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Indoor observing


Steve_meg
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Hi all

Decided to have a look out the window around 1:30 this morning and saw Jupiter in open view. So thought I would have a try at pointing my scope at it for a quick look.

Now I could see the moons, however Jupiter was just a multicoloured ball with heat wave effect. Now I'm guessing that not cooling my telescope down and the temp difference from inside and out didn't help, but still thought I'd see it fairly well

So is it possible to view from indoors? And if so any tips?

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As you found out,planets are not great when observed trough windows. The quality of the glass messes with the light and splits it into different colours,so you end up seeing 2-3 different coloured planets at the same time. 

Try looking through an open window. Then you may as well go outside. Make sure any central heating in the room is turned off also.

Observing stars and DSO through windows seems to be ok. Ive never had a problem observing anything apart from planets through a window.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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I observe a lot through the window, better bad conditions then not observing at all ;-)

The main problems are the heat of the building causing air turbulances and window glass not being of optical instrument quality...

Opening the window may help, but also causes more turbulances when it's cold outside. Turning off the radiator and opening all Windows for a while can help.

My first good Jupiter observation was with a 102/1300mm Mak viewing out of a window in a light poluted city (Frankfurt, Germany) at around 130 to 185x (7-21mm TS Zoom and 10mm sp).

Two bands where clearly visible, and after a while even some more details.

Moon and double stars can be stunning even through a window, but on higher magnification the reflections of the glass and low contrast becomes obvious.

What I learned from this is that a small portable telescope such as the heritage and binoculars are very good, and I'd most likely never move to a apartment without balcony ;-)

Still, as I said, if you can observe indoors, it's better then not observing at all... But going outside will increase the details you'll see by so much, I try to force myself stepping outside instead.

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I look at the sun almost exclusively through double glazing via my PST H-alphascope and the images are near perfect because of small aperture, lowish magnification and scope aimed centrally through window eg not heavily skewed off axis.  

The moon and planets are ok through 'good' glass at low powers via small refractors etc - but it's essential all the room windows are closed - never view through an open window ! :police:  

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That might have been my problem. I had the window open as I thought it wouldn't work throw double glazing. It was about 8 degrees ouside and 20+ indoors.

So best to view through a clean window. Also I'm using a 8se, does it matter that it's a fairly large telescope

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You can view indoors (keeping the windows firmly shut) but why would you want to? You are limited to a smaller section of sky and you have to look through glass that isn't of great optical quality (windows). Much better just to take the scope outside if you can ;).

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It would be better to put on warm clothing and go outside, because

to get good seeing conditions the room needs to be cooler, otherwise

you will get more turbulence which gives a rippled effect through the

eyepiece, also you are restricted to one small area of the night sky, 

looking through double glazing will also affect your view, the extra glass

makes focusing near impossible, so get out and enjoy, but stay warm. 

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You can view indoors (keeping the windows firmly shut) but why would you want to? You are limited to a smaller section of sky and you have to look through glass that isn't of great optical quality (windows). Much better just to take the scope outside if you can ;).Contrary to your opinion float glass can be surprising good optically - perhaps you haven't tested it.  A bonus of no cool-down needed for scope stored in the viewing room! Whilst it may be better to observe outside 'properly' sometime the outdoor temperatures are totally uninviting :police:   

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I rested my 8" ota on the back of our sofa in the loft and poked it out the window to see comet Pan-STARRS c/2011 L4.

It was the only way to view it from home, the back garden has to many obstructions for such low latitude observing.

It worked for me!

Cheers

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I'm puzzled as to why so many people say to keep the window shut. This wont allow the room or scope to cool down to the outside temp. Having the window open while observing indoors will allow both to cool to the right temp. However............getting outside is best. I know its not always possible due to circumstances.

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People were suggesting that you observe through the closed window so you don't need to cool the 'scope down, by keeping it at the ambient indoor temperature instead there will be no tube currents!

Cheers

Ahhhhhhhhhh ok that makes sense. However, any central heating should be turned off before hand or else the heat thermals rising up across the window will be crazy. 

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Better observing from within a room then not managing to pack and head out...

I'm inclined to agree.  If the choices are "observe through a window" or "do no observing".  I'd almost certainly observe through the window.  Getting outside is certainly preferable, but I can imagine occasions when fenestral astronomy might be the best option available.

James

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If the object is viewable through a window - I would normally check it out before deciding whether to de-camp outside with the gear.

If it's at the front of the house, I won't stand in the front garden in full view of the passing traffic and drunks.

So it's stay at the window, or wait for a side of house view from the back garden.

Windows are OK for a quick check before selecting a better view point.

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