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Dissapointments


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Just recently I took my first look at Saturn and Mars. To be honest I was a bit dissapointed. Now I'm fully aware that you are not going to get Hubble like images from a back garden in Hertfordshire, but I was expecting slightly more. I've got a 114mm Celestron, with just a couple of standard lenses that came with the scope. Obviously these lenses can be improved upon,but to me Mars was no more exciting than a red star, and I could see Saturn was a slightly different shape but no real detail. What, apart from getting a new telescope (which Isn't an option at the moment) can I do to boost the images? Thanks in advance.

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Dont know whether this has been posted before but it may help you a little.

http://www.skyatnightmagazine.com/interactive/fov/fov.asp

Just put in your telescope and play around with different eyepieces to see how they change what you see. Ignore the colours though as you won't see any. Also I'm not really sure how accurate it is but it should give you some idea.

Regards

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Mars is very small at the moment and needs at least 150x to start pulling the detail from the planet. A found this morning 200x was showing a lot of detail. Your 114 should be capable of these powers but will need to be well collimated.

As for Saturn, that should show the rings crossing the planet. I setup a friends ultra cheap Ebay scope, also a 114, and they were quite pleased with the results from Saturn and Jupiter.

It could be the seeing was very poor when you went out and that greatly effects what can be seen, regardless of what scope you have.

Russ

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With jupiter, i find that the longer you look at it, the detail you will see, also make sure your eyes are fully adjusted. Try to go from a low power eyepiece and work higher rather than going to high first. Also try using averted vision, that may help. Plus if you have any planetary filters they may help, not essential though.

I was a little dissapointed the first time i looked at jupiter but using all those techniques i soon started to see some nice views. I can clearly see the cloud bands in a 60mm

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It may be that you aren't getting enough magnification to show the planets as more than a small disk. However, even with the small disk, if you spend time looking, training your eye to "see" (sounds odd I know) you'll actually start to observe the details that are there. When I first started I really found it hard to find objects and see details. Now I find it easier. I was out the other night with my 80mm ED frac looking at Jupiter at 120x, I couldn't really use more as the seeing wasn't up to it, but I was able to clearly see the 2 main bands, although the planet looked very small in the FOV.

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Dont know whether this has been posted before but it may help you a little.

http://www.skyatnightmagazine.com/interactive/fov/fov.asp

Just put in your telescope and play around with different eyepieces to see how they change what you see. Ignore the colours though as you won't see any. Also I'm not really sure how accurate it is but it should give you some idea.

Regards

I hadn't seen this before. Very useful. Many thanks.

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I like the idea of that simulator (hadn't seen it before so thanks for posting the link) however it doesn't seem to be very accurate. The scope, EP combinations I have don't match the images they are showing on there in terms of size. Nice idea though.

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I like the idea of that simulator (hadn't seen it before so thanks for posting the link) however it doesn't seem to be very accurate. The scope, EP combinations I have don't match the images they are showing on there in terms of size. Nice idea though.

didn't work for mr either :icon_eek:

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I wouldn't expect to see that much of Saturn, it is smaller then Jupiter and further away. Personally I would not expect a 114 to get 150x easily and the quality of image will not be great. I wouldn't expect it to get anything useable with a mag of 200x. Sorry.

The most decent view of Saturn I had was on a 12 inch refractor set at 120x.

Your 114 may get 120x but the light collection may be the down side.

Where in Herts are you??

Edited by Capricorn
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The first time I saw Jupiter is was just an orange blob. After several more sessions I was more patient and worked out the best eyepieces to use etc. Your eyes get used to seeing smaller details too. Mars is very small at the moment so will be tough. As for magnification, just go by the conditions. As already stated your scope should be good up to x250, which with good seeing will give you great views of Saturn and you should be able to make out the ice caps on Mars. Sometimes I can't go much over x100 and other times I've had great views at x375 (in a 150mm scope). Some people can make out incredible details at x150. I can't with my eyes.

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I think Bish has nailed it - the more you look, the more you see. It's taken me years to work that out and many dissapointments along the way. Nowadays it's quite normal for me (clouds allowing) to spend a whole session on just one or two objects, coming back again and again as the optics cool and my eye adjusts. Making the most of those few second moments of good seeing amidst the turbulance is another trick to learn.

Combining the above I've been amazed at the details that even my 4" scope can show on Jupiter - much more than you would imagine from the initial glimpses :icon_eek:

John

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