye piece, Andromeda looked like a pencil eraser smudge, needless to say I was a bit disappointed.

I do have to put blame on both images from Hubble (no I didn't expect those views) and from manufacturers claiming views you will not see.

At first I was quite disappointed and a bit depressed thinking the kids were not going to like what they could see through this scope.  After a while of sitting on the couch thinking about what I saw I have to say I was actually pretty amazed.  I was looking at billions of objects in a cluster 2.5 million light years away.  I question if my expectations too high before seeing what I saw?  I think they were, but I am not one to get let down and give up.

It's time to invest some money in photography gear, I don't think I will need too much since I have the scope now and a Canon 70D which should work just fine.  The investment will come from all of the learning I will have to do through the process of learning astrophotography.

I am hoping the kids will be excited with what they can see on the next clear night, it just might be time to drive to a darker zone than where I am with the street light pollution :)

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Back in the 60s my first little 30x30 table top refractor was able to give me better views of the Moon than I could see unaided. This was in the days when spectacular deep sky photos were mainly from large observatory scopes. We kids knew we would never have access to Mount Palomar so we were happy with what we could see. Nowadays with so many superb astro images from back garden sites I think expectations are higher. 

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The first time I turned a small cheap reflector, probably by accident, on Saturn, also back in the late 60's I was hooked.

Just knowing I'm actually looking at these objects, most of them things the masters (Newton, Hubble, Galileo, you know the masters) viewed makes everything I see special. 

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I think Saturn was the first thing I imaged.  With a cheap Celestron Newt with clockwork tracking in RA only and a webcam.

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2 hours ago, Dave Lloyd said:

Back in the 60s my first little 30x30 table top refractor was able to give me better views of the Moon than I could see unaided. This was in the days when spectacular deep sky photos were mainly from large observatory scopes. We kids knew we would never have access to Mount Palomar so we were happy with what we could see. Nowadays with so many superb astro images from back garden sites I think expectations are higher. 

Agreed, I was the same with my 50mm refractor in the early sixties, this showed me so much at the time and I was hooked despite terrible CA and bad coma.

Advertising is always hype, just take a look at some of the cure-all pilks and potions from yesteryear but now in the consumer age it is used with everything scopes included.

I remember some years ago a newbie joined an astro soc I was in and he threw a lot of money into gear but had no experience except from books. One night he was asking for help after setting up his new goto scope, claiming he couldnt see anything it was suppossed to be pointing at. His scope was spot on in pointing, he had got that right, the rest of us experienced observers could see M57 quite clearly, if not a little faint, we couldnt figure out his problem, then we twigged it eventually, he was expecting to see dso,s as they were in long exposure images. He was sorely dissappointed, we could not beleive someone had shelled out so much on kit without ever looking through even a basic scope at DSO,s.

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Been looking up at the night sky as a very young kid,, got my first astromony book as a  xmas present aged 11, and yes, it was patrick moores, and still have it now

my first look through a telescope was a small frac, cant remember the make or size, but I felt so impressed by being able to split the double in gemini, yes I know, thats very easy now but, it got me hooked, so here I am decades later still looking upwards

Edited by Frank the Troll

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I think the difference between what a camera and our eyes can pick up in low light is astounding. I've found the EEVA/EEA approach to astronomy really helpful.

I agree that seeing what is visible with eyes was disappointing at first, but live stacking my first image made up for it.

I'm happy to compare my images taken with 10 second exposures over 5 minutes to the spectacular research grade images. I can admire the skill and dedication of others and enjoy my own learning. I happy that I've spend a tiny fraction of the time and cost of research grade images, and I can still glimpse what the eye can't see. When it's cloudy I can use the time to stack my images more carefully, and submit them to Astrometry.net to see if there is anything else in the image I didn't spot.

http://nova.astrometry.net/user_images/2617900 

I think after 24 months I get more enthusiastic about astronomy all the time. The good news is that Cannon cameras are really will supported for astrophotography, so you should be able find people with the same gear and see what they have done.

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I've seen dozens of galaxies - all just fuzzy patches, but WOW, I marvel at what it is I'm seeing!  There's detail to see on Jupiter and Saturn- plus moons.  Uranus responds to magnification (unlike nearby stars).  I can get totally absorbed in dense clusters, and get excited to split a tricky double.  There's the challenge of actually locating some of these treasures.  And how fortunate we are to have the Moon with its wealth of constantly changing detail.

So for me, there are no unrealistic expectations because there really is so much beauty and wonder up there!

Doug.

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I have mostly enjoyed wondering about what I am looking at more than enjoying an aesthetically nice view.

However in the early days if reading about observing I read a lot of reports from north America where many observers have clearer skies, better conditions and huge scopes, so my expectations did have to adjust to what is possible from the UK which is not so good.

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I like to tell people that the light of the object your looking at , may have started towards us about the time of the Roman Empire . People who have never been in our hobby have a hard time wrapping their head around that one . The other question always ask is " how powerful is that one ? "

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As a young kid I always wanted some "Sea Monkeys", remember them? They were little bejeweled and crowned aquatic monkeys that lived in a small plastic aquarium....

Reality is that they are just brine shrimp...sounds like a similar type of advertising tactic to me 😀

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On 08/03/2020 at 13:12, Rheemhater said:

the light of the object your looking at , may have started towards us about the time of the Roman Empire .

And if you really want to bend their mind point out that as far as the photon itself is concerned it has existed at the source and at the eye of the beholder simultaneously :)

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10 hours ago, StuartJPP said:

As a young kid I always wanted some "Sea Monkeys", remember them? They were little bejeweled and crowned aquatic monkeys that lived in a small plastic aquarium....

Reality is that they are just brine shrimp...sounds like a similar type of advertising tactic to me 😀

Sea monkeys were way cool

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Posted (edited)
On 16/01/2020 at 16:38, maw lod qan said:

The first time I turned a small cheap reflector, probably by accident, on Saturn, also back in the late 60's I was hooked.

Just knowing I'm actually looking at these objects, most of them things the masters (Newton, Hubble, Galileo, you know the masters) viewed makes everything I see special. 

Saturn will do it every time!

Some years back, a letter sent to Sky & Telescope Magazine by a dad, told the story about his daughter who'd built herself a telescope. She'd invited her friends round to look at Saturn. They were all amazed at what they saw. The dad went into the house and found a Hubble image of Saturn, then showing it to the kids he asked "Which is better, the space telescope image, or the view through the telescope?"  Everyone thought the view through the telescope was better.

This got me wondering why a superbly detailed image held less appeal, and I think its because the view through the telescope is alive, almost tactile; where as the image, no matter how good, is a dead, frozen moment in time, akin to the art of taxidermy. I'm not decrying the skill of the imager or the remarkable results from their long hours of hard work, but to see Jupiter rotate and shadow transits cross its face, along with its mini solar system of moons is far more awe inspiring to me than even the best image. Even our Moon is more spectacular by far through the eyepice, than it ever is through a camera. For me, visual astronomy is vital and alive. For example, looking at M31 initially looks disappointing, but by observing it carefully for 10 or 15 minutes it begins to take on a whole different personality, as even in a 100mm scope its vast extent along with its dark dust lanes, and even its two companion galaxies emblazen themselves on our retina. :icon_cyclops_ani:

 

Edited by mikeDnight
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A good post and thought provoking - thank you.

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But then, I took my wife and two daughters to see Saturn via a 8" reflector and got "oh is that it" and the quickly reverted to the house.

For me the modern world of advertising is all about unrealistic expectations why should astronomy be any different.

Sould we stop you top imagers/processors posting your images as I could never be bother to work that hard at it or even if I did fail.

The modern individual should be fully wise to it and no more expect Hubble images visually than  a certain coffee make me George Collney.

Regards Andrew 

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For many there is no substitute for seeing something with your own eye.

Anyone can look at a fine image taken with a powerful scope but those moments where its you, the scope and the target object, even if it's a little indistinct, are very intimate and precious IMHO and can leave a lasting mark on the mind :smiley:

 

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Posted (edited)
On 30/07/2012 at 11:47, Steve Ward said:

Don't try getting into this blind is my advice to anyone thinking of getting into astronomy , get some advice and avoid disappointment.

Agreed. I would not advise a blind person to get into astronomy 😉

Edited by Raph-in-the-sky
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I think you mean NOT 🤣

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I will always be grateful that I tripped over SGL when I was looking to get a telescope.  There is that great thread about what you might see in the beginners section - which is worth cross posting on this thread I think:

Thus, I went into it with my eyes wide open.  However, it has also been interesting to see what I can take directly with my camera and also afocally with camera at the telescope EP and I know that I could take 'photographically pleasing images' if I spent more time with it and I suspect so could many other disappointed people - a webcam, a portable computer and some free software appear to be a good starting point.  My telescope also came in plain packaging (thanks FLO) which is also quite fair.  The only thing I wish folks had told me was how cold it could all be during the winter when the observing darkness is better in the evening and how much time it was going to take me to take it outside, set it all up and take it all down each time I wanted to use it.  Those aspects I hadn't even considered and to my mind are as valid a consideration as what you might actually see.

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