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Filters for Jupiter

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#1 Cames

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:14 AM

I noticed two new(?) Zhumell filters in the Hayneedle catalog.
They are the Zhumell 1.25 inch High Performance Urban Sky Filter and the Zhumell 1.25 Inch High Performance Filter

Have you had experience with either of these?

I'm looking for a filter of good optical quality that will enhance views of Jupiter which appears very bright in this apparition and I suspect that its glare may be obscuring some details.

I haven't been able to find specifics on these filters so your input and impressions after actually using one would be appreciated.

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#2 Sarkikos

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:29 AM

Cames,

I advise a Baader Moon & Sky Glow to increase perceived contrast.

Also, if Jupiter seems too bright, blame your eyes, don't blame the planet. When viewing bright planets, your eyes should be as close as possible to photopic (daylight) adaptation, the level at which they would have optimal visual acuity. Try looking at the reflection on a white piece of paper from a bright white flashlight every so often during the observing session. This will bring your eyes closer to photopic. If a planet appears too bright in the eyepiece, your eyes are stuck at the partially dark-adapted mesopic level.

Mike

#3 BSJ

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:52 AM

I find a Moon & Sky Glow stacked with a Finge Killer is the best for Jupiter, or any bright Solar System object.

I just got a Semi-Apo filter, but it's been too cloudy...

The Semi-Apo combines the M&SG and the FK into the same filter.

#4 Sarkikos

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 10:58 AM

I've also tried the M&SG stacked with FK, and the Semi-Apo by itself. But usually I just put on the M&SG.

Mike

#5 mich_al

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:06 AM

I'm getting very good results using an 80A light blue filter.

Al

#6 demiles

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:21 PM

I use the M&SG filter as well but just recently started using a 25% ND filter with excellent results.

#7 jaddbd

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:33 PM

+1 on the 80A. It's a subtle, and does seem to enhance the contrast a bit.

JD

#8 SPO

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:57 PM

The urban sky filter looks to be the same one I have from zhumell. I think they changed the name a few times.

It's similar to the Baader M&SG. I've had both and couldn't tell a difference in use and returned the Baader M&SG. Your results in your scope may differ. I think the Baader uses a different type of glass and when looking at it under light you can see a difference. I just couldn't see any improvement when using it over the zhumell.

The other filter looks like it might be a neutral density filter.

#9 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 01:37 PM

I used to use the 80A and yellow / green with good results, but for all my planetary viewing, except for Saturn, I use a polarizing filter with excellent results. I just put one half in my 2" extension tube and the other half on the bottom of my Antares twist lock adapter and I turn the eyepiece to set the brightness. :jump:

Cheers,

#10 Sarkikos

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 01:54 PM

I only use filters to enhance contrast or emphasize specific features over others. To tone down the brightness, nothing works better than the "bright white light trick." :ubetcha: The eyes are the problem, not the planet.

Mike

#11 JIMZ7

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:06 PM

Once with a Celestron 8" Star-Hopper, I looked at Jupiter with polarized sun glasses. At that time it was the only thing I had for glare-it worked!

Jim :refractor:

#12 moynihan

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:10 PM

A useful ALPO page on the subject.

#13 REC

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:10 PM

That's an interesting tip. I notice when I first go out my patio door from a lighted room to view Jupiter, at first it looks pretty good with dark sky around the moons and detail on the planet. After a little bit longer at the EP, the glow around Jupiter starts to increase and I loose surface detail. So I guess my photopic vision is then turning into night vision, that's why the glare then?

I will have to try the white paper trick:)

Bob

#14 Jaimo!

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:20 PM

Mike,
If you look into a flash light to stop down your pupil diameter, couldn't you accomplish the same thing with a smaller scope? I find my 12" dob a little much for Jupiter, but great for deep sky, and typically get my best views at 6-8"...

Jaimo!

#15 Starman1

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:20 PM

Mike,
If you look into a flash light to stop down your pupil diameter, couldn't you accomplish the same thing with a smaller scope? I find my 12" dob a little much for Jupiter, but great for deep sky, and typically get my best views at 6-8"...

Jaimo!

But the smaller scope will lose resolution.
If dimming the image in a larger scope enables you to see more details (and sometimes it does), try a light #50 neutral density filter or a #82A light Blue. The ND won't change the color.

However, I've found coloration in bands and details to be greater in greater aperture. My best view of Jupiter in color was in a 28" scope with no filter.

And remember, double the power and the image is 1/4 as bright per unit area. My best views of Jupiter have all been over 300X.

#16 Sarkikos

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:26 PM

Jaimo!

Mike,
If you look into a flash light to stop down your pupil diameter, couldn't you accomplish the same thing with a smaller scope? I find my 12" dob a little much for Jupiter, but great for deep sky, and typically get my best views at 6-8"...


No, don't look directly into the light. That will give you an after-image. Not too good. You need to shine the bright white-light from the flashlight onto a piece of white paper, and look at the white paper. That should be enough to bring your eyes up toward the photopic level of adaptation.

And there is more to this effect than stopping down the iris of your eye. I'm sure that is part of it, but there are also changes going on in the retina.

I would not advise going to a smaller aperture scope just so Jupiter won't seem so bright! It's not about the scope or the brightness of Jupiter. What is important here is adjusting your eyes to the optimum adaptation for viewing planets.

I think a 12" Dob would be great for Jupiter. In fact I know it would be, since I've viewed planets in 12" and larger Dobs. The real problem with larger mirrors is thermal adjustment, not that the aperture is too big. My best scope for planets is a 10" Dob, better than my 8" Dob or my 6" Rumak. I have no problem with Jupiter being "too bright." It's all a matter of doing it right and making sure your eyes are prepared for planet observation, not for deep sky.

Mike

#17 Dick Jacobson

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:20 PM

A binoviewer is very helpful, if you're lucky enough to have one. Not only cuts glare, but makes it easier to see faint contrast and suppresses "floaters".

#18 Sarkikos

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:25 PM

Yes, a binoviewer is excellent for Jupiter.

Mike

#19 and75

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:27 PM

I came in just right now, it was a 1 hour observing window, and after that Jupiter disappeared behind the clouds. I tested my new Soligor HP eyepieces (almost the same as the Vixen LV series I think) with a Baader M&SG and a light blue filter (Made in Germany, but not for astronomical use, I think it was an accessory of a camera)
The main impression on the M&SG is that it's good, noticed some improvement... but not a big deal. The blue color filter did just the same performance (for free) I can't screw the blue filter into the eyepiece, perhaps I will invest into a real astro-filter, a Baader light blue.

I have never heard about that white paper trick, it sounds good, I'll try it asap.

#20 Sarkikos

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:28 PM

I hate to belabor the point, but all this talk about Jupiter being too bright, too much glare, need to dim the image, are off the mark. Unless you're observing with a really big scope - maybe a 26" or bigger? - the problem isn't that Jupiter is too bright. The problem is that your eyes aren't properly prepared to observe Jupiter.

Mike

#21 Sarkikos

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:37 PM

The main impression on the M&SG is that it's good, noticed some improvement... but not a big deal. The blue color filter did just the same performance (for free) I can't screw the blue filter into the eyepiece, perhaps I will invest into a real astro-filter, a Baader light blue.


Yep, no filter will perform miracles for planets or even show you anything that you couldn't see without it. But a good filter will make it easier for you to see what's there.

I have never heard about that white paper trick, it sounds good, I'll try it asap.


It's nothing new. Planet observers have been keeping white light around themselves for a long time. But it does seem that it's a trick that's been forgotten or ignored. Otherwise you wouldn't hear all the complaints in these threads about how bright Jupiter is!

My preference, though, is to only expose my eyes to the white light - I mean a reflection of the light - every ten minutes or so, instead of having a constant light on near where I observe. It's too easy for a bright light that's constantly on to introduce glare - real glare - into the optics or your eyes while you're observing.

:grin:
Mike

#22 Cames

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:50 PM

Wow! Thank you all for the great hints. And, now that you mention it, I alternate eyes when one eye fatigues after prolonged gazing and I've noticed that Jupiter appears very washed out in the new eye at first but then gradually develops more contrast and detail. One reason why I was pursuing the filter route is that passing haze or thin clouds seemed to bring out detail that went unnoticed under more transparent conditions.

We're going to be socked in with clouds for the next few days. I'm going to implement your suggestions on the next clear night.


Again, many thanks

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#23 StarStuff1

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:00 PM

For grins try an OIII filter. You will get a psychedalic planet but there will be details that were not there before.

#24 GeneT

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:22 PM

Most who post on this issue will disagree with me. However, after years of using a variety of planetary filters, I finally decided I could see as much detail without any. I made a club member very happy when I gave my planetary filters to him--for free.

#25 Scanning4Comets

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:58 PM

I hate to belabor the point, but all this talk about Jupiter being too bright, too much glare, need to dim the image, are off the mark. Unless you're observing with a really big scope - maybe a 26" or bigger? - the problem isn't that Jupiter is too bright. The problem is that your eyes aren't properly prepared to observe Jupiter.

Mike


Well, the problem is not that Jupiter, (or Mars for that matter), is 'too bright", the problem many planetary observers, including myself, come across is NEEDING THE RIGHT CONTRAST.

Irradiation on bright areas and dark areas bleed over into each other, especially on Jupiter, and even more so for Mars. Dimming these planets to desirable levels makes observation of bright / dark areas a lot easier. This also makes it a lot easier and better to observe small detail when the atmosphere and telescope allows it. Color filters also help bring out detail as they reject / cancel certain wavelengths of light, making colors stand out more.

Cheers,






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