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_terminator_challenge.thumb.jpg.b7f10f594317507d0f40662231b0d9a8.jpg

jackp93

Getting more detail when observing

Recommended Posts

Hi all

 

I’ve recently bought a skywatcher 127 with the standard diagonal, 10mm and 20mm eyepieces. I’m really happy with the telescope but I can’t seem to get as much detail when viewing as I was expecting. I’ve got a budget of about £150 would it be worth upgrading the diagonal and eyepieces or am I expecting too much from my kit.

 

all the best 

 

Jack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, jackp93 said:

I can’t seem to get as much detail when viewing as I was expecting.

Hello Jack,

We need to know what exactly you have been observing before we can give any helpful advice. 

Let us know and we'll be right back to help you. 😀

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Geoff 

 

Sorry, that would be helpful. I have done a bit of lunar observing which the detail doesn’t seem too bad, but I would say when I attach my DSLR to take photos I get more detail. I’ve also viewed algieba, Orien nebula and a double cluster but I struggled getting good views of them.

 

All the best 

 

Jack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the best thing to apply is patience. Observing takes time, and views of the moon and planets are often disturbed by bad seeing (caused by turbulence and variations in temperature in the atmosphere). It really pays off to sit behind the scope a while and wait for moments of better seeing, when suddenly the details snap into view. For nebulae, you need to work at your observing skies, I have found. After a while, so-called averted vision (aiming your eye just next to the object of interest) becomes second nature, and you will see a magnitude fainter objects with relative ease.

The Skymax 127 is a very good planetary and lunar scope, and works perfectly well on more "compact" DSOs, and that is the vast majority of them. The Double Cluster is more of a wide-field object, which does better in my binoculars and 80 mm F/6 wide-field refractor than in my much more powerful Celestron C8. Regarding nebulae: sky quality (transparency, lack of light pollution) are far more important factors than scope size. I could pick out the spiral arms in M51 with my C8 from a dark site in southern France far more easily than with our university's 16" RC from the suburbs of Groningen. Also, many people make the mistake of throwing a lot of magnification at nebulae, whereas that tends to "dilute" the light. My best views of the Orion Nebula are at the lowest magnification with my C8 (48.3x with the 42mm LVW or 65.5x with the 31mm Nagler).  When you have trouble with light pollution, emission nebulae like M42 are best viewed through a UHC filter (should fit easily in your budget). The alternative is to travel to a dark location with your scope and use it there. Your Skymax is nice and compact, so travel is quite easy.

Finally, if you do want to go for a better eyepiece, you could replace the 10mm by a better one. BST Starguiders have a good following on here, I haven't looked through them but they get a very good press and don't cost the earth. I have looked through TS HR planetary eyepieces and they perform well too. Because your scope is slow (high focal ratio), you do not have to go for expensive eyepieces to get good results.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, jackp93 said:

Hi Geoff 

 

Sorry, that would be helpful. I have done a bit of lunar observing which the detail doesn’t seem too bad, but I would say when I attach my DSLR to take photos I get more detail. I’ve also viewed algieba, Orien nebula and a double cluster but I struggled getting good views of them.

 

All the best 

 

Jack

Hi Jack,

I have the same scope. I found the 25mm that came with it to be not too bad.

Ive bought a 32mm  SW eyepiece and 2 used BST starguiders from here a 12 & 8 mm.  Total spend about £90.

Don't know what mount you use but I have the AZGTI. I found the red dot finder that came with it to be a bit awkward so got a 6x30 RACI again from this site. I'm also going to mount a starwave RDF to the front of the scope the RDF is for goto alignment and the RACI is because im learning to star hop too.

Another useful addition is a polarizing moon filter. I bought a Neewar from amazon very cheap but surprisingly good.

Steve

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jack. Are you giving your Mak sufficient time to cool down ? It must reach thermal equilibrium with the night temperatures. Otherwise thermal currents in the tube will not allow the maximum  performance of your scope. I have found with the Mak 127 that this can take up to an hour.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, laudropb said:

Hi Jack. Are you giving your Mak sufficient time to cool down ? It must reach thermal equilibrium with the night temperatures. Otherwise thermal currents in the tube will not allow the maximum  performance of your scope. I have found with the Mak 127 that this can take up to an hour.

Very good point. I store my C8 OTA in a fairly cold but dry garage, and even then it needs 30 minutes or so to reach thermal equilibrium. Only then does it reach best performance (so, once more, patience is a virtue in astronomy)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, michael.h.f.wilkinson said:

Very good point. I store my C8 OTA in a fairly cold but dry garage, and even then it needs 30 minutes or so to reach thermal equilibrium. Only then does it reach best performance (so, once more, patience is a virtue in astronomy)

Yes totally forgot to mention cooling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you also looked at the pictures on page one of this thread?:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Jack, welcome to this forum.

If this is your first telescope then the advice from others to spend time getting to used to it is good advice. Subsequently adding a, better than stock, eyepiece or two would give more of an improvement than changing the diagonal.   😀

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting the scope cooled is important. Patience and practice (lots and lots of it) will also be great assets. It look me a long time to develop my observing skills when I got a decent scope. To start with details such as Saturn's Cassini Division, Jupiter's Red Spot etc seemed to be illusory but gradually I managed to get small glimpses of them and eventually found that I could see them more routinely.

It's not really a hobby of "quick wins" as far as my experience goes.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all

 

Thanks for all the replies. I think the general consensus is whilst I’m still getting my head round it to slow down and work with what I’ve got. This definitely seems a good idea to me (and my wallet). I didn’t even give it a thought that the scope will need to cool down, but it takes me so long to align it that it’s probably heading to the right temperature anyway.

 

Hopefully this wind dies down so I can head out tonight and put this all to practice.

 

All the best 

 

Jack

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, jackp93 said:

Hi all

 

Thanks for all the replies. I think the general consensus is whilst I’m still getting my head round it to slow down and work with what I’ve got. This definitely seems a good idea to me (and my wallet). I didn’t even give it a thought that the scope will need to cool down, but it takes me so long to align it that it’s probably heading to the right temperature anyway.

 

Hopefully this wind dies down so I can head out tonight and put this all to practice.

 

All the best 

 

Jack

Hi Jack,

There's something else you can try to bare in mind, and that is not to stare directly at the objectvyoure looking at. The retina in your eye will have areas that are more sensitive to light than others. The cells known as Cones are colour sensitive and are situated at the centre of the retina. Under low light conditiond they don't work too well, so astronomers tend to use the Rod cells that are situated around the central group of Cone cells., thesr are far more numerous and far more sensitive to low light conditions. Rods produce black and white images, so don't be troubled by a lack of colour! This means that to get a better view of a nebula in your telescope, you'll need to look at it slightly off axis. This is called Averted Vision and is a very effective was of seeing more detail. As well as using averted vision, you will need to shield yourself from any interfering stray light. When in dark conditions the eye releases a chemical called rodipsin (visual purple), which effectively super charges the light sensitive rod cells. Bright light will stop rodipsin from being released, so keep yourself and your scope away from direct light sources if possible.

Relax your eye as you look through your telescope. By doing so it will naturally scan the object on view, allowing your brain to build up a more detailed image of subtle features. Averted Vision can also help in detecting fine or subtle detail on brighter lunar and planetary features too, as certain areas of everyone's retains will have their sweet spots where there is a higher level of sensitivity. Don't think about it too much, just let your eye relax and it will do the work for you.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of good advice here - I use a 127 Mak as my grab 'n go scope on a manual alt-az mount (Vixen Porta), using mostly an 8 or 10 mm eyepiece for planetary viewing, and a 32 mm eyepiece for extended objects.

Sitting comfortably on a garden chair or stool is another important factor to seeing more, as you find the more you look, the more you will see. As well as using averted vision as Mike suggests, sometimes with faint objects such as galaxies, rocking the scope slightly to move the object back and forth across the field of view has the effect of making it more visible.

Good luck, and hopefully some clear skies soon!

Chris

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, chiltonstar said:

Sitting comfortably on a garden chair or stool

This is the easiest/cheapest way to improve your observing.
Good luck.

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.