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Hello,

Does anyone know if I should upgrade my telescope? I have a Celestron Nextar 127slt and I've been using it for a few years now. I want to see more detail on Jupiter, Saturn and Mars.

Does anyone have any suggestions from Celestron?

Kind Regards

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Posted (edited)

That largely depends on your observing location(s). If you live or can get to a location with frequent good seeing, then an upgrade of the aperture might be viable.
I personally believe that for a serious planetary views the minimal telescope aperture is 150mm (6") But that's for a refractor. A reflector or a CAT (anything with the central obstruction caused by the secondary mirror) better be bumped to 8". But the really striking planetary views are possible only after 10" (like 12"). It's all about the maximal resolution the aperture provides vs the type of atmospheric turbulence it need to deal with. If you are observing from a dense urban zone exclusively, most likely you will never get decent views with such a large aperture, as in the city the turbulent air has a small-celled structure of about 5" in size on average, so the image will be blurry at high magnification in a larger than 5-6" scope 99.9% of the time.

Edited by AlexK
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I have I Mak Cassegrain and I live in awfully bad light pollution (Bortle 7) 

Thanks for the advice 😀

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Posted (edited)

The "Light pollution" is not a sentence to your planetary views yet :D The atmospheric "seeing" is. So, research your "micro-astro-climate" or ask your local astro-mates/club (I'm sure they would have answered you already if you have had your location added to your profile or/and signature on the forum). Your 127mm Mac is OK for planets (I have Meade ETX-125 myself). But if your seeing is good at least in certain time of the year, a 8" newt would show waaaay more.

Edited by AlexK
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There is no 'should' here. If you want better performance, buying a bigger scope will do what you want.  I would suggest a Celestron C8 SE as the next step up. Unless the seeing at your location is consistently bad, the C8 will give better performance, both visually and with a planetary imaging camera.

Seeing in the UK has a large influence, and there have been nights when I took better images with my 127mm Mak than with the C8.  If the seeing is really good (usually outside the UK) it is worth using apertures of 14" or more.

If cost is an issue, note that SCTs are often available used at a large discount on the new price. 

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13 hours ago, Cosmic Geoff said:

 

Celestron C8 SE

Do you mean Nextar 8SE?

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