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Hello!

I have some questions about what accessories to get for my Celestron Nexstar 4se. Keep in mind that this'll be my first telescope and I'm really excited to see the moon and planets like Jupiter and Saturn! I looked for starter guides on which accessories are a must but I didn't find any. Will I need specific eye pieces (I know nothing about eye pieces and which ones are better, etc.) to see some planets clearly? I'm fairly new to astronomy so any helpful tip would be great! 

 

Thank you

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The 4SE is nearly an f13 scope, so the highest EP you would be able to use is a 6mm EP. This is good for lunar and planetary work. For wide field views  with this scope either a 25mm or 32mm EP would give good results. I have a C8 SCT with an f ratio of f10 and get nice results on DSO's with an 18mm EP which gives a magnification of 112x. A similar EP in your scope to give the same magnification would be a 12mm EP with magnification of 110x.

Depending on your budget for your EP's there are lots to chose from. If you can stay away from plossls and get something better. BST Explorer EP's are pretty good and not too expensive and much better than stock EP's or plossls. As usual the more expensive the EP the better views it should give, but don't assume there will be a massive difference for the price though. I wouldn't bother with any kind of Barlow for this scope, so I would first off just get 2 or three good mid range EP's to use like those sizes I quoted above.

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11 minutes ago, Knighty2112 said:

The 4SE is nearly an f13 scope, so the highest EP you would be able to use is a 6mm EP. This is good for lunar and planetary work. For wide field views  with this scope either a 25mm or 32mm EP would give good results. I have a C8 SCT with an f ratio of f10 and get nice results on DSO's with an 18mm EP which gives a magnification of 112x. A similar EP in your scope to give the same magnification would be a 12mm EP with magnification of 110x.

Depending on your budget for your EP's there are lots to chose from. If you can stay away from plossls and get something better. BST Explorer EP's are pretty good and not too expensive and much better than stock EP's or plossls. As usual the more expensive the EP the better views it should give, but don't assume there will be a massive difference for the price though. I wouldn't bother with any kind of Barlow for this scope, so I would first off just get 2 or three good mid range EP's to use like those sizes I quoted above.

Thanks for the reply.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the scope will come with a 25mm EP. Does a higher number mean it'll be more zoomed in? Like a 6mm would show me the moon's craters? I just did some research on EPs of the sizes you recommended and I mostly found plossls, https://www.amazon.com/Celestron-X-Cel-LX-Eyepiece-1-25-Inch/dp/B0048JF1JY/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1504864472&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=celestron+12mm (I'm not sure if this is plossl or not though)

I apologize if I'm asking a lot of questions

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13 minutes ago, Jupiters said:

Thanks for the reply.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the scope will come with a 25mm EP. Does a higher number mean it'll be more zoomed in? Like a 6mm would show me the moon's craters? I just did some research on EPs of the sizes you recommended and I mostly found plossls, https://www.amazon.com/Celestron-X-Cel-LX-Eyepiece-1-25-Inch/dp/B0048JF1JY/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1504864472&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=celestron+12mm (I'm not sure if this is plossl or not though)

I apologize if I'm asking a lot of questions

It may come with a 25mm EP yes. Not all EP's come in the exact same sizes (focal lengths) I gave. Plossls most likely will because these are cheaper to manufacture, but others ranges might be to one side of what I quoted; i.e either 5mm or 7mm. With some EP's you can also get 6.5mm or 5.5 mm EP's too. All depends on the brand and price etc. The higher the number means the lower the magnification. The lower the number means a higher magnification view is possible, so a 6mm EP gives much more magnification than a 25mm EP.   A little confusing at first, but you'll get there. :) 

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Looking at FLO it does come with a 25mm EP, so I would get a couple of EP's to give higher magnification views, in the ranges of about 12mm and 6mm ranges (+ or - 1mm depending on brand etc). This would give you 53x, 110x & 220x magnification approximately. As your scope aperture is 102mm, the rule of thumb is for maximum magfication to be about 2x scope aperture, so in your case max magnification is around 204x, so an EP of either 6.5mm or 7mm might be best for your highest magnification EP. 

https://www.firstlightoptics.com/celestron-eyepieces/celestron-x-cel-lx-eyepiece.html

X-Cel EP's are pretty good, and they have a 7mm and a 12mm version too, but if your budget can't stretch to those then plossls could do,  it you will get a more restricted field of view mostly with a plossl.

Edited by Knighty2112
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Add a location, the easy option is go visit a local club and see what they have a use and if possible get a look through one or two.

It is too easy to thing that the 4SE will deliver 200x magnification and that this is better the a scope that delivers 120x. Unfortunately it is not true.

Saturn is effectively on or below the horizon now, so low to it at any sensible time that you will see it but the view will be best described as "murky", something to do with that inconvenient stuff we breathe called air.

The 4SE is a match to my ETX-105, which I rarely use as the ETX 70 refractor is a lot easier and simpler to use.

Both are Maks and both around 1300mm focal length, so with a 30mm eyepiece you get 43x which will deliver just over 1 degree view. That is with a plossl.

Not sure they supply a 20mm or 25mm eyepiece, either way the advice is assume not good and expect to buy some of your own that are better. The supploed is likely a Kellner and they have about a 40 degree field so  a 25RP gives 1300/25 = 52x and that gives a view of 40/52 which is just under 0.8 of a degree. That will just fit the moon in as a complete object.

The problem of a long focal length scope is that you are stuck with highish magnifications and narrow fields of view

So accessorise would be 2 or 3 reasonable eyepieces of longish focal lengths, but until you are familiar with the scope and can set it up without trouble easily I suggest nothing below 15mm.

If you do not have the scope yet or have not used it then remember that the scope is a "goto", you set it up, you supply correct and accurate data, you centre the stars specified, then if you have done all that and the set up is reasonable then the scope may do it's bit and goto the object selected.

Evening viewing of Jupiter, say around and after 22:00, will not occur until around April/May next year. You could wait until midnight or the early hours of the morning to see it a little sooner. But I tend to find that a a ballpark time of 22:00 is a good guide for general everyday observing.

Edited by ronin
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As Ronin says the planets are not currently in the best position to observe, but you will get great views of the moon and its craters at around 200x, so any higher magnification EP's won't gather dust. I've observed both Jupiter and Saturn pretty well with my 6mm William Optics SPL EP before pretty recently through my 4SE and got good views, even down in the murk, so it is doable with this scope to get decent high mag views of the planets when conditions are good. :) 

Edited by Knighty2112
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Thank you so much Knighty2112, I really appreciate the help! 

Ronin, I added the location. Light pollution would be your first thought, but I'm not in the city, in the suburbs actually. I read this article http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/09/skywatching-guide-september-equinox-planets-moon-science/ so I thought I'd have a chance of seeing Jupiter before it moves to solar conjunction. Are there any websites that will help on what I can and can't see using a scope during a certain month or day? I hope the article I read is accurate, I'm excited for Saturn on the 26th.

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I think you'll find the best thing to do is to use what you have now - the 25mm and 6mm eyepieces.

To find the magnification of an eyepiece, take the Focal-Length - F.L. - of the telescope: 1325mm for your telescope, and divide by the F.L. of the eyepiece - 25mm say. So 1325mm / 25mm = 53X. And so forth.

So see what your 25mm and 6mm can do for you on targets you wish to observe - before you fall into the trap of most unguided & new astronomers: Buying a warehouse of gear, going broke in the process, and then wondering what half the stuff you bought is actually used for! :D

Do you have a good star-atlas yet to help you find your way around up there?

You're in good hands here! SGL is great!

Dave

PS - I forgot to ask if you have a manual? But here's one if you don't:

 

Celestron Nexstar 4se Manual.pdf

Edited by Dave In Vermont
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16 minutes ago, Dave In Vermont said:

I think you'll find the best thing to do is to use what you have now - the 25mm and 6mm eyepieces.

To find the magnification of an eyepiece, take the Focal-Length - F.L. - of the telescope: 1325mm for your telescope, and divide by the F.L. of the eyepiece - 25mm say. So 1325mm / 25mm = 53X. And so forth.

So see what your 25mm and 6mm can do for you on targets you wish to observe - before you fall into the trap of most unguided & new astronomers: Buying a warehouse of gear, going broke in the process, and then wondering what half the stuff you bought is actually used for! :D

Do you have a good star-atlas yet to help you find your way around up there?

You're in good hands here! SGL is great!

Dave

Not a fan of maths but your explanation was great! Now I understand how to calculate the magnification of EPs. Okay so once I actually get the scope delivered, I'll try to get used to it and setting it up and after a while I'll get a higher magnified EP for closer views of the moon and such. Do you have any good recommendations for star atlases? I want to be able to know what and when I can see certain planets and nebulas. I've heard of the star walker app but I still didn't give it a try. 

 

Thank you so much for the help, Dave!

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There's one excellent one you can download and use on your computer - Stellarium.

Stellarium is a software-program that acts as a very realistic skymap of your sky from your location - which you enter. You can add things to it like stars, planets, galaxies, nebulae - as many as you wish. Similar planetarium-programs can cost upwards of £200. But Stellarium is absolutely FREE. Probably the greatest give-away in astronomy of all time!

So the following is my 'Cut & Paste' to help you download and get started. If you have any questions - you know where to find us:

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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, a full copy of them is bundled with the program that you download. But if you need another copy for some reason, these can be downloaded here:
 
https://sourceforge.net/projects/stellarium/files/Stellarium-user-guide/0.15.0-1/stellarium_user_guide-0.15.0-1.pdf/download

This program is quite large, so download when you have a few minutes. I'll leave you with a screenshot of mine, and also one of the screen approximating - roughly - of how it looks when you begin. Please know that I am an experienced user. I do this to help you understand the immense range & versatility of this amazing software-program.

 

Like new:

59b2856f7d67b_StellariumScreenshot-BeginningScreen.thumb.png.e2be3228d7306eaef8c6b394372455fa.png

 

My own copy:

stellarium-460.thumb.png.60df6993dd8916dbf17c2836f78b5fdc.png

Click-on Images for Larger Version.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Enjoy!

Dave

Edited by Dave In Vermont
hnt.
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The seeing conditions will dictate what you can actually observe..there will be nights that you could use a 6mm and another time it be just blurry..a 12mm is a great average size for my 8 inch..but always start with the biggest number you have and work down as the wider the field the brighter it will be..

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4 hours ago, Dave In Vermont said:

There's one excellent one you can download and use on your computer - Stellarium.

Stellarium is a software-program that acts as a very realistic skymap of your sky from your location - which you enter. You can add things to it like stars, planets, galaxies, nebulae - as many as you wish. Similar planetarium-programs can cost upwards of £200. But Stellarium is absolutely FREE. Probably the greatest give-away in astronomy of all time!

So the following is my 'Cut & Paste' to help you download and get started. If you have any questions - you know where to find us:

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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, a full copy of them is bundled with the program that you download. But if you need another copy for some reason, these can be downloaded here:
 
https://sourceforge.net/projects/stellarium/files/Stellarium-user-guide/0.15.0-1/stellarium_user_guide-0.15.0-1.pdf/download

This program is quite large, so download when you have a few minutes. I'll leave you with a screenshot of mine, and also one of the screen approximating - roughly - of how it looks when you begin. Please know that I am an experienced user. I do this to help you understand the immense range & versatility of this amazing software-program.

 

Like new:

59b2856f7d67b_StellariumScreenshot-BeginningScreen.thumb.png.e2be3228d7306eaef8c6b394372455fa.png

 

My own copy:

stellarium-460.thumb.png.60df6993dd8916dbf17c2836f78b5fdc.png

Click-on Images for Larger Version.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Enjoy!

Dave

I'm downloading it right now, I can't wait to explore around with this. Thank you so much for your help, Dave! I'll be sure to ask questions if I have any.

Much appreciated!

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  • 1 year later...

Hi all I have just got my 4se and would like to know how to boost my magnification. when I looked at the reviews it said you could see Saturn rings and other similar objects 

I've set it up and it is working fine

Captured a couple of photos-vids on my phone 

Please help

markseymour1985@gmail.com

HELP ME PLEASE

 

 

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Yes, I have clearly seen Saturn's rings through my SE4, but might struggle today as it is currently much more distant than then given its orbit. It is now 10x further away from Earth than we are from the Sun, hence around 1,574,000,000 kilometres away. Saturn takes 29 years to orbit the Sun hence much depends on where Earth and it is in that cycle. At present, your view will be of a apparently tiny object, when two years ago it was much closer and hence better. 

I hate to disappoint you, but none of the planets are particularily well placed during 2019 and the SE4 isn't a particularly  powerful scope. Jupiter is larger than Saturn and merely 795,000,000 km distant, hence half the distance of Saturn away. Even so, whilst you might see it's banding, you won't see any greater detail. Mars is half the size of earth, and less than 7% of the size of Jupiter and 228,000,000 km distant. You will see its red disc, but will struggle to make out its polar ice caps. Even if you had an SE8 you currently wouldn't see much more of the planets unless 'seeing' conditions are perfect.  

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IMO with a scope like the se4 a barlow isn't necessary. A 32mm plossl, a 15mm or a 12/12.5mm is useful.  A 10mm ortho works well at 130x too. Beyond that I would go to a 7mm or maybe a 6mm but only if skies are good. My 7mm 82 degree Nirvana is good. Its worth noting that as magnification gets higher the image will grow more dim.

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