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Help with my Celestron 130 EQ astromaster

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So, I decided to pick this stargazing hobby along with my kids from been cooped up due to Covid and went ahead and brought the Celestron 130 EQ newtonian. Set it up and all the good stuff of polar aligning and took it outside, and checked the moon out, everything is fine. Gorgeous moon and quite happy. Kids loving it, and then I tried to view the mars and the Jupiter.  Using the 20 mm eye piece, i was able to locate the Mars and the Jupiter, but the image was too tiny. It showed very clear, Mars had that orange hue, but was very very small. I could also locate the 3 moons around the jupiter, but when i try to magnify the image, it is getting distorted, like a big white dish and the spider veins showing up. I checked the collimation and it seems to be okay (the three clips showing up, the eye looking back to me, the dark round ball seems perfectly centered. 

Is there something wrong I am doing or is the 20 mm eyepiece not meant for any magnified viewing? I have not tried with my 10 mm eye that came with the package though. I have ordered a Barlow but it has not yet showed up.

All you experts that live and breathe this, can you please help with some pointers. Will be greatly appreciated.

 

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Hi and welcome to SGL 👍

You mentioned polar alignment and then taking it outside......guessing you meant the other way round.....

You quite rightly said the 20mm eyepiece shows the planets as a tiny disc and not used the 10mm. The 10mm will double the magnification so you need to try that, a barlow will further increase the magnification and apparent size of the planets. No point in adding the barlow to the 20mm, that will give the same magnification as the 10mm on its own. The barlow only works in combination with an eyepiece not on its own.

From your description the collimation is ok.  When changing eyepieces or adding the barlow you need to refocus, and your kids may need to refocus for their eyes, that’s important.

The Celestron 130 is a useful scope and with patience should give pleasing views of the planets and lots else.

When you’ve tried the scope again, including using the 10mm eyepiece and also the barlow when it arrives, always being careful to focus perhaps you could let us know how you got on.

Well done introducing your kids to astronomy....enjoy !

 

 

 

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To add to the above post.

Planets are a long way from us and you should not expect to see large objects in your telescope. Concentrate on getting clear images instead.

The fun is in the chase.

Good hunting.

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There are nights when the atmosphere just won't take high magnification. You will read about 'good seeing' when this is discussed.
A bad result one night, or at one time does not mean a bad scope.

If I may give an example? A few years back an astro club about 20miles away from home was holding a public evening to view Mars through their 12" scope.
I loooked at Mars before setting out and thought the evening would not yield much. Mars was little better than an orange blob in my 7" Intes scope that was new to me, but I thought to be good.
Mars through the club scope was a different experience altogether. Polar cap easily visible, hint of shading, etc.
At first I thought my own scope must have a problem. Returning home I opened up my scope again.
Reassuringly there was Mars with polar cap, hint of shading.
Two sessions at home about 3 hours apart gave completely different results.

Stay with it and there will be good evenings. spend a bit of time on easier targets to increase the enjoyment while building on your skills.
Most sky objects will be there tomorrow or next. Just keep trying.

HTH. David.

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From memories of my 130EQ days the 20mm eyepiece is an erecting eyepiece provided for terrestrial use. Why Celestron would choose to do this is a mystety to me. Why would anyone buy a130EQ for terrestrial purposes? Marketing I guess. The erecting eyepiece design compromises it for astronomical use. Although it means spending more money, buying plossl eyepieces improves things noticeably. 

I would also echo the comments above about  atmospheric conditions which make a big difference. Also, viewing planets when they are low down, which effectively exagerates poor conditions further, isn't going to yield good views. 

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Welcome to SGL and astronomy!.   You seem to be off to a good start, specially as the kids are enjoying it.  I would add to the good advice already offered by saying that the focuser doesn't "zoom" the image, if you can see the spider vanes you are far out of focus.  Best focus is when the image is smallest and sharpest.  To get a bigger image you need the Barlow that you are waiting for and to use the 10mm eyepiece.        🙂 

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Thank you everyone. Great insight and makes me feel relieved  that I am doing something right 😀

I am also getting ready for the October 13 th opposition event. So hopefully I will be using the 10 + Barlow and see if I can get some Decent images of Mars.

thank you so much once again to you all experts .

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21 hours ago, Alfian said:

From memories of my 130EQ days the 20mm eyepiece is an erecting eyepiece provided for terrestrial use. Why Celestron would choose to do this is a mystety to me. Why would anyone buy a130EQ for terrestrial purposes? Marketing I guess. The erecting eyepiece design compromises it for astronomical use. Although it means spending more money, buying plossl eyepieces improves things noticeably. 

I would also echo the comments above about  atmospheric conditions which make a big difference. Also, viewing planets when they are low down, which effectively exagerates poor conditions further, isn't going to yield good views. 

When I had my astromaster 130eq, with the 20mm ep I just took the prism out of it. After a while I went and bought a new better quality 20 & 10mm ep from Flo. 

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