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I'm not sure I'm seeing any magnification

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I'm puzzled and a bit dissapointed by the view I've had so far out of my new scope. It's the first one I've ever had and I wasn't sure what to expect, but having read some astronomy books before and looking through forums gave me some clue as to what I should see through the eye piece.

Thing is, everythings small, much smaller than I'd have thought and the books I've read suggest.

I'm using a 5 inch wide 650mm long scope (Skywatcher Explorer 130P SupaTrak AUTO), and I've put on the most powerful combination of lens' I have - a 10mm and an x2 barlow, which if my math is right is 130 times magnification. When I looked at Mars last night even at this magnification it was still little more than a dot with a hint of redness.

I had a look at the moon at 24x magnification, and again it was clearer and more detailed but it didn't look huge by any standard.

I tryed Jupiter on a previous night at 56x and again I was stuck with little more than a very bright dot.

Have I been misinformed, or am I doing something wrong? (I know infact i'm doing one thing wrong - looking through double glazed windows with it! However I assumed that this would make it blurry rather than small), the clarity of the image seems good.

Any help would be great, I'm really puzzled, I almost feel like the light gathering width of my scope is working but not the magnifying length!

Thanks in advanced from one confused beginner.:)

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I think you are probably expect too much from your telescope. At 56x magnification Jupiter will be a small disc, as will Mars at 130x. The Moon will fill the eyepiece at about 40x magnification and at greater magnifications you will begin to see more details such as craters and mountains.

If you look at this website you will get a good indication of what to expect with your telescope and eyepieces.

Field of view calculator

Select your telescope or enter the focal length and aperture, add the eyepiece and barlow and select the object to look at. An image of the object will appear at that magnification.


Edited by Cornelius Varley
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Thats sounds right - Mars is small - I was using over 300x last night and it's still not that big in the eyepiece. Jupiter is larger and 130x will show a nice disk and the 4 main moons and a couple of cloud belts but it won't fill the viewfinder by any means.

Try the moon at 130x - it should more than fill your eyepiece !.

The trouble with the pictures in books and on the internet is that they mislead one into thinking thats how things look though a scope, with the exception of the Moon thats not the case as you are finding out.

Do get outside to observe - viewing through windows or from a house even with the window open is no good for astro viewing - too many currents of warm air to mess things up !.

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