Hello, I recently bought the Astronomers without borders telescope for my daughter. Is it safe to say that with the 2 lenses it comes with, seeing planets and other further away celestial bodies, will be very hard to do? The moon looks great but anything else is pretty much just a light. Are there any suggestions for lenses or other things that may help without breaking the bank? I want to give her to be able to see a little bit more detail? Thank you
As others have noted, the only "big " planet to see right now is Venus. It is generally bright and featureless. All you really see there is the phases. It is generally recommended to see it during the day when it is less bright. Jupiter and Saturn will not be around until Spring. Even then , it will be before sunrise that they come out.
Uranus is out during the evening. Neptune disappears relatively early. Even at the highest power the Onesky can reasonably do, both of those are not much more than blue dots.
For planets, the first thing would be a decent 2X barlow. That on the 10mm will get you up to 130x mag. Above that, you will see images start to get dim and grainy. The max is generally considered to be 260x mag. The moon will still look good at that magnification. On a really good night, Saturn and Jupiter may look decent at that magnification.
One consideration would be that on most nights in most places, atmospheric turbulence will limit magnification to around 150x.
After getting the barlow, the next step in the planetary hunt would be a 7mm or a 5mm. The 5mm with a barlow will max out the scope (as noted earlier - rare to get a good enough night to see that well), but you can already get 5mm from the 10mm plus a barlow, so you would duplicate that function. Additionally, it will be rare that you have a good enough night to see much else beside the moon decently with the 5mm+barlow. The 7mm fills a gap between the 5mm and 10mm plus it will give a reasonable 185x mag with the barlow.
The other thing to consider with the Onesky is that it is good for DSO's. These can be bigger things like andromeda galaxy, pleades, and orion. All three are visible this time of year. If you are in heavy light pollution, Andromeda will not be too visible, but the other two would be. Nebula such as Orion, Dumbell, and Ring become more visible against the background if a UHC nebula filter is used. You can add that to the wish list.
If you look through this thread, you will see the posts on the light shroud. Also find the posts and threads on setting circles/degree circles. When combined with a phone app that gives real time coordinates of objects, you can use the circles to find hundreds of objects with ease.
As noted elsewhere, be good at collimation. My onesky needed a lot of work at the beginning - the secondary was out of wack from shipping - but has not needed anything done for months. However, as an F5, collimation is touchy and very crucial - less forgiving than other scopes. Especially important for high magnification planetary work. After you have the procedure down for using the cheshire piece that you were given, you will want to learn how to fine tune it using the star collimation procedure. The star collimation at high magnification is the final step toward perfection.
Edited by rhetfield, 15 January 2020 - 09:23 AM.