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Gaz15

Is this the best that I should see?

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I am somewhat of a novice, havent been able to get my scope out much since I bought it.

I was out las tnight wit hmy Tal-1 and tried to view Mars. Lined up, 25mm eyepiece, zoomed in to the 10mm, then then added the barlow x3.

Thing is my view of mars was like a cream dot about 2mm across the eyepiece.

I know that the scope is relatively small, and for look at the moon it can give great detail, looking at Plaides (spelling?) afterwards was incredible, all the others stars around it, breathtaking!,

but Mars disappointed!

Is this what I should expect from my Tal or is there something I am doing wrong with it? :D

Thanks for letting me rant

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In my experience, unless you use filters, Mars generally looks like a bright blob. I cant really see any detail without cutting the brightness down with filters.

Cheers

Paul

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Hi Gaz

There have been a number of threads on this recently, like this one http://stargazerslounge.com/index.php/topic,20767.0.html and most agree that although Mars is in opposition, and should be really good to see, it seems just a white disc and features seem to be lost, especially with smaller telescopes.

I have got a Mak 127 and you seem to see the features one by one rather than all together. So one night I will get a ghost of a feature on one side and on another night the ghost of a feature at the pole. Imagers, of course, manage to stick them all together to make us envious.

One thing though, the best view I have had of Mars so far was when there were clouds scudding in all over the place. I actually saw two or three features when Mars was obscured by light cloud moving in front of it, so it is worth persevering when the clouds come whizzing in - it could be the best viewing time.

AG

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Mars is a bit of a dissapointment really,it is a small planet,i use a yellow filter and i can see dark surface detail and a bit of the polar regions but you have to be patient for that really still moment when the atmosphere doesn't wobble and distort,only then will you get a reasonable view of the planet,also be careful not to overdo the magnification,50x mag/inch of aperature is the given limit so if you go above it you wont get it to get a sharp fell focused image,sometimes less is better and you can only find out what works best by "mucking around" with different magnifications to find what suits your particular scope/eyes the best.

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Gaz, your TAL1 should be fine for Mars. It has a longish focal length and enough aperture to see plenty BUT as many people have said already, Mars isn't a great object atm and you really need the seeing conditions to be superb just to get some faint detail. Wait for Saturn!

Just out of interest, have you collimated your scope recently? You'll have a much better chance of seeing something if it is.

Tony..

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Mars is a difficult object. Although it's in opposition right now (meaning its closest approach to Earth this year) it's not very close to Earth in our mutual orbits. Come back to it when you have more practice observing and you'll tease more detail out of the view with your improved skills.

Saturn will be visible mid-evening in about a month. You'll never forget your first view of Saturn. Here is an article on finding it: http://ottawa.rasc.ca/features/saturnFeb2008/index.html

For now, I would suggest M42, the Orion Nebula, as an easy to find object that would be spectacular in that scope with the 25mm eyepiece and no barlow. Find Orion (hunter, easily recognized by the 3-star belt), then find his sword (the 3 stars hanging vertically below his belt). Point your scope at the middle star of the sword. Be surprised: http://www.themcdonalds.net/richard/astro/find/m42.shtml

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Hello Gaz15,

I have been observing Mars with my C9.25 for around two months and only twice have I seen detail on the surface.

Last night - around 10PM was one of the occasions - I was actually viewing through light cloud with around 50% light reduction compared to normal.

The Martian disk had a sharp edge, with lots of dark markings on the surface and I could make out the polar cap - the clouds helped without a doubt.

Later at 4AM I had my first view of Saturn in many years and it was mighty impressive, despite loosing some collimation since viewing Mars 6 hours earlier !!!

I could clearly make our Saturn's moons and an equatorial belt on it's surface. Could not see the Cassini division but will try again after collimation.

I'm sure your scope is OK as long as it is collimated and cooled down properly - this can take a good hour.

Even when the atmosphere has good quality the maximum useful magnification of your scope is probably around x200 - your 10mm plus x3 barlow gave a magnification of x244.

If you use a x2 barlow with your 10mm that would give a more pleasing view (smaller but sharper) at x160.

All the best.

D25

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Thanks for all this advice guys.

Just out of interest, have you collimated your scope recently? You'll have a much better chance of seeing something if it is.

Tony..

Tony, I bought the scope second hand in the summer, the guy I bought it off handed used it in quite a while so I presume it hadn't been done for some time. As a newbie I didn't know how, and was happy with the image I was getting, mostly the moon, when I took it out. Mars was the first object that I really looked for hence the question.

Yesterday I looked at the manual regarding collmination and yes it is off a far bit. Also the primary mirror is very dusty, as is the optical tube and the diagonal mirror has a fingerprint on it.

So bravely (or naively) I have removed them, cleaned out the tube, and washed both mirrors. Not a very hard job when I followed a post on here to be honest.

Then tried collminating the diagonal mirror and now one of the adjusting screws for it snapped its head, so I have a post in the Wanted section to see if anybody knows where I can buy one, or packet, of these.

Hopefully this is possible, must check the bay now, and the images will be much better....

.. couldn't really be any worse.

But to everyone that gave me some advice on this, again thank you you have give me some encouragement.

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