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First light (for me and my scope!)


Httetal
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Clear skies following the arrival of my scope (skyliner 150P dob) - I'd been led to believe you had to wait 2 weeks to get a clear night!

Anyway, having assembled it (bigger than the look on line aren't they!) and allowed to cool it was time for business. With a feeling of apprehension and a sense of "what the hell am I doing with this big scope in my garden" I removed the dust caps and inserted the 25mm ep and peered...

...stars, lots and lots of stars. Amazing how many stars appear in what seems black space to the naked eye. Without the finder scope aligned I was spent the rest of the evening just scanning the sky, occasionally seeing satellites whizzing past and the highlight being what appeared to me 2 star clusters just in vision together (no idea what they were, somewhere to the southeast at 9pm and about halfway to the zenith). Finally got the finder aligned on a very bright white/blue/orange sparkly thing below Orion (I think probably Sirius sparkling through turbulance) but fingers and toes about to drop off so headed in happy.

Then low and behold last night was clear too! Now with my finder scope aligned I quickly found Jupiter - wow! I upped the ep to the 10mm that I had neglected to use the previous night and could clearly see one darker and one lighter band (but no red spot) and the 4 moons. I need to improve my dob nudging skills at this mag though! Next was back to the 25ep and orion's nebula (that finder scope really helps doesn't it!) again wow, a large twisted coil of billowing dark smokey cloud. To know how big and distant these objects are as you gaze upon then really sends a shiver down your spine! Jupiter now feels like a big brother rather than a mythical world unrelated to mine.

Looks like cloud tonight, so maybe a chance to open Turn Left at Orion that arrived the same day as the scope but hasn't had a look in yet.

To round off I have a question: What sort of difference does a posh ep make over what was supplied with my scope?

For instance, how would a view of Jupiter compare with a fancy 10mm ep and the same for orion's nebula with a 25mm?

Finally at what point in the price range do you really sart noticing the difference? (I'm hoping it's like wine - the biggest jump in quality comes with spending just a little bit more than the basics)

Cheers everyone!

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Welcome to SGL from another newbie. :)

To round off I have a question: What sort of difference does a posh ep make over what was supplied with my scope?

For instance, how would a view of Jupiter compare with a fancy 10mm ep and the same for orion's nebula with a 25mm?

Finally at what point in the price range do you really sart noticing the difference? (I'm hoping it's like wine - the biggest jump in quality comes with spending just a little bit more than the basics)

I'm also interested in hearing the answer to this. There's talk of one or two decent EP sets but I'm hanging fire for now. I feel that if I purchased something but couldn't show a marked improvement over the stock SW EP's I'd get my legs cut off by the Mrs. :)

Edited by NickMilner
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Hi and welcome to SGL

Eyepiece choice is a tricky subject, a search on the forum will show more questions on it than anything else.

IMHO, the best way forward is to get together with other astronomers and have a look through theirs, only then will you see any difference between the EP's that came with your scope and any "better" ones.

Don't be too keen to spend more dosh too soon, as your expectations may be too high. Get used to the view through your current setup and when you get the chance to look through a "quality" EP you can make a reasoned judgement.

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Hi Henry - welcome to SGL and very good first light report :)

I had a 150P on EQ3-2 and the ep quality can make a huge difference just one or two steps up. Eg I have a William Optics 33mm and 40 mm and they are much better on dso's than supplied ep's - around £60 new or £40 ish s/h. Clearer and crisper across most of the fov and wider than supplied plosls.

For around £100 you're up another step and you're into Baader Hyperions new, or TV Radians s/h. The quality jump becomes very significant.

Over £200 the differences are smaller and more subtle - for the perfectionist really.

My 150P was improved amazingly with a Hyperion Zoom (Mk2). Like 5 quality ep's in one, it was £165 new - but can be had s/h for around £100 now the Mk3 is out - very good vfm (imho) :)

Edited by brantuk
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

The eyepiece question is a tricky one because it depends on your scope. Faster scopes (low f numbers) require better quality as they are expected to do more work in bringing a steeper light cone to focus. A 'slower' scope will have a narrower light path (easy to bring to focus) so you can get away with eyepieces that have less elements in them. Like everything else, there are aesthetic standards as well in what a person might deem 'acceptable' to look through. For example, cheaper wide angled eyepieces say from 30mm upwards, will show focussed stars at the centre of the view but as your eye moves to the edge of view, you might notice some star distortion. Expensive eyepieces will try to ensure that ALL stars are in focus from the centre to the edge, so you can simply look around through the whole eyepiece and experience what is termed the 'moon walk' experience. Conversely, others have rightly argued that the eye cannot see the whole 100 degrees or 80 degrees and so if you want to see stars more precisely at the edge just simply move the scope till they arrive in focus.

Ultimately as suggested above, you need to buddy up with other observers to try others out or simply take the plunge and buy what people have reviewed as being technically good. Part of the price is bound to be down to the name but in reality most of the money is in the quality of the glass, its coatings and the number of elements within that help steer the light to do what is says on the tin. The stock eyepieces that come with the scope aren't that bad, but if you wear glasses and require a certain eye relief, or you want something that offers a slightly wider view, then that's where the extra money comes in.

Clear skies

James

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Hi and welcome to the forum.

Welcome to Dobsville too always nice to have another resident.

You'll soon get the hang of barging the beast about.

That's great advice from rusty. Never be in a hurry to spend cash, take ya time, see whats out there and try before ya buy if you can.

Good hunting and clear skies:)

Steve

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Interesting post as this is one of the scopes in my 'mental shopping cart'

:)

My decision (largely based on the views of people on this forum) was to go for the most optics for my money and also the simplicity of use for a dob.

So far I love the ease of use - put it outside when I get home, go outside 30 mins later, point and look. I'd imagined I'd be someone who fancies the odd hour when the weathers right rather than sitting up til the early hours so a simple set up was key (although that might change!). Also I'm not into photography so didn't need a motorised mount. The slowness of GOTO mounts put me off those. Plus I thought I would miss out on learning the sky if I used one straight away.

Researching it was definitely much fun, so enjoy!:)

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Hi Henry - welcome to SGL and very good first light report :)

I had a 150P on EQ3-2 and the ep quality can make a huge difference just one or two steps up. Eg I have a William Optics 33mm and 40 mm and they are much better on dso's than supplied ep's - around £60 new or £40 ish s/h. Clearer and crisper across most of the fov and wider than supplied plosls.

For around £100 you're up another step and you're into Baader Hyperions new, or TV Radians s/h. The quality jump becomes very significant.

Over £200 the differences are smaller and more subtle - for the perfectionist really.

My 150P was improved amazingly with a Hyperion Zoom (Mk2). Like 5 quality ep's in one, it was £165 new - but can be had s/h for around £100 now the Mk3 is out - very good vfm (imho) :)

Well, i'm a noob, but wouldn't using a 40mm EP be almost like looking through the spotter scope as its such a low power? on a 300p or 250px at least? please someone educate me :):confused:

Welcome to SGL though buddy. im glad you had great first light! jupiter for the first time really is something special, i'm waiting for my first view of saturn!

Edited by DrNeb
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A 2" wide field eyepiece is very useful for viewing large dso's in a big dob. This is something that a lot of newbies miss because they go for instant magnification in most cases.

Try looking at the Plieades in a 10mm-15mm 1.25" plossl and it simply won't all fit in. A 30mm-40mm wide angle ep on the other hand, will show it hanging like jewels in the sky.

Quality of glass will make a big difference. Andromeda in a 40mm WO Swan is fascinating - in a 28 Uwan even more clear - and a 30mm Panoptic wow!. Of course you have to get the numbers right with respect to focal ratio and aperture as mentioned above.

But there is significant reason for low power viewing in any setup :)

Edited by brantuk
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