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serious lunar detail

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#1 kcb

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 10:16 AM

hi
any suggestions on a best telescope for serious lunar observing details ? is large aperture better ? thanks,kevin

#2 cpsTN

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 12:34 PM

Yes, but don't go nuts unless you can "afford" to. I have a 12" dob and the resolution makes everything seem so much smoother and well defined as seen in 6" and 8" scopes I have had. I regularly use 243x and the detail I can see is amazing. Not only can I see great detail within the large features, but also fine rilles and much small detail that seems to never end. If you are looking for satisfying lunar views as common place, I would go with anything in the 8" through 12" range - or larger.

Now for the "affording it" part. Remember, you have to think about price, where the scope will be used, where it will be stored, and how it will be moved, and all of this relative to your living situation and physical prowess. The only reason I have a 12" dob is because I store it in the garage and have installed 60" wheelbarrow handles and 14" wheels on it. Otherwise, I would not be able to move it around alone. I roll it into the garage just inside the door, so moving it in and out is easy. The wheels are held on by 1/2" wing nuts and can be removed in seconds to observe. Feel free to ask as many questions as you need.

#3 CelestronDaddy

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 07:57 PM

I'm not sure how you define serious but I have had good viewing with my 6" SCT and 80mm refractor. Now with larger aperture scopes you get higher magnification... more detail. I suppose 8 - 12" seems reasonable to me but you can see a lot with a smaller scope too. Good luck...

#4 azure1961p

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 11:31 PM

Define serious.

My 70mm shows a serious amount if detail.

Pete

#5 Sarkikos

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 07:34 AM

There is ample lunar detail to be seen with most any aperture telescope. That said, my favorite Moon scope is my 10" Dob. But it's easier to take out my 8" Dob, and my 6" SCT is even easier.

Of course an advantage to larger aperture is that - in general - you will see more detail than through smaller aperture. Another advantage is that a larger aperture will provide your eye a larger exit pupil at the same magnification of a smaller telescope. If you have eye floaters, a larger exit pupil will make them less obvious.

Mike

#6 Bill F

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 01:23 PM

A more important limitation is the stability of the atmosphere where you live. I live under a very unstable bit of sky and at times can only use X 75 on my 10" newt. that can magnify up to X 500 before the image goes so wobbly I get sea sick! Ontario should be stable, so it might be OK with a bigger scope.

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#7 Monoeil

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 04:25 PM

cpsTN made an important comment: the best scope is the one you can conveniently use. Up to 8", it should not be an issue. Bigger (and much bigger), it depends on your motivation... and even with 8", you are somewhat limited by the atmosphere.

I would give a try with a good 8" and after several seasons, you can then decide what is the best from your own experience.

#8 coopman

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 05:24 PM

In my area, the more aperture you use, the more wavy the image seems to be due to atmospheric issues. My 120mm ED refractor gives a very nice view. In general, the max. magnification that you should plan on being able to use is 2 times the aperture (in mm). Beyond that magnification, the image gets too dim for my tastes.

#9 Eric63

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 08:56 PM

My 127Mak is my lunar scope and I am amazed by the amount of detail I can see with it. I love it because it's so easy to set up and can easily handle 300x on the moon. I could get a bigger scope for the moon, but I know I would always come back to the Mak because of the convenience factor. :grin:

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#10 Sarkikos

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 06:12 AM

Bill & Clay,

A more important limitation is the stability of the atmosphere where you live. I live under a very unstable bit of sky and at times can only use X 75 on my 10" newt. that can magnify up to X 500 before the image goes so wobbly I get sea sick! Ontario should be stable, so it might be OK with a bigger scope.

Bill


In my area, the more aperture you use, the more wavy the image seems to be due to atmospheric issues. My 120mm ED refractor gives a very nice view. In general, the max. magnification that you should plan on being able to use is 2 times the aperture (in mm). Beyond that magnification, the image gets too dim for my tastes.


I routinely travel 100 miles round trip to enjoy darker skies for deep sky objects. Maybe you can find an observing site within about 50 miles that has better seeing for the Moon? Something to think about. It's a shame to limit your aperture due to local seeing conditions.

Mike

#11 Schaden

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 05:03 PM

I've seen an incredible amount of detail in my 8".

It all depends on the seeing.

#12 Sarkikos

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 05:12 PM

Well, it doesn't all depend on the seeing. :grin: Aperture, thermal stabilization, central obstruction percentage, collimation, experience of the observer, phase of the Moon, altitude of the Moon, all have something to do with the amount of detail seen.

Mike

#13 Startraffic

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 07:18 PM

Sarkikos,
Yup, I tried looking a a full moon with a 14.5"f4 with no filter. I thought I'd gone blind. 1/4 to 1/2 Moon, push it right up to 1000x without a 2nd thought. ;)

Clear Dark Skies
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#14 skypilgrim

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 04:00 PM

This question comes up every now and then and it always comes down to how does one define "serious"?

I can easily spend 3 hours studying the moon in my 80mm. Am I seeing "serious detail"? Dunno. I'd prefer to call it, "enjoyable detail". :grin:

Some years ago I had a 12.5" Discovery. IMO, you'd have to be crazy serious to need something larger than that. My 8" is all I need these days so getting back to your question. I hazard an opinion that anything in the 8" to 12" range would satisfy most anyone's definition of "serious detail".

Good luck
Sam

#15 revans

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 03:36 PM

I'd rate seeing serious lunar detail with something like seeing the rille on the floor of the Alpine Valley. I've never seen it with my 5 inch refractor but have had glimpses of it in my 10 inch Mewlon and was able to image all or most of it using that scope. But this sort of detail needs good seeing and just the right lighting angle on the moon. There aren't very many days a year when conditions are favorable for seeing it.

Because of the size, weight, and setup time for larger telescopes and the bulky mounts they need, I'm starting to prefer smaller, lighter ones and find myself looking through my 90 mm more often than my 250 mm scope. Just getting older I guess :)

#16 Sarkikos

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 03:53 PM

My 90mm Mak was my grab-n-go lunar scope for several years. Now that the Mak is starting to develop focus drift, I think my C6 SCT will become my default Moon scope. Not exactly grab-n-go, and a longer cool-down, but it will show quite a bit more detail. And the optics are excellent. :waytogo:

Mike

#17 revans

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 04:28 PM

The C6 seems like a great choice to me... on all but maybe 1 or 2 nights with really steady seeing each month you'll probably see as much lunar detail with the C6 as with a scope twice the size and four times the weight. And the convenience of use is so much greater... so now I bring out a larger scope only in the very best seeing conditions or when I think I can get enough steady frames imaging. Otherwise its a lot of trouble for little or no practical gain in lunar detail.

#18 azure1961p

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 06:02 PM

Yes Ive got to chime in on the C6 with the moon - its riveting sharp. My newt has more contrast but the ergonomics and excellent optical set really makes using this SCT a real pleasure. Lol - its also driven and as of present my dob still isn't.


Pete






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