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Hi all - looking for some

advice on eyepieces. I have seen beautiful views of Jupiter with its moons and Saturn and of course the moon. I have two extra 32mm and 10mm plossls but am looking for better lenses for planets which will show more detail? Which ones would you suggest? Many thanks in advance!

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Hi Naveen, welcome to forum! If I had your scope I would look at getting a 12mm and 8mm eyepiece. The 12mm would have lower magnification, leading to a brighter more stable image so colors would pop more, and the 8mm would be a comfortable maximum magnification. You could look at the BST Starguiders which are relatively affordable. It will help people advise if you give us a budget?

Edited by Ags
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Hi @Naveen and welcome to SGL. :hello2:

Here's a link to the BST's as mentioned by @Ags...
https://www.firstlightoptics.com/bst-starguider-eyepieces.html

I am not sure how good these are...
https://www.firstlightoptics.com/vixen-eyepieces/vixen-npl-eyepieces.html
...but they are a bit cheaper if you are on a tight budget.

I use a variable polarising filter when viewing the Moon & Venus and sometimes use it when viewing Jupiter & Saturn. 
I also use the Baader Neodymium, which I sometimes refer as a 'Swiss-Army knife' filter. 

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thanks for your responses! If the views are superb - I am prepared to spend a bit but has to cost less than the scope :)

another issue i have is of alignment. I am in London and stars arent so visible really. However, i manage to point the scope to jupiter and normally it finds its way to saturn ( which are the two main in addition to the moon that are normally visible every night from my backyard/  Does that properly align the scope or I need to do star alignment as well? Any help and advice on alignment would be much appreciated, still new to this scope...

 

 

 

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With my AZ-GTi I I just manually point the scope at Saturn or Jupiter and then select Point and Track. That's enough for planetary viewing and imaging.

For deep sky I never align on solar system objects as I find that results in less accurate gotos. I usually go for two star alignment, with one of the stars being Polaris. The other star is whatever is brightest and visible from my location. I am also in a highly light polluted environment, but you should still be able to pick out the very brightest stars, which is all you need for alignment? If you have trouble identifying any stars, download an app like Stellarium for your phone.

Edited by Ags
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Does it have "realign on current object"?  My Sky Commander DSC has such a feature to refine the alignment in each new section of the sky.  I find it helps quite a bit to realign on each object after I center it.

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1 hour ago, Naveen said:

thanks for your responses! If the views are superb - I am prepared to spend a bit but has to cost less than the scope :)

another issue i have is of alignment. I am in London and stars arent so visible really. However, i manage to point the scope to jupiter and normally it finds its way to saturn ( which are the two main in addition to the moon that are normally visible every night from my backyard/  Does that properly align the scope or I need to do star alignment as well? Any help and advice on alignment would be much appreciated, still new to this scope...

Too close together.  Your alignment stars should be at least 90° apart in the sky and different in altitude.

Use first magnitude stars like Altair or Vega or Deneb or Arcturus or Antares.

If you don't know those stars, your first mission is to learn some constellations and bright stars.

See Skymaps.com for a monthly star chart with planets.

I'm in Los Angeles, and even here the bright stars are visible.

If you have a computerized scope, look in the manual to see how to align on objects, too.  This can make your pointing more accurate.

Quote

 

 

Edited by Don Pensack
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3 hours ago, Don Pensack said:

I'm in Los Angeles, and even here the bright stars are visible.

LA skies must have cleared up a bunch thanks to emission controls.  When I lived in the Mid-Hudson Valley in upstate New York 30 years ago, I could see the moon and 4 brightest planets, but almost no alignment stars thanks to the heavy smog layer.  There were clear days when I couldn't even see the sun due to the thick, gray smog.  I could only figure out where it was because it hurt my eyes when I was looking straight at it, so I figure either IR or UV light was making it through.  On some better days, the sun was a dull red orb.  If I drove 2 hours out into the nearby mountains to gain some altitude and lose some light pollution, the night sky was amazingly better.  The Hudson River acted like a super-highway channeling low altitude smog from the NYC metro area up to us.  I didn't take up astronomy until I moved to Texas 26 years ago.

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4 hours ago, Louis D said:

Does it have "realign on current object"?  My Sky Commander DSC has such a feature to refine the alignment in each new section of the sky.  I find it helps quite a bit to realign on each object after I center it.

I think it automatically adds info from each goto to its model, as you center the object then confirm. I can't the source where I read that though. The AZ GTi does a really good job of goto though regardless of whether it refines the model.

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3 minutes ago, Ags said:

I think it automatically adds info from each goto to its model, as you center the object then confirm. I can't the source where I read that though. The AZ GTi does a really good job of goto though regardless of whether it refines the model.

So, a rough initial alignment on two widely spaced stars as Don suggests should be good enough as a starting point.

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12 hours ago, Naveen said:

Hi all - looking for some

advice on eyepieces. I have seen beautiful views of Jupiter with its moons and Saturn and of course the moon. I have two extra 32mm and 10mm plossls but am looking for better lenses for planets which will show more detail? Which ones would you suggest? Many thanks in advance!

Back to the original question, I wouldn't go below an 8mm eyepiece.  I have a couple of 127mm Maks, and the power builds rapidly with a 1500mm focal length.  That, and you're only working with about 118mm of actual clear aperture due to the undersized primary mirror.  Thus, the exit pupil gets really tiny really quickly.  An 8mm eyepiece is only yielding a 0.63mm exit pupil, which is reaching the limit for extended objects.  The 8mm BST Starguider is quite good in that scope with very comfortable eye relief and a very usable 60 degree field.  I would also get the 12mm BST Starguider because ~190x is a bit high for Jupiter's low contrast details.  ~125x with the 12mm is usually much more usable.

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5 hours ago, Ags said:

With my AZ-GTi I I just manually point the scope at Saturn or Jupiter and then select Point and Track. That's enough for planetary viewing and imaging.

I did not know this, but I think it's my new favorite feature :D

You just fire up the mount, select either planet from solar system, manually point the scope and select Point and track, right?

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Thanks for all good advice - 8mm bst seems to be the suggestion? What about the 8-24mm zoom lenses? Any thoughts on those? Is A Barlow any use and which would be best?

i like the point an track suggestion, with all the grey clouds hanging over London all the time :) Jupiter and Saturn manage to peep through 

 

 

 

 

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  • 5 months later...
On 04/08/2020 at 16:20, Ags said:

With my AZ-GTi I I just manually point the scope at Saturn or Jupiter and then select Point and Track. That's enough for planetary viewing and imaging.

For deep sky I never align on solar system objects as I find that results in less accurate gotos. I usually go for two star alignment, with one of the stars being Polaris. The other star is whatever is brightest and visible from my location. I am also in a highly light polluted environment, but you should still be able to pick out the very brightest stars, which is all you need for alignment? If you have trouble identifying any stars, download an app like Stellarium for your phone.

+1 on the Point & Track feature on the AZ GTi mount, its so useful. 

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On 05/08/2020 at 00:21, Naveen said:

What about the 8-24mm zoom lenses? Any thoughts on those?

The Baader mentioned above is popular. There is also this, which goes from 7.2mm - 21.5mm.

 

On 04/08/2020 at 17:12, Don Pensack said:

If you don't know those stars, your first mission is to learn some constellations and bright stars.

There's a list of alignment stars and accompanying charts here.

Or as a single chart here.

If you use SkySafari, there's a version of the list in skylist format here.

The latest Skywatcher Synscan manual says a bit more about alignment than they have done previously:  https://inter-static.skywatcher.com/downloads/enmanual_20200721.pdf

There are several threads on Synscan alignment elsewhere in SGL, and there's a discussion of various issues and tips here.

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