I just walked back inside from a very exciting evening of observations in my short hobby astronomer's career..... a few days ago I removed the grille and the bug screen from a tall dining room window facing one of the few small open sky spots to the South. Today just before dinner it was drizzling, but around 22h I noticed it was clearing up, so I peeked out of the window and there was a bright object in view.... I quickly moved the Meade 320 in position and noticed the object had four moons. However, Skysafari on my tablet was showing I think Vega in that position...uhmmmmm I switched to Google SkyMap and confirmed it was Jupiter, right in front of me! Later I realized that I had SkySafari's clock set to a couple days ago...duh! Therefore I decided to try from the comfort of my dining room a comparison of the Mizar-made Meade320 on Mizar mount + wobbly tripod (with the 320 freshly collimated) versus the TV Pronto on the sturdy Panorama mount+wood tripod. To make a long story short at higher magnifications I realized that being inside was a handicap, and decided to take advantage of a humane work day that did not fry my brain and of the mild temperature for the season, and continue outside.
The Meade 320 had the 1.5" Baader prism diagonal, the Pronto had the stock 2" TV diagonal with reducer to 1.5" eyepieces (EPs).
The eyepiece sequence was the same for the two telescopes:
- target location with a TV 20mm Plossl (Pronto) or a Meade 25mm MA (320)
- TV 2x Barlow + Baader 10mm Classic Ortho (96X for the Pronto, 180x for the Meade 320)
- TV 2x Barlow + Unitron OR 6mm (160X for the Pronto, 300x for the Meade 320)
I got the impression that both scopes handled equally well the highest magnifications. I could very easily see the N and S belts, and to me the N cap seemed slightly darker than the South one. As I was unfamiliar with the features of Jupiter, I did not specifically look for other details. To see the moons opening the way to the planet flying across the FoV was really nice. With the Barlow + Unitron OR 6mm I could see the same detail or maybe a hair more than the OR10mm, due to the larger size of the image without loss of clarity. I would like to try again in order to confirm it, but the higher magnification of the Meade 320 allowed me to see more planet details than the Pronto, as the optical quality did not deteriorate with magnification. This is a difference due to design not to quality. Despite the PITA wobbles of the Meade 320 skinny tripod every time I repositioned the FoV, with the OR10mm+Barlow I could still have 15-20" of stable view if I did my part setting the object trajectory across the FoV center.
That was really fun, I also made a couple sketches. Time to go now, goodnight!
Edited by DMala, 02 February 2016 - 01:03 AM.