Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

sgl_imaging_challenge_banner_30_second_exp_2_winners.thumb.jpg.b5430b40547c40d344fd4493776ab99f.jpg

Astromaster130

How to see jupiter better

Recommended Posts

Hey fellow stargazers,

I've just taken up astronomy recently and am really enjoying it!

I was wondering how everyone gets great pictures of jupiter?!

I have the astromaster130 eq md and can make out the belts but do not believe that my image is clear enough to see the grs! Is this simply because my mirror is too small to acheive these views or am i doing something wrong!

I have tried off axis viewing and moon filters which does bring out more detail but not really any colour, just seems to be mainly white with belts!

Thanks ✨

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Likely a combination.

You will need some more aperture, 130 is not overly big.

Next the image has to be fairly large, saw the GRS a week ago and that was at 120x and it was just discernable after a bit of concentration and arguement over what it was. The scope was 12" dia.

The GRS is big (ish) but it is also a long way away, so it appears tiny, and it looks more like a slight "bump" on the equitorial belt. It does not sit there are as big bright glowing red LED. Also (maybe daft) but was the GRS actually this side of Jupiter when you looked? It has a bad habit of sulking around the other side.

Not sure the specification of your scope, but you need 60x to start with, 80x better and for the GRS (OK tiny bump on the equitorial band) I am guessing you need 100-120x, and you need a good sharp image. This aspect I suspect means not the supplied eyepieces.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've not used a 130mm reflector but have observed the GRS plus shadow transits with a 66mm refractor so I'm sure it is possible with your scope.

First thing, as already mentioned, make sure GRS is visible. There are plenty of apps around which will help, I use JupiterMoons on iOS which links to the Sky & Telescope website (which also has a program on it showing the same info)

Three main things to consider for planetary observing:

Seeing

Cooling

Collimation

Seeing relates to the stability of the atmosphere and depends on a number of things including the position of the Jetstream. Some nights the seeing is so poor that no detail is visible. Other times it comes and goes, so it pays to spend time at the eyepiece to catch these. On rare nights the seeing is excellent.

Cooling is important for high magnification observing. This means putting your scope out for 30 to 45 minutes before using high powers so the mirror has cooled and the tube currents have settled.

Collimation is the alignment of the primary and secondary optics. This is vital for sharp high power views. Plenty of discussion on the forum about it.

Get these things right and you should have some success. Already mentioned, but time at the eyepiece is important. Your brain and eye work together to build the detail over a period of time. A quick look does not often show much.

That said, aperture does help, so at some point I'm sure this will come calling but don't give up on your scope before exploring its capabilities fully.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What Stu said. It is obvious if present in my 120 refractor and 150 Newtonian at 70x or more if you combine the factors above. Experience does help of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply,

Yeah im trying not to expect too much from my scope as its not that big! Ive changed my lenses to the celestron multi coated plossls and do not use the supplied as they are not great quality.

I think i missed the grs the other night but thought to myself would i actually be able too see it!

It is a nice view but just not great detail.

I'll use this scope to get used to the sky a bit more and then upgrade. The scope has a 650mm focal length/f5.

:)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The night I saw it the main aspect of the evening was "Is that it or not?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've not used a 130mm reflector but have observed the GRS plus shadow transits with a 66mm refractor so I'm sure it is possible with your scope.

First thing, as already mentioned, make sure GRS is visible. There are plenty of apps around which will help, I use JupiterMoons on iOS which links to the Sky & Telescope website (which also has a program on it showing the same info)

Three main things to consider for planetary observing:

Seeing

Cooling

Collimation

Seeing relates to the stability of the atmosphere and depends on a number of things including the position of the Jetstream. Some nights the seeing is so poor that no detail is visible. Other times it comes and goes, so it pays to spend time at the eyepiece to catch these. On rare nights the seeing is excellent.

Cooling is important for high magnification observing. This means putting your scope out for 30 to 45 minutes before using high powers so the mirror has cooled and the tube currents have settled.

Collimation is the alignment of the primary and secondary optics. This is vital for sharp high power views. Plenty of discussion on the forum about it.

Get these things right and you should have some success. Already mentioned, but time at the eyepiece is important. Your brain and eye work together to build the detail over a period of time. A quick look does not often show much.

That said, aperture does help, so at some point I'm sure this will come calling but don't give up on your scope before exploring its capabilities fully.

Hey thanks for the advice,

I let it cool down outside for an hour before use and i do check the collimation regularly.

I shall not give up and just hope for better seeing :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...... Experience does help of course.

I think this is quite important. It took me quite a long time before I could see the Great Red Spot clearly. My initial years in the hobby were spent using relatively small aperture scopes but it was when I acquired an 8" dobsonian that I got my 1st clear sighting of this famous feature. Once I had seen it, I then found it relatively easy to see with smaller scopes including my 4" refractor. It's funny how often thats the case with visual astronomy - once you have seen something for the 1st time, you wonder how you missed it before !

It was also about that time that I leaned that I needed to spend quite a bit of time really studying an object to tease out the detail that is there. Even famous features such as the GRS and Saturn's Cassini Division don't just jump out at you.

Your scope and eyepieces will be entirely capable of showing these features and more. Just keep at it :smiley:

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The night I saw it the main aspect of the evening was "Is that it or not?"

Every time i look at jupiter im still amazed and just enjoy seeing it! Ive always wanted to get a telescope and decided that this is the year! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find that I get a lot more detail from stacked photos than I can see with the eye alone.....so the two observation methods aren't really comparable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw the GRS for the first time last night after many tries, the one thing that struck me was how small it is, I know in reality it's very large but through the scope it was not much more than a dot, once you do see it though it's hard to understand why you've never spotted it before, like you I tried a moon filter to see if it helped and it disappeared altogether so that didn't work for me.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this is quite important. It took me quite a long time before I could see the Great Red Spot clearly. My initial years in the hobby were spent using relatively small aperture scopes but it was when I acquired an 8" dobsonian that I got my 1st clear sighting of this famous feature. Once I had seen it, I then found it relatively easy to see with smaller scopes including my 4" refractor. It's funny how often thats the case with visual astronomy - once you have seen something for the 1st time, you wonder how you missed it before !

It was also about that time that I leaned that I needed to spend quite a bit of time really studying an object to tease out the detail that is there. Even famous features such as the GRS and Saturn's Cassini Division don't just jump out at you.

Your scope and eyepieces will be entirely capable of showing these features and more. Just keep at it :smiley:

Thats great to hear, Im not ready to give up yet just wanted to see what you guys would suggest. looking forward to a clear night again now:)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw the GRS for the first time last night after many tries, the one thing that struck me was how small it is, I know in reality it's very large but through the scope it was not much more than a dot, once you do see it though it's hard to understand why you've never spotted it before, like you I tried a moon filter to see if it helped and it disappeared altogether so that didn't work for me.

Yeah i tried a moon filter and a moon and sky glow filter but it did not seem to do much in the way of viewing! I get more detail when i leave the cap on and just take the small cap off in the middle.

Its like its too bright to get detail with the scope fully open :/

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats great to hear, Im not ready to give up yet just wanted to see what you guys would suggest. looking forward to a clear night again now:)

That's it, keep at it, and remember that seeing can make all the difference so try on a number of nights and you will get lucky sooner or later.

It is very clear on good nights in my 10 and 12" scopes at x200 ish

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

envious you have 130mm, only got 100mm of f4 mirror here and doubt it is up to seeing the spot - but who knows. The moons make it easy to get good focus on Jupiter and sitting with the Jupiter view definitely helps

I have just got a couple of filters to play with (they arrived today so yet to try them) and I hope they will help - one issue I find is the brightness of Jupiter so plan to try a variable polariser, blue and green / yellow to see what effect they have

Be interest to hear what others have tried to tweak their view of Jupiter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ok just did a quick 5 minute test with un-cooled scope and un-adapted vision (no time tonight as I have to prep for an earl start tomorrow). The Blue (82A) seemed to make things worse with less detail visible compared to unfiltered view. The Green/Yellow (11) added a trippy colour but no obvious benefit (or dis benefit)

Variable polariser reduced the brightness nicely and did help with the banding - I will persist with this one I think

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have just got a couple of filters to play with (they arrived today so yet to try them) and I hope they will help - one issue I find is the brightness of Jupiter so plan to try a variable polariser, blue and green / yellow to see what effect they have

Thats great, let me know how you get on with them.

I have a filter set also but have yet to use them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ok just did a quick 5 minute test with un-cooled scope and un-adapted vision (no time tonight as I have to prep for an earl start tomorrow). The Blue (82A) seemed to make things worse with less detail visible compared to unfiltered view. The Green/Yellow (11) added a trippy colour but no obvious benefit (or dis benefit)

Variable polariser reduced the brightness nicely and did help with the banding - I will persist with this one I think

Thanks for the info,

Its all cloud here at the moment so fingers crossed for tomorrow night :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One trick is not to use too much magnification on Jupiter. While this makes the disk smaller in the eyepiece, the features on it do stand out more and the contrast variations are clearer. I find 120x-150x is often the best with my 102mm and 120mm refractors and 150x - 180x with my 12" dob. 

I don't use any filters on Jupiter with any of my scopes. I did try the Tele Vue Planetary filter recently though but unlike some owners, I did not find it too effective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw the GRS for the first time last night after many tries, the one thing that struck me was how small it is, I know in reality it's very large but through the scope it was not much more than a dot, once you do see it though it's hard to understand why you've never spotted it before, like you I tried a moon filter to see if it helped and it disappeared altogether so that didn't work for me.

Nice info, I expected it to be obvious, now I think I need to calm down a bit and concentrate!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having spellbound the family with views of the moon last night, cloud descended and obscured most of the night sky. They dutifully trooped back inside. However, more or less due south I noted a fairly bright object and later on, with family in bed, I trained the scope on it and observed a yellowy miniscule 'lentil', larger than a dot, but not quite a full-grown, er, lentil.

Remembering that Jupiter can be visible when not much else is, I thought for a moment it might (just might) be Jupiter, but the cloud  kept obscuring the view. No evident sign of moons, so I'm unsure.

My scope is a relatively basic affair, a 500mm Newtonian with a 114mm aperture and currently the stock EPs (a 20mm and a 4mm). I could focus on the 'micro-lentil' object quite well when the cloud parted and it was fairly bright. Neither EP is anything above the basic. I've read that Jupiter is certainly visible on a 4-inch reflector, but it's going to be small-ish.

Presumably we're talking 'lentil' size? Or should I be thinking of something akin to a one pence piece (happy days!)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi mandopicker101 - have you got Stellarium or Carte du Ciels on your PC?

If you know the time and direction you can set the time on the software to show you the sky, my hunch is that you were looking at Venus but a time and direction of observation would help - all the planets follow the same "elliptical" so time important

Not done much Venus observation, partly from being a novice but also because recently it has usually been to our south in the early evening and that is the street light direction from our house

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GRS is not always easy to see.  It has faded in the past 2 decades, and actually used to be much easier to spot.  In the 70's I was able to see it on good nights in a 50mm refractor.  Those days, it was darker, more ruddy in color, and now it's got much less contrast against the background.

Another factor when observing any planet is it's location.  Viewing planets near the horizon adds a lot more atmosphere between you and your target, so the closer it is to the meridian, the better, as long as seeing and other factors don't change.  Seeing, warm air currents coming up inside the tube from a warm mirror, and changes to the actual shape of the mirror as it cools will all affect the view.  Collimation needs to be touched up often, and must be spot-on for the best planetary views.  Since the GRS is a faint peach color, a filter of the opposite side of the color wheel -- light green as a start -- can sometimes darken the GRS and give you a bit more contrast.  Sometines filters just don't seem to do a thing.

For visual planetary viewing, I have found that sketching what you see will help you see more.  You sometimes need to be patient, and wait for those fleeting moments when the air settles down and the image seems suddenly clear & crisp.  Some nights, those moments are more common, and on nights of poor seeing, they are rare, indeed.

Enjoy your exploration -- it's something you can do for the rest of your life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is software (or maybe it was an interactive site ??) on the net that allows you to put in your location, altitude etc to let you know when the GRS is in transit for your location. Knowing for sure the GRS is on view and a rough orientation so you know exactly where to be focusing on may be all you need to bag it. I can make out the GRS in a 60mm scope simply because I am now familiar with what I am looking for. I'm sure when you see it once you will find it will be easy to spot in your 130mm in future depending on seeing conditions of course.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi mandopicker101 - have you got Stellarium or Carte du Ciels on your PC?

If you know the time and direction you can set the time on the software to show you the sky, my hunch is that you were looking at Venus but a time and direction of observation would help - all the planets follow the same "elliptical" so time important

Not done much Venus observation, partly from being a novice but also because recently it has usually been to our south in the early evening and that is the street light direction from our house

Probably c. 8:30-ish last night, looking S or SSE. I was trying to use Stellarium on my tablet, but the device was 'having a moment'...I'd have taken the laptop out but I was chary of it raining...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.