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Tuvix

Maksutov 127/1500

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I have a Sky-Watcher Maksutov telescope 127/1500. It cam with two Sky-Watcher eyepieces, one SUPER 25 mm, and one SUPER 10 mm. In the meantime I bought a GSO 2x Barlow Lens and a Sky-Watcher Super Plossl 32 mm. Also I have one Castell UHC Deep Sky Filter. Also I have a red dot finder, it came with the telescope.

So my question is if you could give me any advice how to use my telescope. What are the best eyepieces I can/should use with my telescope, and also what filters should I buy. Any help would be great. :)

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The advice given to new telescope owners is to try the eye pieces you already have and learn how to use your new scope with them. Your 25 mm eye piece will give to a magnification of 60x and is a very usable ep. The 10mm will give a magnification of 150 x, but is not quite as good an ep. Your plossl will give a magnification of  about 43x and this is the one you should start with to scan for targets. First you must carefully align your finder to your telescope so that when a target is in your finder it will also be visible in the centre of your eye piece view. As for Filters, your UHC will help you to view some nebulae and is sufficient to get you started. I would not purchase any more filters for now.

Edited by laudropb
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There's a very recent thread on what filters will & won't do on deep-sky objects - DSO's - and planets:

 

I'll let someone else advise you on eyepieces. But for the time being, I'd suggest sticking with the 10mm & 25mm that came with your new telescope - and those telescopes are really, really nice! So get some good use on the eyepieces you have. Practice focusing, and allow time to guide you to what objects you enjoy looking at the most. Once you have done this, your eyepieces can be bought to help you in this quest.

To help you find your way about in outer-space, a good "Planetarim-Program" can be a terrific asset. One of the best one's is Stellarium. Similar software can cost you €150 or more. Stellarium, however, is absolutely free to download and use as your own. No strings attached!

Here's the link, and some links to the instruction-manual in Pdf. and on Wiki:

On this link is the main page for downloading Stellarium. Choose which version is correct for your computer. Here you go:

http://www.stellarium.org/
 
As for instructions, the most current one's are posted in Wiki due to there being new features & functions being created almost daily. There is also a Pdf. that's almost up-to-date, absolutely enough 'up-to-date' in all needed ways. Here's the Wiki-Link:
 
http://www.stellarium.org/wiki/index.php/Stellarium_User_Guide
 
And the Pdf. is here:
 
http://barry.sarcasmogerdes.com/stellarium/stellarium_user_guide-new.pdf

Enjoy!

Dave

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Tnx very much for your advice. I already use Stellarium, it is great. :D

I have now experience with planets, I have seen Mars, Jupiter and Saturn many times, but still I am unable to get a good look at Venus. I was thinking maybe to get some color filters. 

Still I am mostly unable to find any deep sky objects. :/ The red dot finder is no help, and I was only able to observe some double stars, the Pleiades and Orion Nebula. I always observe the sky from my balcony, and here we have light pollution. In a month or more I will be able to bring my telescope to the rural area, even maybe to a nearby natural park, so I hope I will see more.

Is there maybe any list of objects that can be seen or better seen with an UHC filter, and btw is that Castell UHC filter any good? I mean, I tried it two times and, hm I did not see much of a difference. Maybe I was looking wrong?

Tnx :)

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I was thinking about that red-dot finder. Many will disagree on this, but I'd think you'd be better off finding many things with an optical-finder such as a RACI. Here's an example of these types of finders:

http://www.amazon.com/Orion-07212-Right-Angle-Correct-Image-Finder/dp/B0000XMVE0

I'm sure you can find these over there no problem.

I'm not personally acquanted with Castell filters. Likely they will work fine. As for what to try these on for good results, click the link to that thread on Filters I posted for you above. The first 2 links I posted are by David Knisely in the US. He gives a long listing of what type of filter works best on which objects out there. But I agree with the above suggestion of holding off on buying any new ones for now. You'll have plenty of time to get around to spending buckets of money on astro-gear! :D

The planet Venus will show as a brilliant white globe. No features will be shown as Venus is forever blanketed in clouds. But you will be able to see what phase it's in. Venus is like the Moon in this way - it can be a thin cresent, a half a Moon, A full phase, etc. Using a camera and quite expensive UV-filter can reveal slight changes in the clouds - but for all the money involved in very expensive equipment, most will agree it's not worth it - unless you already have the gear to do that. Mercury too has different phases which can be interesting to observe - if you have a clear line of sight for this.

Your 127mm Maksutov is a great scope for planets, double-stars, and various types of DSO's. Not so much on more spread-out objects like some nebulae. This as that by nature of the optical design, it's more at home to smaller targets like ring nebulae and globular clusters like M13 in Hercules which should be making an appearance later this year.

Have fun -

Dave

 

 

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Re Red Dot Finders,I don't like them.The Telrad finder is MUCH better (though quite large for a small scope).

I've just replaced the red dot on my ST80 with a basic SW 8x30 finder that I got from Astroboot.

I just need a clear night to test it out now!

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8 hours ago, Tuvix said:

Tnx very much for your advice. I already use Stellarium, it is great. :D

I have now experience with planets, I have seen Mars, Jupiter and Saturn many times, but still I am unable to get a good look at Venus. I was thinking maybe to get some color filters. 

Still I am mostly unable to find any deep sky objects. :/ The red dot finder is no help, and I was only able to observe some double stars, the Pleiades and Orion Nebula. I always observe the sky from my balcony, and here we have light pollution. In a month or more I will be able to bring my telescope to the rural area, even maybe to a nearby natural park, so I hope I will see more.

Is there maybe any list of objects that can be seen or better seen with an UHC filter, and btw is that Castell UHC filter any good? I mean, I tried it two times and, hm I did not see much of a difference. Maybe I was looking wrong?

Tnx :)

I have the same scope like you, just the Goto version.

Castell filter is just about right for you, it is a proper UHC filter, but with a somewhat wider passband, so just what the doctor order for the small aperture like our 127 (declared).

Observing DSOs from Rijeka balcony is unlikely to be very sucessful. You have to escape the lights for that and go to, for instance, Risnjak.

You have a good low power and medium-low power eyepiece. You will eventually start replacing your eyepieces, but for the start work with what you have. I ended up with a Baader zoom, you may follow a different path. Stock 10mm eyepiece is meh (to put it mildly), you will want it replaced. Your seeing will prevent you from going over 150x most of the time.

There are several threads about eyepieces for 127, search for them, and there is a primer on eyepieces...what you need, etc. There is a bunch of primers in various secitons.

As for what objects are helped by the UHC filter, you may find this article helpful http://www.cloudynights.com/page/articles/cat/user-reviews/accessories/astronomical-filters/filter-performance-comparisons-r1471

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Right you are - BGazing! The 10mm they give away is generaly worthless. And that's the same thing you linked that I linked in the 'Filters" thread. David Knisely's list is excellent. Only your link is from CloudyNights and mine was from the source - The Prairies Astronomy Club. Same thing - and it's very good!

With this information, you should be fine. But do find your way about and determine what you need for what you find you like the most. That will allow you to make an intelligent decision on what sort of eyepieces and/or filters you might find to be best for your tastes. And here's the article from David Knisely:

http://www.prairieastronomyclub.org/resources/by-dave-knisely/filter-performance-comparisons-for-some-common-nebulae/

That should keep you busy - enjoy!

Dave

 

 

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tnx to all for your help! :)

I forgot to say that my telescope is on a equatorial mount.

So ok, I understand, no more buying. I need to explore this what I have already. I will probably have to buy bags for my telescope if I want to transport it, right?

Those links are great, so much information. tnx to you all :) For example I understand that my telescope is better for planets, but will I be able to get a good look at Andromeda galaxy or the Crab nebula, I mean, will I be able to see them, or should I avoid them? I should probably use the 32 mm eyepiece, right?

Is this the topic about eyepieces:

 

Yes, observing from balcony is problematic, the roof is always in its way when I want to observe Andromeda or something more to the north, and the light pollution is a big problem. But I will got maybe to Risnjak, or Ucka. I will look up maybe on some local forums or web sites if there are any suggestions where to go.

 

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Yes, you will be able to see the Crab Nebula, as long as you are under a dark sky. I saw it last night in my 127 Mak from my back garden. As with any small telescope though, it will only appear as a faint smudge.  Seeing the Andromeda Galaxy will be no problem,  but the narrow field of view of the Mak will limit your ability to appreciate its full glory. There are many DSOs within reach of your scope!

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1 hour ago, Tuvix said:

tnx to all for your help! :)

I forgot to say that my telescope is on a equatorial mount.

So ok, I understand, no more buying. I need to explore this what I have already. I will probably have to buy bags for my telescope if I want to transport it, right?

Those links are great, so much information. tnx to you all :) For example I understand that my telescope is better for planets, but will I be able to get a good look at Andromeda galaxy or the Crab nebula, I mean, will I be able to see them, or should I avoid them? I should probably use the 32 mm eyepiece, right?

Is this the topic about eyepieces:

 

Yes, observing from balcony is problematic, the roof is always in its way when I want to observe Andromeda or something more to the north, and the light pollution is a big problem. But I will got maybe to Risnjak, or Ucka. I will look up maybe on some local forums or web sites if there are any suggestions where to go.

 

yes, that is the topic, but also there are more on eyepieces for a small mak. generally, slow scopes are more tolerant of mediocre eyepieces, but have a go at it for a while and enjoy. don't go for magnification and extremely short focal lenghts. here is the primer on eyepieces

 

supplied 25mm is Ok, not stellar but will do for a while. the lowest powered eyepiece you can have in the mak and not run into limitations of the fov is a 32mm plossl or 24mm 68degree. i opted for the later since i am not sure i like too much eye relief and the background is somewhat darker at 24mm, for the same field of view. you may opt for either.

dont despair over the dsos...maksutov will give you plenty if the skies are sufficiently dark, so do not worry.

andromeda is better in bins under the dark skies. crab looks ok in the pictures but it is not among the top shelf dsos even in bigger apperture.

you might want to buy 'turn left at orion', look for it on amazon. ,)

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Mine's a 127 Mak as well.  Lots of good advice here, as ever.  I got a 9x50 RACI finder which I use in conjunction with the RDF - a great combination.  The RACI is brilliant for seeing where you are over about 5 degrees of sky.  And all the right way round!

You mentioned M31.  I was looking at it only last night, but in polluted skies, and with a lot of light trespass.  It's just a small fuzzy patch under those conditions, the size of a few stars, but it's great to look at such an awe-inspiring object!  (The actual size is a massive 3 x 1 degrees [approx.], but I only saw the core.)

I would recommend a 32mm Plossl for your initial scan around.  It gives x47 @ 1.11 degrees.  (A 40mm would give x38 at about the same angle (true field of vision).)  Your 10mm is OK for planets, for the moment.

Enjoy!

Doug.

Edited by cloudsweeper
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I use a 24mm 68* Hyperion in my 127 Mak which gives the widest view you can get with this scope and a Baader 8-24 Zoom for the higher mags. These are the only eyepieces I ever need in this scope.

Avtar

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3 hours ago, avtaram said:

I use a 24mm 68* Hyperion in my 127 Mak which gives the widest view you can get with this scope and a Baader 8-24 Zoom for the higher mags. These are the only eyepieces I ever need in this scope.

Avtar

how do you find hyperion 24? i finally opted for es 24mm 68 deg because most of the comments i found was that it is not as good as the rest of the hyperion series...but i guess it does not matter in a 127?

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2 hours ago, BGazing said:

 how do you find hyperion 24? i finally opted for es 24mm 68 deg because most of the comments i found was that it is not as good as the rest of the hyperion series...but i guess it does not matter in a 127?

I use the 24mm Hyperion in my 150 F8 Newt as well as the 127Mak and it gives excellent views in both. At these focal ratios its really good.

Avtar

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Try using Sky Maps and plan your sessions of stargazing so you can know what to observe/when

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I have the same scope. I have the standard 6x30 finder, but added a Rigel Quikfinder, which is sort of comparable to the Telrad. That combination is great. I use the ISDA for finding objects, as well as a overview beginners atlas. My widest eyepiece i a Maxvision 24mm 68 degrees, which is very sharp. I also have a 15mm GSO widefield eyepiece that I use often. And a 8mm Planetary that I use on Jupiter when the seeing is good. I have ordered a bigger finder, 50mm wide, one where you can move around the eyepiece without taking it out of alignment. I make sure that the tripod is not too high, so that it won't wobble.

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Another thing I had to get used to, is seeing everything mirrored. You ned to remember the whole time to go left in your field of view, when you atlas says right. The red dot finder helps you to see in which direction you move the scope when searching. 

If you use Stellarium, it can show you your mirror eyepiece view.

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I've got an 127/1900 Maksutov and have it set up with a telrad for finding bright things and a 9x50RACI finder scope for finding dark things. These two items make finding things easy. If I'm only looking at bright targets I won't bother putting on the RACI.

If you find things yourself and not with computers/goto I would recommend picking dso targets that are fairly contrasty and bright (resolvable open clusters), and targets that are fairly close to easily identifiable anchors (e.g. orion nebula below orion's belt or the double double near to vega, etc) so that you don't get lost trying to find anything that's too difficult. With practice finding gets easier and you'll be able to find increasingly obscure things off the beaten track.

Double stars are a good target for the Maksutov and much underrated - there's lots of them out there!

Moon filters make it less painful to look at the moon by dimming the brightness but I find they take away detail and I can see more if instead I have no filter and let my eye adjust to a bright unfiltered view (but this means you can't see anything when you come away from the eyepiece as you will have no dark adaptation in your observing eye whatsoever!).

Light pollution filters make a difference but not a blow-me-away difference - I can take them or leave them.

I've got a UHC filter but have never tried it with the Maksutov as I always assume it's not  going to put enough light through to work and I don't take the Maksutov out planning to look at things a UHC is going to enhance - but perhaps I am being a bit unfair on the Maksutov and should give it a go.

Eyepiece wise I think the 25 and 32 eyepieces are fine - you can get wider apparent fields of view with other eyepieces but view-quality wise in a f12 or so Maksutov they are ok. I think you would notice the difference in quality more with better quality eyepieces at the higher magnification end of the spectrum - 10mm and below.

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On 4.3.2016 at 23:28, Paz said:

I've got a UHC filter but have never tried it with the Maksutov as I always assume it's not  going to put enough light through to work and I don't take the Maksutov out planning to look at things a UHC is going to enhance - but perhaps I am being a bit unfair on the Maksutov and should give it a go.

Interesting. Could you please try the UHC filter sometime on nebulas and let me know the result? I consider buying one to see nebulas better. But if it makes a Mak127mm too dark to see anything, then I will not do it.

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2 hours ago, Linda said:

Interesting. Could you please try the UHC filter sometime on nebulas and let me know the result? I consider buying one to see nebulas better. But if it makes a Mak127mm too dark to see anything, then I will not do it.

It will certainly make things somewhat dimmer but by no means too dark to see. I used UHC filter on 4" refractor and it worked. With filters there is light loss but contrast is gained - this is what you are after, ability to distinguish features of nebula due to enhanced contrast.

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8 hours ago, Linda said:

Interesting. Could you please try the UHC filter sometime on nebulas and let me know the result? I consider buying one to see nebulas better. But if it makes a Mak127mm too dark to see anything, then I will not do it.

UHC filter works fine in my 127 Mak and is useful to increase contrast.

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Thank you both for your replies, @BGazing and @vlaiv.

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I've successfully used UHC and O-III filters in scopes as small as 80mm aperture with good results. The views of the Veil Nebula through my 4" ED refractor with my O-III filter are stunning - some of my favourites of all the visual sights there are !

 

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On 3/11/2016 at 11:46, Linda said:
On 3/11/2016 at 11:46, Linda said:

Interesting. Could you please try the UHC filter sometime on nebulas and let me know the result? I consider buying one to see nebulas better. But if it makes a Mak127mm too dark to see anything, then I will not do it.

I'll make a mental note to give it a go. Usually I use the Maksutov for small bright targets and a short tube 120mm refractor for looking at dark targets and so it's the short tube that usually gets used with the UHC filter. However thinking about it when the refractor goes above about 60x magnification it is actually crossing over into the same territory as the Maksutov by which I mean for any given magnification it's going to be very similar exit pupils (and so very similar image brightness) just with different eyepiece focal lengths to achieve them.

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