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Saturn too bright in EP


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I found Saturn last night for the first time, but what is the best way to see it , I have a SW130p with 25mm 10mm and 2xbarlow, but Saturn was very bright if even dazzaling in the EP quite hard to see any detail (rings). Any tips would be helpful , thanks Phil.

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I would check some basics before anything else. You need to spend time at the eyepiece to get your eye adjusted to the brightness levels and train your brain to tease out the details. The clarity you see also depends on the atmosphere, taking your time allows you to observe during the moments of clear seeing when the details will come through. Nights vary quite a lot so try over a number of different nights to see how the seeing varies, and try to avoid observing over houses or central heating flues as these really interfere with the detail you can see.

With the scope, it is worth making sure it is cooled properly, if taking it from the house the half an hour should be plenty. Check the collimation too, that makes a big difference for high magnification and seeing the detail.

In theory, the 10mm or the 10mm with Barlow should give best views but my understanding is that the 10mm supplied is not the best. It is probably worth looking at an upgrade to the eyepiece once you get sorted. A 6 or 7mm would probably be a good start. BST explorers and Vixen NPLs get good reviews as first upgrades. The eye relief looks very tight on the NPLs though, although I've not heard any complaints.

Hope that is of some help,

Stu

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Ive a 130p(modded for dslr) and i must say saturn is a beautiful sight even in the bog standard 25mm EP's, when i got the scope i invested in a half desent EP and got rid of the Skywatcher ones, i sometimes use a moon filter on jupiter or a 82a filter, it does bring out more detail on jupiter but saturn has never really been that bright to warrant a filter. keep persisting, when i view i spend a long time just looking, you be surprised what details pop out :) or maybe i imagined it lol

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I realised I have the same scope as you, with the same eyepieces. I haven't had a chance to look at Saturn as yet. As others have said, Jupiter is brighter than Saturn, and I don't find I need a filter for the brightness, but to bring out the features more clearly.

I live in the Cardiff area also. If you take a look at the South Wales group, under the Social Groups section, you will see we are planning a meet this Friday in Blaenavon. If you are having any problems with the scope, I'm sure people wont mind you coming along. They have been very helpful to me since I started just last year, although this weekend is the first time I will meet them in person.

Good luck!

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I find I don't need a filter to bring out the details or lessen the glare, for either the moon, Jupiter or Saturn. This includes viewing them with my 12" scope. I do find I need to allow time for my eye to adjust to picking out the more subtle details and this can take 30 minutes or more before I feel I'm starting to get there.

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Phil,

I can only imagine Saturn would appear too bright in a 130mm scope at low power - i.e. your 25mm eyepice.

This would give a bright and small image hardly big enough to show the rings let alone any detail. Your barlow should be a bit better at x 52.

Your 10mm eyepiece with the barlow giving x 130 really should look very nice. Saturn is also very low down in the sky this year so you have got lots of atmospheric murk to look through which won't help regards seeing lots of detail.

Stick with it! Dave

SW 130p specs below.

  • Magnifications (with optics supplied): x26 & x65
  • Diameter of Primary Mirror: 130mm
  • Telescope Focal Length: 650mm (f/5)
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I dont know how you found Saturn in the first place. I'm just down the road in Llanfairfechan and it's just a cloudy windy mess here.......

Now way im from Llanfairfechan , I was out tue night lovely and clear here , from wed morning onwards it was very windy and a mess .

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I've got the 130P too and enjoying the view on planets. I am always surprised by the brightness of Saturn and love it and don't think it is too bright for detail. I've spent lots of time with Jupiter over the past few months since getting the scope so advocate those posts made here regarding spending time just looking. However I invested in new EPs soon after purchase and believe this has added to my viewing successes. This week I've got a set of colored filters after much procrastination and have yet to try em out in earnest. Hoping tonight to get a view of Jupiter that can inform whether this was a useful buy or not. There are lots of folk that don't prefer a filter on planets but I think I struggle with contrast with the 130P and am hoping the colors will help out. If I can get a decent result I'll post an update here!

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Hi again. I have managed to see Saturn for the first time! In fact, twice over the past two nights. The 130p performed fantastically. I didn't use any filters, and forgot to give them a try to be honest. Without them, I was easily able to make out the planet with north and south equatorial zones, and the rings including the Cassini division. Also, managed to see Titan and Rhea.

This was all with the stock 10mm lens and 2x Barlow. I also bought a 6mm plossl for planets, but I don't get on that well with it. Certainly picks out more detail when the seeing is good, but you have to get so close it feels like your eyeball is scraping the EP.

I hope you get on ok with yours. Let us know if you have any problems, and we'll see what we can do to help.

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. This week I've got a set of colored filters after much procrastination and have yet to try em out in earnest. Hoping tonight to get a view of Jupiter that can inform whether this was a useful buy or not. There are lots of folk that don't prefer a filter on planets but I think I struggle with contrast with the 130P and am hoping the colors will help out. If I can get a decent result I'll post an update here!

I picked up some colour filters for my scope. The blue filter allowed me to see the Great Red Spot for the first time, and I tend to put it on every time now. Let us know what you think

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It was nice and clear last night but the seeing was fair to midlands in my area. I got a good bead on both Jupiter and Saturn but was surprised to see so much shimmer given what looked like a clear one, but heigh ho! I tried 3 filters on both planets: 12 Yellow, 21 Orange, and 80a Blue.

Jupiter was a more difficult image and is due to being near the horizon by the time it is really dark now. However I can see that the 80a is a benefit. Will have to park that one!

i viewed Saturn while it was pretty much due south. Given better seeing it would have been wonderful, but it gave a better image than Jupiter. Despite the bubbling effects of atmosphere the Cassini Division was visible. The 80a had some positive effects on contrast and seemed to make the image more three dimensional. I look forward to a calm night with this one! This is where it becomes subjective: I thought I could detect banding with the 12 & 21 but given conditions I wouldn't swear by that.

Overall, given the relatively low cost, set includes moon filter too, I'm pretty satisfied the filters will be of use for my planetary viewing. I had read the 80a is useful for decreasing brightness when viewing double stars too. Clear Skies!!!

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I can't say I have found planets on the bright side. I don't have any filters yet but I thought they were primarily for improving separation on cloud detail and as such are probably worth looking at.

Arcturus is a bit of a poke in the eye though.

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