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Your best magnification on planets

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#26 Richard Low

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:27 AM

Last Sat. i had a great view of Mars and Saturn sharp at 788x with 15" dob. And i managed to observe Encke Division.

Details are in the 3rd report on 25 Feb 2012 in here:

http://www.cloudynig...5/o/all/fpart/1

Usually i have sharp views of Saturn and Mars at 563x on my 15" f/4.5 dob. That gives about 37.5x per inch.


#27 BDS316

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 08:33 AM

"With my Tasco 7T 60mm refractor (1958 vintage) :
Venus at 73x . (bad night)
Mars at 280x . (great night) Who wooda thunk with 60mm ?"

According to what it says on the box, you could have gone even higher!!!

#28 Asbytec

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 11:17 AM

According to what it says on the box, you could have gone even higher!!!


My box said 900x with a 3x Barlow and a 4mm Ramsden eyepiece. Supplied.

On Mars, about 450x on good nights and 540x on better nights without too much trouble. It's true, as much can be seen at lower magnification, but boosting image scale helps some, IMO. I'll go as high as conditions permit. On Jupiter, though, pretty much limited to 30x maybe 40x per inch.

#29 penguinx64

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 01:01 PM

I once got Mars up to 719x and still was able to resolve the polar cap and the greenish regions.

Saturn for me topped out at 575x.

Jupiter has been tougher, only permitting me to get it to 313x or 400x at most.

Neptune and Uranus allowed me to enlarge them up to 719x and still see a defined circumference (limb), and Neptune permitted a blow up to 920x, although it was definitely soft-looking.


So I need a 719x telescope to see Mars or Uranus? No problem. I just need a 4mm eyepiece with 2x and 5x barlows in Celestron Firstscope for 750x.

#30 Ptarmigan

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 03:16 PM

With an 8 inch f/6 telescope, I use 203x and rarely 407x. This is with a 6 mm eyepiece. Light pollution is not a factor for planets.

#31 azure1961p

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 10:30 AM

I once got Mars up to 719x and still was able to resolve the polar cap and the greenish regions.

Saturn for me topped out at 575x.
Jupiter has been tougher, only permitting me to get it to 313x or 400x at most.

Neptune and Uranus allowed me to enlarge them up to 719x and still see a defined circumference (limb), and Neptune permitted a blow up to 920x, although it was definitely soft-looking.


So I need a 719x telescope to see Mars or Uranus? No problem. I just need a 4mm eyepiece with 2x and 5x barlows in Celestron Firstscope for 750x.


Lol, sounds like a plan to me.

Pete

#32 aa6ww

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 04:03 PM

My absolute best views I have ever seen of Jupiter were in my suburban back yard in 5/5 seeing condition's in the spring time with my TOA-130 using my TV 15mm Panoptic with my 4x Powermate for about 270x, and and at 330x with my 5x Powermate again using my 15mm TV Plossls in my Denkmeier binoviewer. These are extremely rare occurrences, and happen maybe just once or twice a year at best, when the conditions just seem to be ideal. Festoons on jupiter look like waves of water, gaps between the GRS are visible, and there are clearly defined lines separating the bands. Following a night like this, everyone in the forums talk about the exceptional seeing conditions and how they were able to get incredible views out of their gear.
Generally, Jupiter hits the ceiling at around 200x to 250x for me on very good nights of 5/5 seeing conditions with my TOA. Jupiter is also beautiful in my C14, and good for 200x to 250x on ideal seeing conditions, but the best views in my refractor are better than my best views in my C14, though the contras in my C14 and colors on Jupiter are much much greater and colorful in my C14.
Above those magnifications, the razor sharp definition starts to fall off, and loses its High Definition details. Naturally, you can go as high as your scope and eyepiece will let you, but it just becomes a lost number game with no added benefit. I have a friend who's closing in on 60 years old, and he still thinks like a 12 year old in terms of magnification, and always cranks up his scopes to ridiculous high powers so every detail is lost, then brags about how his scope and gear are so great. He even does this on deep space, sometimes where something is just a blob of light, and thinks hes impressing someone. What a joke.

Saturn is usually good for 200x to 300x, because you are basically separating the bands, which have less details than the small details on Jupiter's surface. When Saturn was displaying storms on the surface ( white clouds) a few years back, my C14 was the scope I used because it also gave me more contras than my TOA and the clouds were easier to see with more aperture.

In 2003, when Mars was at opposition, Mars was excellent sometimes as high as 350x, but for now its good for 200x and getting better.

Venus with its thin crescent is beautiful at 150x, and more if you can catch it high enough in the sky when the atmosphere doesn't blur its beautiful crescent. Venus is also fun to find and show others in broad daylight. Give that a try this time of the year when its crescent is very obvious!.

Uranus and Nepture are best for me with a larger scope. Ive had beautiful views of Uranus at 435x in my C14, where its 15th magnitude moons are clearly visible and its sharp round blue disk is clearly seen.

Neptune is more of a struggle but can still be seen at those high magnifications, because all I try to do is get that blue disc as big and sharp as possible.

....Ralph

#33 youngamateur42

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 03:33 PM

Cool thread! On my 6" I got Saturn up to 320x and with a Lightbridge 16" 609x on Jupiter. I could have put more magnification on but I did not have any more Barlows to do it with.

#34 Nerotheroman

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 04:46 PM

In my area seeing conditions are most of the time pretty good.

When doing planetary observations with my 10" Dobson,
for Jupiter I tend to use magnifications between 120 and
250.
Venus mostly 90-150 and Saturn usually 200-350.

The highest magnification I used so far was 350 on Saturn.
This night Saturn would have taken more than this I think,
but that is all I could offer :)
Unforgettable views! Details in the clouds, cassini division clearly visible and the whole planet showed a nice color tint.

#35 azure1961p

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 05:47 PM

Justin, it sounds like that 16" is a keeper to be sure.

Pete

#36 contrailmaker

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 07:18 PM

Conditions in the Arizona desert typically allow 200-260x and occasionally much higher.

My best so far has been about 600x on Jupiter with a 22" Dob in truly excellent seeing. The detail on the planet rivaled some of the processed pictures I have seen.

I topped at 535x on Jupiter and Saturn a few times with my old C8 when the atmosphere allowed with very good results.

One of my best view of Saturn so far has been with the Clark 24" refractor at Lowell observatory also at around 500x. I don't think pictures do Saturn justice, especially on ring detail.

CM

#37 Asbytec

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 07:52 PM

I'm with Nero on this one, his magnifications seem optimal. Mars can take, and might even benefit from, a bit higher into the 400x range. Jupiter for me, much over 250x becomes dim and looses a lot of contrast. It's best around 25x (best) to 40x per inch (max) depending on conditions.

#38 nirvanix

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 08:09 PM

My best look at Jupiter came at 280x. It doesn't need much more than this to see it's features. Mars on the other hand let me throw 416x at it with good success back during it's last closest approach. Saturn I've done 416x in perfect seeing this year 5am on my birthday. The one and only time I've seen Enke division and 6 moons. What a birthday present. :flower:

#39 James Cunningham

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 06:26 AM

Although I am not new at observing DSO's, I am new at planetary observing. When you talk of 27x per aperture or plain 200x, what is the "X" and how do I find it for my 6. Inch refractor? I only do imaging now and would be using a Samsung 2000 camera. I also have a 2x and a 3x Barlow. Thanks.
Jim

#40 brianb11213

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 07:41 AM

Although I am not new at observing DSO's, I am new at planetary observing. When you talk of 27x per aperture or plain 200x, what is the "X" and how do I find it for my 6. Inch refractor? I only do imaging now and would be using a Samsung 2000 camera. I also have a 2x and a 3x Barlow. Thanks.
Jim

Magnification - visual - focal length of objective divided by focal length of eyepiece. Magnification - imaging - is essentially just the effective focal length of the scope (after any focal extenders / barlows / teleconverters / powermates are taken into account) though the pixel size also has an impact. Too much focal length, too faint an image so the seeing ruins it. I don't know the pixel size of your camera but you want to be working at somewhere around f/25 - f/30 to get max detail from most cameras. A bit less for Jupiter of Saturn because of the relative surface faintness.

#41 Asbytec

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 07:54 AM

For your 6", magnification of 27x per inch is 27 x 6 = 162 power or an object magnified 162 times. Similarly, 200x is a magnification of 200 times or a little over 30x per inch.

Brian was better able to relate the concept to photography. Determining magnification visually is dividing the eyepiece focal length into the objective focal length.






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