# describing magnification

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hi guys,

it has always confused me how magnification is described.

when you say 2x does it mean the surface area gets twice as big, or the length (or breadth) gets twice as lengthy?

for example, if the moon is 32' in diameter, when you say 2x does it look like an object of 64' in diameter?

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Magnification does not increase the size of an object. It decreases the distance between the object and your eye. So for example the moon is about 250,000 miles from Earth. With 2x magnification, the distance is technically reduced to 125,000 miles. It looks twice the size because you have essentially moved closer to it so it appears bigger.

I'm sure there is more to it then this but i am not educated in this area enough to describe the ins and outs of it. Its all about the optics.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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Yup! you've got it!! Twice means for example the Moon looks twice the DIAMETER but four times the AREA (twice times each way, N/S & E/W, if you see what I mean).

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if that is the case, then at 2x it would "look like" it is twice its diameter, mathematically speaking.

so that is the answer than?

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oops, you beat me

thanks guys.

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I was just working it out. The max magnification i have ever used on the moon was 218X. This effectively makes the distance from the moon to my eye, 1146 miles.

That's crazy when you sit down and think about it. That's just the Moon. I may work out the distance for the planets and DSOs..................just for fun.

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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I was just working it out. The max magnification i have ever used on the moon was 218X. This effectively makes the distance from the moon to my eye, 1146 miles.

That's crazy when you sit down and think about it. That's just the Moon. I may work out the distance for the planets and DSOs..................just for fun.

only 1146 miles???

thats crazy, that is like putting moon on Iceland when you view from London.

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Isn't there a volcano there that needs plugging?? LOL

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Isn't there a volcano there that needs plugging?? LOL

In Iceland or on the Moon?

LOL.

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Wow, never thought of it like that with regard to the moon. The highest I've used is x450 that means it was like looking at it from 555 miles, wasn't too steady though.

Edited by Chris H
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Wow, never thought of it like that with regard to the moon. The highest I've used is x450 that means it was like looking at it from 555 miles, wasn't too steady though.

then you make the moon a local object. placing it on Orkney Islands when viewing from London

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Saturn (using a 9mm EP and a 2X barlow) gives me a magnification of 144X. This means that Saturn is only 10,509,206.8 miles away from me.

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Wow, thats crazy, so what would the math be to work out how far the moon is away from your eye with a pair of 8x40 binoculars?

Cheers

Shane

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^^ just divide the distance to the moon by 8.

lets suppose it is 384,399km (238854 miles)

so it would be 48050km (29856 miles)

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Ok, cool thanks for that, nice explanations for magnification it's seems a lot more interesting when you look at it like that.

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Forget calculating the distance to DSOs using ?X. There aint enough zeros in my calculator,LOL.

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SOK Paul I don't think I'll be looking at any DSOs using my binos ;-)

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You mean you have not already looked at M42,M45 with your bins?

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You can see loads of DSO's with binos. I took some on holiday to the Maldives and they were great.

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Isn't there a volcano there that needs plugging?? LOL

sorry so late, but lmao

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Hi Paul

I've gotta to start looking at stuff other than the moon sooner or later ;-)

But I've gotta find them first, waiting for my Planisphere, hopefully be here by Friday but I've also got stellararim so I'll see if can find M42 & M45, looks quite nice tonight not that many clouds about I'll have a look when it gets dark ;-)

& Kriss77, I bet that was amazing, I've only just started getting into Astrology, only had mine for about 3/4 weeks, went to Salou earlier in the year and I wish I had had some with me then, but rest assured they will be travelling with me everywhere I go from now on.

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M42 and M45 are really autum/winter objects. You wont see them during the summer.

& Kriss77, I bet that was amazing, I've only just started getting into Astrology,

Astrology?

Surely you mean ASTRONOMY.

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You can see loads of DSO's with binos. I took some on holiday to the Maldives and they were great.

i am from Maldives. and i can see what yo mean. the sky is great in Maldives.

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Wow, never thought of it like that with regard to the moon. The highest I've used is x450 that means it was like looking at it from 555 miles, wasn't too steady though.

that'll be the rolling vibrations as it goes past you in France!

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Hi Paul

I've gotta to start looking at stuff other than the moon sooner or later ;-)

But I've gotta find them first, waiting for my Planisphere, hopefully be here by Friday but I've also got stellararim so I'll see if can find M42 & M45, looks quite nice tonight not that many clouds about I'll have a look when it gets dark ;-)

& Kriss77, I bet that was amazing, I've only just started getting into Astrology, only had mine for about 3/4 weeks, went to Salou earlier in the year and I wish I had had some with me then, but rest assured they will be travelling with me everywhere I go from now on.

hey! another Shane on SGL! we should stick together

look up the 'coma star cluster' (it's pretty much overhead at the minute) and is great in bins. also, the Beehive which is a nice binocular cluster close to Mars. you can also see Mizar / Alcor which is the double star system (well three/four stars really) which is again right overhead and the lent part of the 'pan handle' in the plough.

sorry, we're off topic but 'they' started it

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