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Hello. I've just received my very first telescope, the Celestron NexStar 127slt. https://telescopeobserver.com/review-nexstar-127slt-goto-telescope/

I'm currently located in Oregon USA. I've been struggling getting it set up and have reached an impasse. I can clearly see Mars with the naked eye and can align it with the view finder, yet cannot see it properly through the eyepiece. It came with 25mm and 9mm eyepieces. I've used both lenses with no luck. All I get is a little red speck. I can actually see it better with the naked eye. Clearly I've missed a step or I'm not doing it correctly. Very discouraging. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. 

 

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Hi, and a warm welcome to SGL.

This thread is a guide to what you can see in a modest size telescope.

 

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You can certainly see Mars with this scope and 9mm. It will be small but you should see ice caps. It depends on local sky conditions. I've never has much luck with it. 

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Are you sure the viewfinder is properly aligned with the scope?  It might be easier to do this during daylight using a distant landmark or TV aerial. Make sure you can the object through scope and finder...

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All I can think of is that you have too high expectations of what you can see (sorry 🤨) but 

2 hours ago, Pulsar80 said:

I can actually see it better with the naked eye

makes me wonder. That shouldn’t be the case. Are you properly focused on the object?

I’m sure you’ll get it sorted out ... and SGL can help.

Welcome to the forum.

 

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Mars in a 127mm scope and 9mm EP, should be the size of a pea held at arms length. It should be clearly a disc shape (not a speck), How much detail you see really is up to the astro gods, on any given night.

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Either its not Mars you think you are seeing, of the finderscope is not aligned.

I cant think of anything else, apart from bad "seeing" as i mentioned above.

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The higher powered eyepiece that came with my 127mm Nexstar SLT was not great, and buying a couple of decent replacements significantly improved the view. You should be able to see Mars as a small orange disk, but whether you can see much more depends on the air conditions and your observing skills.

TBH I have found direct views of the planets to be somewhat anti-climactic and have now resorted to planetary astrophotography to get more out of my telescopes.

Try using your telescope on a distant target during the day to get used to handling and focusing it.

With the GoTo you can do a cheat by selecting 'Solar System Align' and selecting Mars as your alignment object (and target).

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I struggled at first with my scope, for a day or so. What solved it was when I decided to forget about stars, planets and DSOs, to use only my lowest power (longest focal length) eyepiece and look only at the Moon. It's easy to find and unmistakable, and once you've got that into razor sharp focus (which is surprisingly easy) it should all just click onto place.

Give it a try and see how you get on.

Billy.

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@Pulsar80 It sounds very much like you have not managed to get Mars into the scope's field of view. With the scope it should look like an orange disk; regardless of anything else, it will look dramatically bigger than with the naked eye. 

Make sure you have your finder aligned accurately and give it another go!!

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First of all welcome from land down under

Mars is tiny through a scope, and also depends on where on the horizon Mars is located

Low down, you will also get a lot of dirty air disturbance

Try first looking at either Jupiter or Saturn

Both overhead this time of year

John

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On 12/08/2018 at 08:00, mark81 said:

Are you sure the viewfinder is properly aligned with the scope?  It might be easier to do this during daylight using a distant landmark or TV aerial. Make sure you can the object through scope and finder...

 

On 12/08/2018 at 08:00, mark81 said:

Are you sure the viewfinder is properly aligned with the scope?  It might be easier to do this during daylight using a distant landmark or TV aerial. Make sure you can the object through scope and finder...

Thank you. I will do that tonight.

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On 12/08/2018 at 07:54, LukeSkywatcher said:

You can certainly see Mars with this scope and 9mm. It will be small but you should see ice caps. It depends on local sky conditions. I've never has much luck with it. 

Mars is to the south of me and completely unobstructed. That said, there is quite a bit of light pollution and our air quality is very poor due to the wildfires in California and Oregon. 

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16 hours ago, Pulsar80 said:

Mars is to the south of me and completely unobstructed. That said, there is quite a bit of light pollution and our air quality is very poor due to the wildfires in California and Oregon. 

Well the smoke won't help. My sister lives in NV and they have a orange alert. It was red, so things are improving. 

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Posted (edited)

TBH Mars is visually crud in many scopes. A "little red speck" is sometimes all it is. There have been dust storms sweeping the planet recently but seem to be clearing.

Point your scope at a star and focus so it is as "tight" as can be. Then move back to Mars. My guess is that you are just seeing Mars as everyone else sees it with a small scope.

 

Edited by Stu Todd
because

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