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First evening with my telescope!


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Was amazing!

Managed to see the lines on Jupiter and 4 moons.

One thing i noticed was that the image was significantly clearer on my decent 25mm eyepiece.

With the cheap no name 10mm I couldn’t  get focus and it was less crisp.

Is this likely due to the eyepiece or the magnification? 

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2 minutes ago, UKDiver said:

Were you comparing the two eyepieces under the same conditions?

I've had varying results with the same EP on different nights. Tonight was terrible for me.

Yeah I just switched back and forth and found the 25mm to be much clearer. Problem was Jupiter was quite tiny 

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3 minutes ago, Dakuwaqa said:

Yeah I just switched back and forth and found the 25mm to be much clearer. Problem was Jupiter was quite tiny 

I've nothing to suggest - still at the early learning stages myself.

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18 minutes ago, Dakuwaqa said:

 

With the cheap no name 10mm I couldn’t  get focus and it was less crisp.

Is this likely due to the eyepiece or the magnification? 

It's likely to be the eyepiece as the kit 10's tend to not be the best

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28 minutes ago, Dakuwaqa said:

Was amazing!

Managed to see the lines on Jupiter and 4 moons.

One thing i noticed was that the image was significantly clearer on my decent 25mm eyepiece.

With the cheap no name 10mm I couldn’t  get focus and it was less crisp.

Is this likely due to the eyepiece or the magnification? 

If you have the Skywatcher Mak then the supplied 25mm is nice, crisp & bright the 10mm much less so.  Will do ok on the moon, which is looking nice tonight! 

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2 minutes ago, SuburbanMak said:

If you have the Skywatcher Mak then the supplied 25mm is nice, crisp & bright the 10mm much less so.  Will do ok on the moon, which is looking nice tonight! 

Thanks dude!! Will have to get some new lenses! 
 

Do you know if a new diagonal would make much difference?

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19 minutes ago, Dakuwaqa said:

Thanks dude!! Will have to get some new lenses! 
 

Do you know if a new diagonal would make much difference?

The supplied SW 90 degree diagonal is actually pretty decent. I did upgrade eventually but certainly wasn’t the first. 
 
Aside from the dew shield, my next most important priority was to make stuff easier to find - the Maks are quite narrow field.  I went for both a 9x50 Right Angled Correct Image (RACI) finderscope and a Telrad (like an illuminated gunsight with circles).  The 102 has a bit smaller tube to stick the sight on - there’s another well loved version called the Rigel which has a smaller footprint. These made a huge difference to amount of time spent observing vs. searching. 
 

The killer eyepieces for me were an 8-24mm zoom, I bought a Baader Hyperion IV which is great but there’s others at or around that focal length that push the budget less (folk on here speak well of the Hyperflex zoom).  The beauty of a zoom is it gives lots of magnification options & reduces finger numbing faff on cold night! 

Next up would be something that gives you the max possible field of view - a simple 32mm Plossl will do that job or if you can stretch a bit & want slightly higher  magnification for the same field I went with a Baader Hyperion 24mm 68 degree. 
 

There are many more experienced that I’m sure will comment but personally these were the things that enhanced my enjoyment & ease of use the most per £ 

 

 

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Don't forget to let your scope cool down. That can make a huge difference. My 100mm ED APO was rubbish on Jupiter earlier, but just now the moon was crisp at x292.

The 10mm isn't a very good eyepiece. It's not hard to find something better.

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1 hour ago, SuburbanMak said:

The supplied SW 90 degree diagonal is actually pretty decent. I did upgrade eventually but certainly wasn’t the first. 
 
Aside from the dew shield, my next most important priority was to make stuff easier to find - the Maks are quite narrow field.  I went for both a 9x50 Right Angled Correct Image (RACI) finderscope and a Telrad (like an illuminated gunsight with circles).  The 102 has a bit smaller tube to stick the sight on - there’s another well loved version called the Rigel which has a smaller footprint. These made a huge difference to amount of time spent observing vs. searching. 
 

The killer eyepieces for me were an 8-24mm zoom, I bought a Baader Hyperion IV which is great but there’s others at or around that focal length that push the budget less (folk on here speak well of the Hyperflex zoom).  The beauty of a zoom is it gives lots of magnification options & reduces finger numbing faff on cold night! 

Next up would be something that gives you the max possible field of view - a simple 32mm Plossl will do that job or if you can stretch a bit & want slightly higher  magnification for the same field I went with a Baader Hyperion 24mm 68 degree. 
 

There are many more experienced that I’m sure will comment but personally these were the things that enhanced my enjoyment & ease of use the most per £ 

 

 

Thanks so much! If you had to pick between your right angled finderscope and the Telrad, which would you go for?!

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22 minutes ago, Dakuwaqa said:

Thanks so much! If you had to pick between your right angled finderscope and the Telrad, which would you go for?!

Hmmm - tough one, but probably the Telrad. It has concentric circles of 4 degrees, 2 degrees and 0.5 degree diameter, so you can use it to measure star-hops to find things. If you look online you'l find loads of free charts with Telrad circles that are amazingly useful for finding your way around. (Besides which it always makes me feel a bit like a Spitfire pilot...)

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Worth mentioning that the bigger you make any image (photos for example), the blurrier they appear - As anyone who's tried to pinch images from google image search will know.  So whilst eyepiece quality probably comes into play (I'm a novice too so only ever used my kit ones and can't comment on others) you need to remember that you are magnifying the earth's atmosphere as much as you are the object you're trying to look through it at.  When looking at Jupiter right now, it's very low in the sky, therefore you're looking through more atmosphere, and over more heat-haze/air disturbance coming off buildings, the ground etc.

Our eyes are also pretty good at "guessing" and extrapolating information to fill in details, but only up to a point, so this might be affecting it.  When you look at the image small, your eye works out the detail, when it's big, you just see a blurry mess and therefore don't trust any potential detail you might be picking up.

Or I could be talking a load of nonsense and you need a better 10mm EP! 🤣

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Bigger budget eyepieces will certainly make a difference, even using something like a 2x barlow lens.

It creates a small image but some of the best Jupiter views I've had are through my 9mm WO SWAN.

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If your stock 10mm eyepiece is anything like mine, it's awful. IMO, your first priority is to upgrade it. No idea what your budget might be, but the BST Starguider range is excellent value for money. I have the 8mm and it's a decent piece of kit for the price.

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I’ve used the stock 10mm eyepiece in loads of scopes and never found it to be that bad personally. I mean - it’s not great, but it’s ok. Better eyepieces will probably show you a bit more but their main benefits imho are field of view and edge sharpness so that probably wouldn’t affect Jupiter a huge amount.

But others will disagree!

Planets always get fuzzier the more magnification you use, it’s always a balancing act between magnification and detail. This applies more to Jupiter than Saturn for some reason.

And it changes massively from night to night and hour to hour.I’ve had nights were there’s no point going above about 75x, other nights you can go up to 250x (with a 4 inch scope or better).

And sometimes Jupiter looks its absolute best at about 30-35x magnification which will  often show a nice banded globe and a couple of moons.

I’d hazard that what you experienced was fairly typical of normal conditions rather than being a fault of the eyepiece. 

A quick test is to look at the stars when you’re observing, the amount of twinkle is a good guide to atmospheric conditions. A really bright twinkling, busy looking star field means there’s a lot of turbulence in the air and it may reduce the quality of the view of the planets.

 

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It could be a poor 10mm eyepiece or it could be the conditions were not great which would make the higher magnification of a good 10mm eyepiece still look muddy.

Regarding finders the combination of a red dot finder and a right angled finder is what I settled on after trying just about everything.

The RDF I only use to get roughly on target and the right angled finder for getting right on it. A rdf and a 6x30 finder doesn't cost too much or if you want better and the ability to go deeper then a Telrad or Rigel finder plus a 9x50 right angled finder would do it but costs more.

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The stock 10mm and 25mm eye pieces are usually low end, and 10mm may be at the limit for magnification of your optics.

A zoom eyepiece like this one will allow you to see better than a stock 25mm, and the zoom will allow you to go a lot further, maybe not all the way, but somewhere in the middle as a good compromise. Getting a barlow later on to go with this one will extend the magnification range of the zoom - although I would see how well you go with it without the barlow at first, if views are acceptable at full zoom (unlikely with entry level scopes), then the barlow would allow you to reach further higher magnifications.

I appreciate you might think this is quite an expensive upgrade, but if you are more likely to upgrade your telescope not eyepieces in the future, I doubt you will need to upgrade from this or a similar zoom eyepiece, you'll be able to use it on all future telescopes, so the initial cost outlay is protected for your future astronomy journey.

When the Pandemic is over you may be able to visit a star party and borrow other people's eyepieces for use in your optics, to get an idea of the improvement. Doesn't look like that is going to happen any time soon however :(

 

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