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Abernus

My telescope limits

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I thought I would split this question from my solar filter one. I have an old Meade EQ 1-B reflector telescope. It's 114mm f/8, I have a 2x barlow lense and a 25mm and 125mm lense for it (I think those are correct). As I said in my other post I will have to stick with this telescope for a while.

I was wondering what sort of things will I be able to see with my telescope, and what sort of detail I should expect. I know that 114mm is small so I am not expecting a great deal of detail.

The reason I ask is that I started out and got fed up as I had no idea what I was doing. I then put the telescope away for over a year and it's been neglected. I have now found this forum and a new eagerness to start again. I am also looking for suggestions to help me on my way.

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Welcome!!

Your telescope should be capable of giving you good views of the moon and some smaller star clusters. Start with the 25mm eyepiece.

112mm is a bit small to get good views of the planets, but it wil show the belts and moons of Jupiter and the phases of Venus.

It will also give you the chance to become familiar with the sky and practise in finding objects. Coupled with a pair of binoculars (say 10 x50) it's a good staring point.

( I started with a home made 2" refractor and a magnifying lens as an eyepiece... it was a couple of years before I moved up to a 6" f8 and "proper eyepieces".. looking back I had a lot of fun!)

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Abernus - I'm also a returning newbie to the hobby. Originally I had a 4" (100mm) newt and used it for quite a while to "learn the sky" this has stood me in good stead to return 30 years later - its amazing what you DO remember!! The advantage of a small scope is that you can only see thousands of objects - instead of hundreds of thousands!!

What I'm getting at is that you should be less confused with a small scope - if you have a reasonable star map and can find the brighter planets and Moon there is enough to keep you going for years!.

The other useful trick I have learned is to try and decide what you are going to go out and look at BEFORE you go outside - it is much easier if you have a "plan" rather than aimlessly looking around the sky. Make sure that the objects on your list ARE visible in a small scope so you won't waste time looking for the impossible

Best of luck

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The book 'Turn Left at Orion' will give you a very good idea of what to look for, where and when to look and what you can expect to see with a small scope.

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Sorry to ask this but do you really mean an eyepiece of 125mm?

Meade seem to hand out 25 and 10mm eyepieces.

A 114 reflector should give fairly good views of quite a lot. I was out Saturday looking at Jupiter with a 70mm Meade, refractor, and easily saw the moons and 2 sets of banding, half decent colour. Magnification was 70x so nothing great.

Think my eyes gave up after 20-30 minutes, could have been condensation but I never checked as I went to see Jupiter and had done that.

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Thanks for the info, I will have a look for that book 'Turn left at Orion' I got a chance to use my telescope last night and was trying to look at a bright object in the South, not sure what it was as I have no books anymore.

At the moment I am very limited to what I can see as I live in city and light polution is a big problem. But if the house sells soon I hope to be in a better location.#

Sorry to ask this but do you really mean an eyepiece of 125mm?

Yes it's a 10mm and 25mm eyepiece.

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Nice bright, south, at about 30-40 degrees from the horizontal and between 10:00 and 12:00PM?

Jupiter.

Now is the time to look at it will be at its highest. Should have seen 4 small dots, 2 left and 2 right of the main image.

Personally I wouldn't try getting more then 100-120 magnification out of the scope, so if you ever tried another eyepiece no less then 8mm. So stick with the 10mm. A 15-20 EP may be useful if a cheap one came your way. It would also help give you an idea if the ones you have are any good, simple comparison of how clear it is.

Find a few things to go look at from somewhere as a plan helps enormously. Not sure when Orion appears but it will be soon and is always a good constellation as it is easy to find and there is a good few objects in it.

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Thanks for the info, and I got to see Jupiter last night for the first time. See my post in the general chat section.

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Hello Abernus, I'm a relative newbie to astronomy and one of the best bits of advice I got from this forum is to download stellarium. its free software and shows you whats in the sky for your location each night (location ya can get from google earth. i.e lat & lon). you can also alter the levels of light pollution so it's pretty much as you can see for real ( I also have to deal with pretty bad light pollution.the reason my 10" flextube lives at my parents.it's a lot darker :).......and it's a good exuse to spend some time with the folks.).

regards craig.:)

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Hi Abernus, I'm also just a beginning stargazer. I haven't even looked through my new 80mm ED refractor yet as I'm waiting for the diagonal to arrive. But I have been looking at the night sky with just a pair of 7x50 binoculairs for quite some time now and doing that and consulting maps and Stellarium I am learning to find my way across the sky, recognising stars and constellations. Now often two or three stars are enough to identify the latter. And then, last weekend, I woke up some time before dawn, looked outside and the sky was unusually dark and just crystal clear. And there stood Orion. I took my humble binoculairs and looked and decided to try to find the Orion Nebula, M42, and there it was! Only just a couple of months ago I would never have seen it, would never have identified it as such as it was nothing but a mere smudge in my binoculars. But I saw it and I knew what it was and I was so excited that I almost dropped the binos. What I'm saying is, that it takes time to get to know the sky. You can have a light bucket, but it won't mean much if you don't know what you are doing. Study the star charts, download Stellarium and look up with your telescope and as you learn you will see more and more, simply because you know not only where to look but also how to look. This is my own experience at least. So cheer up about your small telescope!

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