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axu
newbie


Reged: 11/13/13

Loc: Finland
Did i expect too much ? new
      #6193115 - 11/13/13 05:30 PM

Hello.

I recently purchased SkyWatcher 150/750 Explorer BD NEQ-3 telescope. The few times I have observed with it, have been amazing. Especially observing the moon in such great detail and seeing some famous stars moving in the eyepiece. Its fun times.

Yesterday I was finally able to observe Jupiter the biggest planet in our solar system. I really didn't know how close I could magnify or in what detail I could see the planet. Turns out it's not much. I could barely see the bands. I was kind of disappointed by that and it got me thinking, did I expect too much? Would I even be able to see the rings of Saturn?

I currently have following accessories; 25mm, 10mm, 2x barlow, those came with the scope. I also bought Omegon SWA 32mm eyepiece and an Omegon 2x ED barlow. I got the clearest image with the 25mm and a 2x barlow.

So I was wondering would 3x barlow do any good here? And, what other eyepieces should I buy to enhance my observing. Sorry if English isn't perfect here I try my best. Thanks.

EDIT: I just got up and read all the answers. I make sure to keep them in mind next time I observe. Thanks so much!

- axu

Edited by axu (11/14/13 12:53 AM)


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Did i expect too much ? new [Re: axu]
      #6193136 - 11/13/13 05:45 PM

Axu:

First, hello and welcome to Cloudy Nights..

Second: the views of the planets are highly dependent on the scopes stability of the air column you are looking through. This known as the "seeing". The seeing is quite variable but it is also dependent on the elevation of the object. Currently Jupiter is rising in the late evening so it is likely it is was low on the horizon and you were looking through disturbed air.

When it is well above the horizon, hopefully 45 degrees or more, the views should crisper and you will see more detail. Of course the seeing can be just poor..

Make sure your scope is well cooled and collimated and on nights of good seeing you should be rewarded with good views at 200x or more.

Jon


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star drop
contra contrail
*****

Reged: 02/02/08

Loc: Snow Plop, WNY
Re: Did i expect too much ? new [Re: axu]
      #6193145 - 11/13/13 05:50 PM

Hi axu and welcome to Cloudy Nights. I would not bother with a 3x Barlow lens. At the present time the bands on Jupiter are not as well defined as at other times. The rings of Saturn are visible in an Astroscan (4" reflector) at 21x so you will certainly see them in your telescope. If the atmosphere is not steady then it is difficult to see detail on the planets. Keep trying with the equipment that you have and I'm sure you will be able to see more.

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Joe Aguiar
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/10/07

Loc: none of your buss
Re: Did i expect too much ? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #6193153 - 11/13/13 05:53 PM

ok you said you used the 25mm and the barlow ok so that's like using a 12.5mm ep divide by the 750 and that's only 60x power which is not a lot.

Did you use your 10mm and the barlow cause if you did that's would be 150x power which is decentand only half way to what a 6" reflector can do at a max 300x power if everything is good.

So you may need another higher power ep oe 2 to get to 200 and maybe 250 BUT as Jon said depends on few factors like Jupiter not not well placed just yet so as the months go by it will get better, and if your scope was cooled enough etc etc.

So keep trying.


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acochran
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/19/08

Loc: So. CA
Re: Did i expect too much ? new [Re: axu]
      #6193185 - 11/13/13 06:05 PM

1. If Jupiter is low in the sky, it will look bad. This is true for all objects. The higher in the sky, the better it will look. Right now where I live, the peak is about 3:30 in the morning. I am asleep then.
A couple of months from now it will be high in the sky earlier. Also, Jupiter will be closest in January! In addition, Mars will be closest in April.
2. Viewing Jupiter is sensitive to seeing conditions in our atmosphere. Generally speaking seeing improves after midnight.
3. I think your telescope is a reflector, right? If so, you may need to collimate it. There are many instructions on how to collimate here on Cloudy Nights and on the Internet.
I hope all this helps,
Andy

Edited by acochran (11/13/13 06:07 PM)


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scottk
sage


Reged: 08/29/09

Loc: Tennessee
Re: Did i expect too much ? new [Re: star drop]
      #6193253 - 11/13/13 06:39 PM

I have a orion spaceprobe 130st which is made buy the same company as your skywatcher, but it's smaller. With it I have very clearly seen the Cassini division in Saturns rings.

Try using the 10mm with the 2x barlow for a while. If you can stay up late, 1 or 2am, and the skies are clear (and somewhat stable) jupiter will rise up high enough to eliminate a lot of the atmospheric problems you may be experiencing. Play with focus until you get it the closest you can, and if it isn't sharp right away, wait a little while - a couple minutes, maybe 15. Sometimes if there are unstable currents in the atmosphere, they will come and go.

As others have said, let your scope cool down. It's a good idea to let the scope stay outside for an hour or so before use so that the mirrors can adjust to the outside temp. Make sure the scope's collimated. Collimation may seem tricky at first, but there's nothing to it.

Oh, and welcome to CN.

Scott

Edited by scottk (11/13/13 06:59 PM)


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BoldAxis1967
sage
*****

Reged: 10/11/12

Loc: Kentucky
Re: Did i expect too much ? new [Re: scottk]
      #6193365 - 11/13/13 07:35 PM

Welcome to CN.

I have the same scope as you except it is a Celestron Omni XLT 150 on a CG-4. This is a terrific scope. I have obtained wonderful lunar and planetary views of Saturn and Jupiter. As others have stated the views, especially of Jupiter are highly dependent upon upper level atmospheric conditions, e.g. air turbulance. Collimation can also be a factor. Last week when Jupiter was only about 30 to 40 degrees above the horizon the view was horrible, magnification was probably around 60x. On other occassions I have seen considerible planetary detail. On average I am able to get magnifications around 120 and on a good night around 166x and excellent nights up to 214x.

This scope will give wonderful views of many nebula (e.g. Ring, Dumbbell, Blue Snowball), Galaxies (e.g. M81 and M82, the Somberero), many, many globuslar clusters and double stars. This scope gives absolutely stellar views of open clusters.

Read the review of this scope by Joe Bergeron. It is posted here on CN. You can google Bergeron and omni xlt 150.

LB

Edited by BoldAxis1967 (11/13/13 08:44 PM)


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choran
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/28/12

Re: Did i expect too much ? new [Re: axu]
      #6193367 - 11/13/13 07:35 PM

I agree with the other posts, and likewise agree that conditions are hugely important. They can make the difference between seeing a sharp, contrasty Jupiter, and a boiling meatball. Likewise, the scope has to be collimated accurately, since it is a fairly fast reflector. Stay with it. If I may suggest a target for you to try, look for the Orion nebula. I don't know where you are, but here in Southern California it's up almost all night long now. It should make up for the disappointment with Jupiter. Good luck, and keep plugging.

Edited by choran (11/14/13 09:15 AM)


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SpooPoker
sage
*****

Reged: 06/04/13

Loc: North Bay CA
Re: Did i expect too much ? new [Re: choran]
      #6193423 - 11/13/13 08:07 PM

Do not worry about what you saw on Jupiter. I woke up crack of dawn and Jupiter was devoid of any detail - just a big white disc. I tried 3 different telescopes yielding the same outcome.

Seeing was just plain bad despite Jupiter being high up in the sky. You can tell how bad seeing may be just by looking at the stars surrounding the target. The stars in my case were twinkling violently.

Check the sky surrounding your target of interest to get a rough guess on seeing conditions.

Your scope will resolve Saturn's rings just fine, even in poor seeing conditions. The Cassini division in the rings is a tougher assignment requiring reasonably good seeing at the very least.

Have fun with your scope - when seeing is really bad, I do not bother with planets and go for the DSO's instead. If Jupiter fails to show any detail other than in fleeting glimpses, give it up and hunt for some wonderful sights nearby - i.e. Orion and so on...


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mich_al
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/10/09

Loc: Rural central lower Michigan ...
Re: Did i expect too much ? new [Re: SpooPoker]
      #6193562 - 11/13/13 09:38 PM

Axu

Can't add anything to the astronomy discussion but I'll say that I didn't have any hint that English wasn't your first language until you said so.


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skfboiler1
member


Reged: 11/02/13

Loc: NW Indiana
Re: Did i expect too much ? new [Re: mich_al]
      #6194087 - 11/14/13 07:59 AM

My 150mm, f/5 scope is very similar to yours. I can tell you that you should be able to get outstanding views with it. You should not only see the rings of Saturn, but you should be able to see the Cassini Division. I would suggest checking the collimation and adjust accordingly. Also the realistic magnification limitation is 1 times the aperture. Therefore with this scope 150x is the maximum magnification with your 10mm and 2x Barlow. Stay away from the 3x Barlow. With my 8mm eyepiece I'm able to get to 188x which seems to be the sweet spot. One time I Barlowed my 6.3m eyepiece at 238x and the planet was blurry. I would not attempt to try 300x with this scope. The atmosphere would have to be perfect for that can happen and this is rare.

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Joe Aguiar
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/10/07

Loc: none of your buss
Re: Did i expect too much ? new [Re: skfboiler1]
      #6194117 - 11/14/13 08:31 AM

its 2x the aperture not 1x and thats max but if sky conditions allow so that max on a 150mm scope or 6" scope is 300x not 150x.

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Sorny
professor emeritus


Reged: 03/15/12

Loc: Southern MN
Re: Did i expect too much ? new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6194723 - 11/14/13 02:37 PM

In my viewing, I've found that Jupiter doesn't get much improvement over 150x in either my 5" or 11" scopes. Despite the fact it is huge, and bright, it seems that 150x is about the most mag you get out of it. In contrast, I've thrown over 500x at Saturn when the seeing supported the mag. That same >500x on Jupiter degrades the view, but does bring the moons into a definite disc shape.

Seeing is the end-all arbiter when trying to view the planets. If the atmosphere is not cooperating, you can forget anything resembling detail on the planets. Luckily, there are orders of magnitude more viewable objects that are mostly immune to seeing to view, though a bright moon tends to wash out some of the more interesting ones.


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SpooPoker
sage
*****

Reged: 06/04/13

Loc: North Bay CA
Re: Did i expect too much ? new [Re: Sorny]
      #6194746 - 11/14/13 02:51 PM

I am not so sure on this 50X/" rule for scopes of small focal ratio. I find on my Vixen 6" f/5, anything above 200X in good seeing does not add anything other than size - contrast appears to get worse the more I ramp up the magnification. I find on the 6" f/8, 200X just throws up a better image and even at 250X it looks better, cleaner. It is not as if the 6" f/8 has a mirror from a high end maker, it is just an old Criterion with a 1" diagonal on a single stalk. The Vixen 6" f/5 has a 2" diagonal where the focuser moves/slides the diagonal to achieve focus. Must be something about the mechanism of focusing or that the Vixen mirror is not too hot / diagonal too big / or that fast focal ratio scopes cannot be pushed as far as slower focal ratios. Uncorrected coma is a factor for fast scopes although the region of diffraction limited performance is still large enough to incorporate all planetary objects outside of the Moon.

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kenrenard
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/13/12

Loc: Dunmore, PA
Re: Did i expect too much ? new [Re: axu]
      #6194754 - 11/14/13 02:55 PM

Planetary viewing also takes a great deal of patience among other things. Sometimes hours of watching to catch fine details. As you spend more time you will train your eyes to see more. Be patient and keep observing you will see more detail over time even at times of poor seeing.

Experience will be your greatest piece of equipment.


Enjoy your scope time.

Ken


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skfboiler1
member


Reged: 11/02/13

Loc: NW Indiana
Re: Did i expect too much ? new [Re: Joe Aguiar]
      #6194755 - 11/14/13 02:56 PM

Quote:

its 2x the aperture not 1x and thats max but if sky conditions allow so that max on a 150mm scope or 6" scope is 300x not 150x.




Yes, 2x aperture is what most recommend. But 95% of the time the atmosphere will not allow that. That is why I said realistically, 1x aperture works. Then you don't have to spend money on extra glass you may use once or twice a year. Even in good seeing conditions 238x is blurry for me in my 150mm scope. I don't go past 188x.


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Joe Aguiar
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/10/07

Loc: none of your buss
Re: Did i expect too much ? [Re: skfboiler1]
      #6194769 - 11/14/13 03:01 PM

yes we all seems to say the same thing as i did say 300x was the max but yes i agree alot times its not possible to do the max, but he sould be able to get more than 150x on his scope.

Normally for me i like to push it about 75% of the max power of the scope but i do try more and if that night doesnt support it then ill just back down, but i like to have ep that will get to that 75% as most night u should be able to get that.
cheers


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Did i expect too much ? new [Re: SpooPoker]
      #6195089 - 11/14/13 05:42 PM

Quote:


I am not so sure on this 50X/" rule for scopes of small focal ratio.




When the conditions support high magnifications, I will a Paracorr + 3.5mm Nagler + 2x Barlow in my 10 inch F/5 Dob to split the tightest double stars, that's 821x and 82x/inch of aperture.

Collimation, cooldown and seeing, these are critical, even for a 6 inch scope. My 130mm F/5, it would handle 50x/inch on the planets but it took close to an hour to cool down enough and that was here in mild San Diego.

Jon


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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Did i expect too much ? new [Re: axu]
      #6195148 - 11/14/13 06:18 PM

You need to do several viewing sessions before drawing any conclusions. If the atmosphere is unsteady, you will see little detail on Jupiter. Make sure that you collimate every time you view. Planetary detail will suffer if your telescope is not properly collimated.

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acochran
professor emeritus


Reged: 06/19/08

Loc: So. CA
Re: Did i expect too much ? new [Re: axu]
      #6195150 - 11/14/13 06:18 PM

I use a variable polarizer filter on Jupiter because it's so bright.
Andy


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