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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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stevecoe
"Astronomical Tourist"
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Reged: 04/24/04

Loc: Arizona, USA
Re: Aperture versus experience new [Re: GeneT]
      #5819077 - 04/24/13 02:30 AM

"She's one of the few people I know who schedules her social life around the phases of the Moon."

Now I remember how I got divorced;-)

Steve Coe


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lordhaw
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Reged: 03/06/13

Loc: Canada
Re: Aperture versus experience new [Re: stevecoe]
      #5819715 - 04/24/13 12:43 PM

I just have a little 76mm Newtonian. But starting out I couldn't really see details in anything. Now after 2 years at it with this little scope I can pull details out of objects I never saw before and see dim objects I couldn't before. Granted the aperture is extremely limiting as are the quality of the optics but the experience in trying to get details (sketching helps here) with that limited aperture will carry over nicely to my next scope. Even just spending more time on an object allows you to pull out a surprising amount of details. Planets are largely featureless however, with some faint banding on Jupiter now visible where I couldn't see anything before. So I'd have to say patience at the eyepiece, eye training over time and experience helps a lot.

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sopticals
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/28/10

Loc: New Zealand
Re: Aperture versus experience new [Re: lordhaw]
      #5820937 - 04/24/13 10:02 PM

I remember when I was in my teens (very early 1960s) using my first real scopes. A 76mm (3") newt and a 60mm (2.5") refractor. Did attempt to draw some major Martian surface features.Whether I actually was looking at real detail,(thought at the time I was), or not, or just wishful thinking I dont know. Dont know what others experience is with viewing Mars with such small apertures?

Stephen.(44deg.S.)

Edited by sopticals (04/24/13 10:04 PM)


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David Knisely
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Reged: 04/19/04

Loc: southeastern Nebraska
Re: Aperture versus experience new [Re: sopticals]
      #5821166 - 04/25/13 12:53 AM

Quote:

I remember when I was in my teens (very early 1960s) using my first real scopes. A 76mm (3") newt and a 60mm (2.5") refractor. Did attempt to draw some major Martian surface features.Whether I actually was looking at real detail,(thought at the time I was), or not, or just wishful thinking I dont know. Dont know what others experience is with viewing Mars with such small apertures?

Stephen.(44deg.S.)




During the 1969 and 1971 apparitions of Mars, I too had a 60mm (2.4 inch) f/11.7 refractor that I observed the planet with at powers from 117 to around 150x. I could make out some of the major albedo markings like Syrtis Major, Sinus Sabaeus, Mare Erythraeum, Mare Acidalium, and Mare Sirenum/Cimmerium, along with the south polar cap (in 1971). It was a lot easier in the fall of 1973 when I had an 8 inch f/7 Newtonian at my disposal, but considering the limited aperture, I did OK with that little refractor. Clear skies to you.


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Starman81
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 03/06/08

Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA
Re: Aperture versus experience new [Re: Tony Flanders]
      #5822568 - 04/25/13 04:48 PM

Quote:

She's one of the few people I know who schedules her social life around the phases of the Moon.




I think there's a few of us here that do this... My wife wants me to take her on vacation. I said sure--it doesn't matter what month you pick just make sure you pick a week when the Moon is full!


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azure1961p
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Reged: 01/17/09

Loc: USA
Re: Aperture versus experience new [Re: sopticals]
      #5825949 - 04/27/13 09:49 AM

Stephen I am confident you weren't imagining it. At even mediocre apparitions those size instruments reveal quite a bit - clouds and hazes included.

Pete


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gnowellsct
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Reged: 06/24/09

Re: Aperture versus experience new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5826856 - 04/27/13 06:10 PM

Well the expert will see more even if the image is a sharp ccd image the size of dinner plate and they're both looking at it from three feet. Because the true novice doesn't know what he's looking at and the first time you look at something you're not that attuned to details, as a rule.

There are exceptions. I had a professional artist who had her first time at the eyepiece and she sat a long time at the eyepiece. She really took in every last detail first time.

But if you're looking at jupiter say the first impression will be a white disk then the next impression will be a white disk with bands. Typically if you coach the viewer he'll see the blue festoons and maybe the little red spot etc.

It's pretty much this way with any observation. A lot of people don't see what's in front of them. There was an experiment in NYC where they had a guy asking directions from a stranger. While they were talking two guys carrying a large obstruction, like a large piece of plywood, come between the two people talking. During that time the guy asking instructions ducks out and a new guy stands in his place. It can be a different coat, different hat, different height person.

Only a small % of the people giving directions noticed that the person asking had been switched.

GN


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northernontario
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Reged: 07/01/09

Loc: Porcupine, Ontario Canada
Re: Aperture versus experience new [Re: gnowellsct]
      #5826990 - 04/27/13 06:56 PM

There was a time when I needed my 16 inch Dob to spot M101.

I spotted it recently with my 6 inch refractor. I didn't see vivid detail. It is a tough object due to it's low surface bightness, but a few years a go, I never would have seen it with a 6 inch, because I wanted to see something...anything...big and bright...and I want to see it now.

I would say it is more about patience and a realistic expectation from the gear you are working with.

But, don't kid yourself.. There is a reason they make 2 meter mirrors.

jake


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BillFerris
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Reged: 07/17/04

Loc: Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
Re: Aperture versus experience new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5828038 - 04/28/13 10:36 AM

Quote:

Obviously the expert will see more. The question however is simply: how large a reflector would the novice need to be able to see the same details as the expert?




It's a non sequitur. Aperture can't compensate for an absence of experience.

Quote:

We often debate scopes but what about abilities?




A dedicated novice who takes advantage of every clear night, researches and experiments with various observing techniques can build a solid foundation of experience and skill during a single planetary apparition. Two-to-three years of dedicated observing is enough time for any person to develop the skill and technique to get just as much out of an aperture as an observer with many years experience.

Bill in Flag


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Madratter
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Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Aperture versus experience new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5828177 - 04/28/13 11:51 AM

Quote:

Here's the hypothetical. It could pertain to deepsky as well but for the sake of simplicity, lets use Mars...

Say you have a novice observer with a 10" Reflector looking at Mars with all his heart for the first time ever. Along side him we have a high ranking visual observer with seasoned expert skills and experience also with a 10" identical scope.

Obviously the expert will see more. The question however is simply: how large a reflector would the novice need to be able to see the same details as the expert?

I'm going to throw out 12-15" in aperture - my guess.

On deepsky the same scopes, again and a seasoned expert with a novice, but now its M51.

How large a scope might a novice need to see the same nuances? There's real technique here.

We often debate scopes but what about abilities?

Thanks guys.

Pete




My answer would be that if the expert has a 10". the beginner will never see more, regardless of how much bigger the scope is. He could be using a 200" and would still do worse.

Now if the expert had a 60mm refractor, there might be some size scope where the beginner would see as much. But actually, I doubt it.

EDIT: I want to be sure that people are aware that I am talking about looking at Mars here.

Edited by Madratter (04/28/13 11:56 AM)


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azure1961p
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Reged: 01/17/09

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Re: Aperture versus experience new [Re: BillFerris]
      #5829379 - 04/29/13 12:02 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Obviously the expert will see more. The question however is simply: how large a reflector would the novice need to be able to see the same details as the expert?




It's a non sequitur. Aperture can't compensate for an absence of experience.






Not a all this sequitur is grounded in premise. There is a definite edge the seasoned observer has particularly in the midst of a observing program where the eye/brain is quickened in response and sensitivety that a novice could not hope to have. However arming the novice with a large enough telescope can offset this disadvantage through greater angular resolution , image scale and improved contrasts as a result. The question then is how big a scope would the novice need to match the trained observer or said another way how small would the experts scope need to be to match the level of detail perceived by the beginner with the 10",

Pete


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BillFerris
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Reged: 07/17/04

Loc: Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
Re: Aperture versus experience new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5829421 - 04/29/13 12:41 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Obviously the expert will see more. The question however is simply: how large a reflector would the novice need to be able to see the same details as the expert?




It's a non sequitur. Aperture can't compensate for an absence of experience.




Not a all this sequitur is grounded in premise.




Your premise is flawed. You equate the benefits of experience with the benefits of observing with a larger aperture. This fails to take into account two critical factors: knowledge and skill. Both develop as an observer gains experience. Neither is available as an add-on when moving up in aperture.

Bill in Flag


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Qwickdraw
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Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Aperture versus experience new [Re: northernontario]
      #5829582 - 04/29/13 06:15 AM

Quote:

But, don't kid yourself.. There is a reason they make 2 meter mirrors.

jake




I think Jake sums up the question very handedly here.

I donít care how "skilled" you are, equipment can bring out detail even the most skilled observer cannot see with a moderate instrument.

Case in point


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azure1961p
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Loc: USA
Re: Aperture versus experience new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5829602 - 04/29/13 06:52 AM

Well I totally I totally disagree here Bill . There is no substitute for experience which is the reason a beginner would need greater aperture to see the same details an experienced might see readily with less. The premise isn't flawed at all. I appreciate your view points but I disagree.

Pete


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Tony Flanders
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Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Aperture versus experience new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5829614 - 04/29/13 07:15 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Obviously the expert will see more. The question however is simply: how large a reflector would the novice need to be able to see the same details as the expert?




It's a non sequitur. Aperture can't compensate for an absence of experience.






Not a all this sequitur is grounded in premise. There is a definite edge the seasoned observer has particularly in the midst of a observing program where the eye/brain is quickened in response and sensitivety that a novice could not hope to have. However arming the novice with a large enough telescope can offset this disadvantage through greater angular resolution , image scale and improved contrasts as a result.




I think you're both right.

On the one hand, experienced observers routinely see things with small instruments that novices have no hope of seeing with any instrument. On the other hand, novices armed with big telescopes routinely see things that no observer, no matter how experienced, could hope to see with a small instrument.

To take an example of the former, an experienced observer can spot Barnard's Galaxy fairly easily through a 60-mm telescope under dark skies. I doubt many newbies would be able to see Barnard's Galaxy through any instrument, regardless of how big.

To take an extreme example of the latter, try spotting Jupiter's belts with 7x35 binoculars. Can't be done. But even a raw beginner can see the two main belts easily through a decent 4-inch telescope.

So, as Bill says, aperture and experience aren't interchangeable. Neither one will substitute for the other. It's much the same as aperture and dark skies; neither one will substitute for the other.

On the other hand, there are obviously cases where aperture can compensate for lack of experience and/or bright skies. Resolving a globular cluster is a good example.

However, expecting to come up with a neat formula is unrealistic.


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edwincjones
Close Enough
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Reged: 04/10/04

Re: Aperture versus experience new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5829617 - 04/29/13 07:17 AM

it is not just seeing, but understanding what you see

an experienced observer can see more in a small scope that novice in a big scope

edj


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Qwickdraw
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Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: Aperture versus experience new [Re: edwincjones]
      #5829682 - 04/29/13 08:37 AM

Quote:

it is not just seeing, but understanding what you see

an experienced observer can see more in a small scope that novice in a big scope

edj




No offense but I think some here are letting their attitude of being "all that" get in the way of the facts. Unless you think an experienced astronomer with a mediocre aperture scope can resolve an image of Jupiter better than This than there really is no argument. Yes, I went to the extreme to make a point and I know the image was from the Hubble.


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Madratter
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Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Aperture versus experience new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5829853 - 04/29/13 10:24 AM

Quote:

Quote:

it is not just seeing, but understanding what you see

an experienced observer can see more in a small scope that novice in a big scope

edj




No offense but I think some here are letting their attitude of being "all that" get in the way of the facts. Unless you think an experienced astronomer with a mediocre aperture scope can resolve an image of Jupiter better than This than there really is no argument. Yes, I went to the extreme to make a point and I know the image was from the Hubble.




Except in practice we observe from under this atmosphere instead of in space. And that makes a huge difference.

I think it is unfortunate the way the question was originally worded. If it had been the beginner has a 10", how small would the experts scope have to be, I think the question is more interesting. And lately, he is now putting it that way as an alternative framing of the question.

My best views ever of Mars and Jupiter have been through my 20" Obsession. But those times were rare, and even then I doubt the new user would have been able to use that extra aperture to their advantage. For one thing, I have my doubts they could even get the thing critically focused.

I also think that the question is more interesting with DSOs than with planets.

I like Tony's response a few messages back.


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echoes1961
member


Reged: 09/14/12

Re: Aperture versus experience new [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5830507 - 04/29/13 03:22 PM

Quote:

Quote:

But, don't kid yourself.. There is a reason they make 2 meter mirrors.

jake




I think Jake sums up the question very handedly here.

I donít care how "skilled" you are, equipment can bring out detail even the most skilled observer cannot see with a moderate instrument.

Case in point




1- Aperture RULES!

2- Experience very good thing.

3- Eyes age and details lost.

4- Go big, especially the older you get.

So it could also come down to how old the experienced observer is, againts a younger newcomer who has 20/20 vision and might be able to spot the rings of Saturn with his eyes only!

So the older you get increase your telescopes aperture to compensate for failing eyes experienced or not IMO.


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Madratter
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Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Aperture versus experience new [Re: echoes1961]
      #5830537 - 04/29/13 03:37 PM

Quote:


1- Aperture RULES!





Let me state clearly, so the pillaging can begin, that I emphatically disagree with this statement when presented with no caveats. There are too many instances where this is simply not true.

I have scopes between 4" and 20" in size. I do not always use the 20". In fact I have 4" and 6" scopes I bought AFTER I owned the 20". My 8" I owned prior.

Edited by Madratter (04/30/13 09:47 AM)


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