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Help needed with how to use my newtonian telescope to view Mars


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Hi

I am new to all this so please bear with me J

I have a Celestron Firstscope 114eq Newtonian telescope which, according to the bumph, should enable me to see Mars and its features quite clearly. However, as you may have guessed, this does not appear to be the case when in my inexperienced hands.

I am able to find Mars in my eyepiece (H25) – although this took some time – but the image I get when focussed is very small, in fact it is probably no bigger than it is to the naked eye. This is also the case when I use the H12 eyepiece. The only time the image appears to get any larger is when it is out of focus and is obscured by the shadow of the secondary mirror. Last night I struggled to use the H6 eyepiece with much success other than getting really good detail of the moon.

I’ve also tried to use the 3x Barlow that was supplied with the telescope with the same results.

Is there any advice anyone would like to share with me?

As I implied, I am able to view the moon with fantastic results but am somewhat disappointed with anything beyond/smaller.

Any help or advice would be much appreciated with good karma being passed your way in exchange.

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Even in a much bigger 'scope, Mars is a hard one to visually observe. I was looking at it at 396x in my 9.25" 'scope last night and it was still essentially a featureless small disc (you really need to concentrate to see the detail)...

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Your scope will give you great views of lots of things - the rings of Saturn, Jupiters Moons (and cloudbelts), the Moon, the M13 cluster, The Pleiades, M42 in Orion and the double cluster in Perseus just for starters.

Bear in mind apart from the viewing 'musts' a lot of astronomy is the search for small fuzzies. Its not the actuality of the view that astounds you its the fact you can see it at all :)

Dont stress - Mars is a perisher right now - and probably always was/is but theres tons of other stuff to see.

Mel

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Yep.. I can second your frustration. I am really new to all this, only had my 6" newtonian for a week. I was told by the shop owner I would be seeing Mars a lot bigger and in a lot more detail than I could over the weekend. It's not that I didn't do my research I think I wanted to believe him! I spent 3 nights in a row, probably about 8 hours on Mars. For the most part it appeared as a bright white disc. Only occasionally did I see a red haze on the top part of the planet (so the bottom inverted).

I was still amazed though..

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A few things: I have the same scope (focal length 900mm, yes?) and Mars is a challenge for that, especially with the very bad Barlow lens and eyepieces that come with the scope. The mount is pretty wobbly as well which makes high magnification viewing frustrating. Mars is about 120 times smaller than the Moon, in appearance, right now, so it's not a surprise that it's difficult to see features. Lastly, you need to observe for some time and hope to catch that moment of great seeing when the features suddenly pop up.

You might like to have a look at an image I managed to get from it:

http://stargazerslounge.com/imaging-planetary/96351-mars-starter-scope-adjust-your-expectations.html

This is, I think, the best you can expect from your scope and then only in moments of good seeing.

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I have had great views of mars especially when it has been misty.

Surface detail has been very clear and stunning....

I usually use a 2x barlow with 15mm eyepeice...but equaly clear without barlow and 15mm or 9mm eypeiece

And a blue filter...:)

Mars is tricky when this close and very bright....as it can wash your eye receptors and make it hard to dertermine features...and using higher powers then makes it worse if the seeing isn't that good.

Chris

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Yep.. I can second your frustration. I am really new to all this, only had my 6" newtonian for a week. I was told by the shop owner I would be seeing Mars a lot bigger and in a lot more detail than I could over the weekend. It's not that I didn't do my research I think I wanted to believe him! I spent 3 nights in a row, probably about 8 hours on Mars. For the most part it appeared as a bright white disc. Only occasionally did I see a red haze on the top part of the planet (so the bottom inverted).

I was still amazed though..

hmm - a 6" newt should be capable of showing you mars as salmon-pink with the northern polar ice cap (at the bottom) and fleeting glimpses of darker markings. might be worth checking the collimation? also, it needs quite high power - 200x +.

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I viewed mars last night and it was small and no better than the naked eye really. i have x2 barlow 20mm and 10mm and my reflector is f/5 650mm giving me a max mag of x130 when using my barlow and my 10mm. someone said i was using to much? am gona try saturn would love to see the rings but now unsure if i will see that. i get great views of star clusters and orion is brill.

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