I ache, therefore I am
Orion xx14g Dob CPC 1100 w/Skywatcher 80ED piggybacked Coronado PST TMB 92L refractor AT Voyager mount Nexstar 6/8 mount Denk Big Easy binoviewers Oodles of eyepieces and other optical gadgets Past scopes Meade 8" reflector and 8" SCT
150mm MCT f/13, 31% CO
"People say I'm in denial. I disagree."
C10NGT, Z8, 150 Rumak, XLT 150, C6, C5, SW5 Newt, 4.5 Ball, C102GT, C90, ST80, A70LF; 15x70, 25x100; Burgess BV; Paracorr II; T6 2.5, XO 2.58/5.1, Ethos-SX 3.7, Delos 4.5, TV Plossl 7.4-26, BCO 10, Hutech HC 12.5, Sterling 12.5-25, ES100 14, CZJ H 16/25, CZJ O 16, M5k UWA 24, T5 31, Ultrascopic 35, Titan-II 40; Bino Pairs M5k UWA 6.7, Baader Zoom 8-24, M5k SWA 24, TV Plossl 26, RKE 28.7; Zooms NZ 2-4, NZ 3-6, Leica ASPH 8.9-17.8, Baader 8-24; Baader Zoom Barlow, VIP Barlow
Keeper of the Swamp Gas Observatory. "Well if I'm here and you're here, doesn't that make it OUR TIME."AR127 CG4
1984 tasco 49TR 60x800mm
1976 Vixen Polaris 80x1200mm
Denkmeier Big Easy BV
Quote:Chris,Here's some ideas to improve your results with Jupiter (or other planets):(1) Make sure your scope is very closely collimated. IME, the usual laser collimator and collimator cap does not cut it. Better to use a simple Cheshire/sight tube followed by an autocollimator. Stack the donuts.(2) On a night of good seeing, after closely collimating the scope, test it on Polaris (or a similar star if you have tracking). There's no sense expecting too much on planet observation if there are problems with the optics. (3) Allow time for the primary to adjust to the outside temps before you make critical observations. An hour is probably about right for a 12" mirror. Have a fan under the primary. (4) Make sure the clips on the primary are not too tight. This can produce pinched optics.(5) Try to set up your scope on grass, not on concrete or asphalt, to reduce local thermals from the ground. Placing outdoor carpeting under the scope can help.(6) Think about getting a binoviewer. This can increase contrast, making planet surface detail easier to see.(7) Construct an apodizing mask. Another way to enhance contrast.(8) Use a Baader Moon & Sky Glow filter. IME, the best all around contrast filter for planets.(9) Try to keep your eyes close to photopic adaptation. This will ensure your eyes are at their highest visual acuity (contrast, detail, color range). Keep a bright white light on near your scope (just don't have it glaring directly into your eyes or the telescope) or periodically look at a white paper illuminated by a bright white-light flashlight. A dark site is not necessary - or even preferred - for observing planets. But if you're at a dark site with other observers, you shouldn't do the "white light trick." This is a good reason to observe planets at home instead.(10) Use just enough magnification to see the most detail with the best contrast. Pushing the power too much will make it more difficult to tease out fine surface detail, especially for Jupiter. You won't get a gold star for super high magnification.Mike
Quote:I'll check if the clips are too tight.
Quote:Setting up on grass really isn't much of an option.
Quote:There is already a lot of light around.
Quote:Currently I can either go with 170x or 340x and that's it.
Quote:Well, seeing started off good tonight, some of the best seeing in a long time. Saturn looked much better than I have seen it through my scope before, and I decided to take it to a dark sky site about 40 minutes away. Little did I realize/remember just how bad a nearly full moon would be on the seeing! We decided to just head straight home.
Quote:I should be ordering a glatter laser and tublug soon and will see how this affects my collimation accuracy/viewing.
Quote:Quote:Well, seeing started off good tonight, some of the best seeing in a long time. Saturn looked much better than I have seen it through my scope before, and I decided to take it to a dark sky site about 40 minutes away. Little did I realize/remember just how bad a nearly full moon would be on the seeing! We decided to just head straight home. You don't need to go to a dark site for viewing planets! If you're just going to look at planets or the Moon, you can stay home. It shouldn't matter if the Moon is nearly full or not if you're observing a planet, unless maybe the Moon is right next to the planet in the sky. Planets are not like deep sky objects. These are completely different animals. You need a dark site and a moonless night for DSO, but not for planets. Also, the Moon has absolutely no affect on the seeing. Seeing is the level of turbulence of the atmosphere. But the Moon will limit how deep you can go, what will be the faintest objects you can see.Quote:I should be ordering a glatter laser and tublug soon and will see how this affects my collimation accuracy/viewing.These are good tools but more than you really need. A simple Cheshire/sight-tube followed by an autocollimator will do just as well if not better. The advantage to the Glatter laser and Tublug is that you can collimate in the dark with them.Mike
Quote:You don't need to shine a light to collimate - simply look at a bright star (or Polaris if you'd like it to not move) and tweak to perfection.
Quote:I only image, so I'm not quite sure why I'm reading this thread, but I'd like to point out the seeing in Mississauga is usually terrible to fair. Last year I did not get one real good Jupiter image despite trying many times. I got one good Saturn this year (the low alt didn't help). I'm not really sure why but real good seeing seems to be very rare here.
Quote:@ the OP,There are already a lot of good pieces of advice about observing Jupiter in this thread so I'll try not to repeat them. An altitude of 35° is still pretty low and will definitely affect your ability to see detail in Jupiter's cloudtops, all other variables being equal.The important thing is to keep trying. The good news is as the apparition progresses, Jupiter's altitude will increase. Now is the time to start training your eye to see detail. I was glad to read that you sketch--that's probably the best way to train your eye and sharpen your observing skills.I suggest you sketch your observations even if you can't see any more detail than the 2 main belts. As time goes on, you will be surprised how much detail will reveal itself and your sketching skills will benefit from the practice as well.Another suggestion--as far as magnification is concerned, the sweet spot for Jupiter is often 200x-260x. From your report, that is exactly the hole in your eyepiece collection. If your budget is tight, maybe you can borrow an ep from a friend in RASC that will yield that range in your scope. BTW, that 12" scope should provide you with some fine views of the King and the larger aperture makes color easier to see, in my experience.Good luck with your Jupiter observations and please share your sketches here and/or in the Sketching Forum.@ dscarpa--congratulations on your first look this apparition and thanks for the report. Jupiter is never the same from one apparition to the next--looking forward to my own first look. Best regards to all.
Quote: However, when I push it to 340x with my ultima barlow it loses almost all of it's detail, and even the bands are hard to make out. This is odd because seeing was great, no wind no nothing. Jupiter was about 35 degrees up (a rough guess). Is this to be expected? Or is my barlow deteriorating the view? Could it also be other parts of the optical chain not being up to snuff?
Quote:The power for a 1mm exit pupil is easy to calculate: it's the same as your aperture in mm.
Scott my scopes: a few refractors (50-102mm), 2 Newts (4.5-12"), and an 8" SCT