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Help seeing Saturn


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At last I have manged to gert my telescope out in the garden and had a look at Saturn. Still very new to all this and I have a question.

I looked using a 13mm Baader Hyperion (as I want to use it for astrophotography at some time in the future) using a 2x barlow but the image was still very small and very bright. In reality to be able to see a larger image would I be best in investing in some more eyepieces?

thanks in advance

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The 13mm+Barlow would give you around x120 maginfication, you can up to x250-300 on nights of good seeing, so a EP in the 8mm-6mm range might be a good buy if you don't mind using the Barlow or maybe the 3.5 Hyperion if you don't want to use the Barlow.

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Hi Martin,

When i first started viewing the planets like you i was all for eyepiece filling views of Jupiter and the like, i then went away and bought a 9mm eyepiece, but more often than not i find using the lower magnification combo's yield sharper image and once you train your eye to view this relatively small object you will see a lot more detail than that magnified throu a more powerful eyepiece, especially if you have barlowed it (you just magnify the imperfections and add new distortion if seeing is not great). There is also the added advantage of not having to track as much ( i have a dobsonian so tracking can become a pain in the tonsils if you use high mag).

I i was you i would get a loan of a new eyepiece and make sure this is really the right course of action before committing to buy a new lens

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I think the Baader Hyperions already have a Barlow them inside them, so adding an extra Barlow may degrade the image. A 7mm orthoscopic will give you a sharper view of the markings on Saturn and its rings than any Hyperion. They have a narrower field of view, but it's more than wide enough for Saturn. I think the Baader orthoscopics cost about the same as the Hyperions.

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I use X-Cels, which have a built-in Barlow, and I don't have any problem Barlowing them. In any case, you can stack Barlows. Your theoretical maximum with that scope would be reached with a 2mm ep, giving 400 power. If you get a 4 or 5mm ep, you can Barlow it to get close to your maximum on nights when the seeing is particularly good. I recommend Barlowing to get to your maximum because the Barlow preserves the eye relief of the longer ep, and is much more comfortable to look into, and the rarity of good seeing conditions doesn't really justify the expense of a short f/l eyepiece.

Combined with your Barlow, you should look towards getting a set of eps that increase in steps of about 50%, so have a 4, 6, 9 or 10, 15 or 16, 25 and 40. You can then use the Barlowed 4 and 6 to get your very high powers Barlow the 16 to get an 8 (close enough to 9) and Barlow the 40 to get a nice intermediate 20 with good eye relief. As a minimum kit, I would suggest the Barlow, and a 10 and a 25. Add others as you can.

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The 13mm+Barlow would give you around x120 maginfication, you can up to x250-300 on nights of good seeing, so a EP in the 8mm-6mm range might be a good buy if you don't mind using the Barlow or maybe the 3.5 Hyperion if you don't want to use the Barlow.

Pix show SN8 with 7mm Baader Genuine Orthoscopic - with and without barlow.

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these things are always really helpful. I don't think my 10mm Orion Sirius plossl or my Antares 3x barlow are quite up to the job of seeing Saturn, so I'm looking for a good high power EP. I'm hoping for an ortho, but I haven't seen any below 5mm. Is this the smallest orthos you can get? Would I be better off with a Hyperion 3.5mm or a 9mm ortho tripled for viewing saturn?

Thanks all

Andrew

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Andrew - when you get hold of that 8" f5 newt yer after, just try yer 10mm OSP with the x3 barlow.

At x300 you'll be pushing the practical visual mag limit for any amatuer scope (from what I've read folks - gets coat ready) but I think they should be up to the job of seeing Saturn :thumbright: (seeing permitted of course).

What makes you think they are not mate?

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4mm is the smallest commonly avaliable ortho, I think Tak (or Zeiss, I forget) make a 2.5mm ortho but they are pretty rare and likely to be pretty expensive even secondhand.

As Matt says 300 is about as high has you can go on planets in the country, most night you won't even be able to go that high. I tend to try to have an eypeice that gives around x250 that can be used quite often and another that gives x300 for those 'once in while' nights of great seeing.

I reckon a 4mm ortho would be a good place to start, you'll get more use out of it than a smaller eyepiece.

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Sounds good Gaz. Normally best to keep within limits - no matter what scope you got (grabs coat ready again) Can push things on lunar if you got real good seeing. 4mm ortho - or a TMB planetary - would be x250 in an eyepiece highly rated for planets.

Saturn's a lovely sight even at a weakling x160 (my usual Tal100r view) though I did get it crisp at a whopping x193 in my little Tal1 the other night... lovely lovely lovely :)

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these things are always really helpful. I don't think my 10mm Orion Sirius plossl or my Antares 3x barlow are quite up to the job of seeing Saturn, so I'm looking for a good high power EP. I'm hoping for an ortho, but I haven't seen any below 5mm. Is this the smallest orthos you can get? Would I be better off with a Hyperion 3.5mm or a 9mm ortho tripled for viewing saturn?

Thanks all

Andrew

Why not? With my 114mm Tasco, I would get a nice view of Saturn with my 12 or 6mm eps. Four mm was pushing a little too hard for it, though. I could occasionally get glimpses of the Cassini division with it. And I think you hae much better skies than I do. :)

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I think Pentax makes a 2.5mm ortho that has had good reviews abroad and, unlike most Pentax telescopes, is sold in the UK. The only trouble is, it costs more than £200. I've sometimes used a 6mm Circle T ortho with a Meade 2X Barlow on my OMC 140 on Saturn when the seeing is extra steady. That gives a power of more than 600. The image is sometimes quite sharp but always very dim and the field of view very, very small. The combination would be much happier in a fast Newtonian.

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thanks all. Help in this matter is well appreciated. A 4mm ortho sounds good if I can find one at a decent price. If I really need under that, I'll give the aforementioned a go. It just seems unlikely - that's all - but that's merely from experience of a 4.5" scope!

One shouldn't underestimate equipment you ahven't tried - unless it's Seben!! :) Has anyone actually tried one of those infamous things??

Andrew

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