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Jupiter through binoculars - smallest bins to see equatorial bands?

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#1 Peacock

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 07:05 PM

After my immensely popular "Saturn through bins" thread I've decided to post a survey on what's the smallest size bins you've used to see Jupiter's equatorial bands.

 

I can say that they are visible in 18x50 IS but no smaller. This was confirmed last night.

 

Last night I also had first light on my new Sharpstar 60ED... it took magnification well up to 90x (didn't try for higher) although there was some color fringing on Jupiter.



#2 Augustus

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 07:10 PM

Size is probably not a factor. Even a 30mm scope like the Pocket Borg can resolve the bands, as could Galileo's. Magnification is what matters - at least 15x is what is required from what I've read.


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#3 ShaulaB

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 07:20 PM

A combination of magically good seeing, a rock solid tripod, and the observer's head comfortable but absolutely still probably give smaller binos a chance.


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#4 B l a k S t a r

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 07:21 PM

My 25x100s do not show bands for me as the planet comes through as far too bright and sometimes bloated. I thought I may have seen some tan or brownish colour a couple of times but chalked it up to averted imagination. 


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#5 Richard O'Neill

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 07:50 PM

I've seen Jupiter's bands with a 60's era Nikon 7X50. Of course the seeing was exceptionally good as were the binos.


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#6 Man in a Tub

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 09:36 PM

Pentax 20x60 PCF WP II on a good night. On a monopod. (I've never tried with my other two 20x binoculars.)



#7 davidmcgo

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 09:53 PM

I can’t at 10x or 16x but did tripod mount my Zeiss 10x40 BGAT*P and hold a pair of 8x roof prism binos up to the Zeiss eyepieces and got a decent 80x view that showed the banding.  10x is too small and bright for my eyes but in early twilight I can catch a hint.  By the time it is fully dark, the image is too bright and small.

 

Dave



#8 JeffreyAK

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 11:46 PM

I took a close look tonight, while it was still twilight and after leaving the binoculars outside for a while to acclimate.  I tried with and without eyeglasses that correct nearsightedness.  My vision with contact lenses is sharper than with glasses, so I might try again another night when I'm wearing my contacts, but meanwhile:

 

My Zeiss 8x42, hand-held:  Not a chance, squiggles.

8x42 on a tripod:  No.

My Canon 15x50IS, hand-held:  No.

15x15 on a tripod:  Maybe during moments of clear seeing, but possibly wishful thinking.

 

With both binocs, I could see Io next to Jupiter about 50" away from the edge of the disk, and I could split Ganymede and Callisto, also ~ 50" apart.  These were very easy at 15x, harder at 8x, particularly spotting Io so close to the bright disk of Jupiter.  The bands on Jupiter are around a tenth of this wide, ~ 5", and I don't think either binoculars can really resolve 5" (for sure my eyes can't resolve 8x5" = 40", which would mean I could see Jupiter as a disk with my naked eye, which I cannot), so it comes down to contrast - can you notice slight contrast across two partially-resolved bands in an otherwise bright featureless disk.  Filters might help, but I have no way to mount any on these binoculars.

 

So, maybe with tripod-mounted 15x binoculars.



#9 CAAD9

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 04:08 PM

It's a negative for me with 18x50IS binoculars.  

 

Handheld but me lying on a trampoline, head well supported. Jupiter high up in the sky, dry clear atmospheric conditions.  With dilated pupils Jupiter's brightness almost overwhelms the optics, so no hope that way.  Take a good look at the moon or iPhone to lose night vision and the planetary disk becomes sharp and close in moons become very easy to resolve.  Nevertheless, in my eyes the planetary disk remains featureless. frown.gif

 

Under the same conditions I was easily able to resolve Saturn's ring system with this instrument.

 

Another good topic.  Good idea mate!  waytogo.gif



#10 RickyD85

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 05:33 PM

I agree, another good thread! cool.gif

 

unfortunately i cant add anything else as I don't yet have a 'normal' size pair of binoculars!



#11 KennyJ

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 05:43 PM

This is the second thread in this forum ( following the one which effectively sought experiences with resolving the gap between Saturn and it's rings ) with the main question appearing to be focused ( no pun intended ) on aperture, as opposed to magnification, the latter of which I feel to be far more pertinent to the challenge than aperture.

 

Although aware that not everyone ( probably very few ) could even be bothered going to the trouble of making aperture masks, it would be interesting to hear from any of those who claim to have "succesfully identified" either of these truly wondrous sights at 20x or less magnification, with the objective lenses masked down, and at what stage in the aperture reduction does the "confirmation" become marginal or negative.

 

Just for the record, I'm not necessary doubting any of the claimed observations, just curious.

 

In the case of Saturn's rings, my personal experiences over the past 20 years or so have been varied depending upon the apparent angle of tilt and general seeing conditions, but I've never positively perceived the beautiful sight so obvious at around 50x magnification through a good scope, through any of my binoculars, which "top out" at 20x90 ( effectively closer to 18x80 ).

 

Co-incidentally, the lowest magnification at which I feel to have "truthfully discerned" both Jupiter's EQ bands and Saturn's Rings is around 26x, through my Televue 76 with an 18mm Radian.

 

Although I've never tried it, I feel reasonably confident that through that particular scope/ eyepiece combo, masking down the objective to around 25mm., to yield an exit - pupil of around 1mm. ( but at the same time increasing effective focal ratio to such an extent as to effectively negate most affects of astigmatism ) would not as a result render the challenge impossible.

 

Kenny


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#12 JeffreyAK

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 06:14 PM

Stopping down the objectives might help, not because good binoculars need stopping down but because our eyeballs might.  That might be part of the reason I noticed a significant degradation in my 8x binoculars, compared with my 15x - the exit pupil in my Canons is 3.3 mm, vs. 5.2 mm in my Zeiss.  You eyeball aberrations will be most significant with larger binocular exit pupils, particularly at night when your iris opens up.


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#13 Peacock

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Posted 06 June 2018 - 09:53 PM

Saw, clearly without doubt, the equatorial bands of Jupiter, with a 18mm eyepiece (actually, the low power end of the Leica zoom), on a Sharpstar 60ED refractor, no barlow.

The magnification was 330/18= 18x.

 

I'll try it with a 22mm Nagler next time. That's 15x exactly.

 

Tried with a 36mm Baader wide angle eyepiece and was unsuccessful.


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#14 Tony Flanders

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 06:45 AM

Size is probably not a factor. Even a 30mm scope like the Pocket Borg can resolve the bands, as could Galileo's. Magnification is what matters.

Agreed. In fact, large exit pupils are generally counterproductive on Jupiter -- though that might depend on your eyes. I experience quite a lot of flare on bright objects when I use exit pupils larger than 2 mm.

 

I think you would be far more likely to see the two main bands on Jupiter using 25x100 binoculars if they were masked down to 50 mm, or maybe even 25 mm, than in their original configuration. It's easy to make aperture masks for binoculars using cut-up cereal boxes and sticky tape. So easy that I don't even bother to keep mine, since I can always make a new one in a couple of minutes.


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#15 Eric63

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Posted 07 June 2018 - 07:33 AM

I've seen two bands at 32X (12mm EP)  in my BT70-45. 

 

Eric 



#16 JeffreyAK

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 12:19 AM

I gave this another try tonight, just with my tripod-mounted 15x50s.  I took the 2"/1.25" adapter out of my Mak-Newt and set it up on one of the objectives, and viewed through one side only with my dominant left eye.  Very marked improvement in resolution, no question that the sharpness improved by stopping down the exit pupil by a factor of almost 2, but still a maybe for me.  I'm not certain I could claim to have seen the main bands.  I didn't try filters, that might be worth trying - I could slip a 1.25" filter into the middle of the adapter and just let gravity hold it in place.


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#17 Erik Bakker

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Posted 08 June 2018 - 03:34 AM

Not a bin, bur I see two very sharp bands and some other hints of detail in the bands and disc at 25x with my 82mm scope. Like others said, it is more down to minimum magnification than to aperture. Will try again with my 18x70 bins to see if 18x shows the equatorial bands and report back later.


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#18 lit

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Posted 09 June 2018 - 04:48 PM

hi there

 

using my 22x70 seim apo WO

 

l could see both belts clearly



#19 tropical

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 11:38 AM

hi there

 

using my 22x70 seim apo WO

 

l could see both belts clearly

Your eyesight and perhaps viewing condition is exceptional!  Even with my Tak 22x60 I could barely see the bands.  I can't see them at all with Lunt 16x70 and Fujinon 16x70 binoculars.  My astigmatism is a problem.  Using a 82mm scope (like Eric) and ~28X I could see the bands.


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#20 duck2k

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 04:09 PM

Never seen the two main bands through 15x70.  Barely (with averted vision because of bright light) with 25x100.  That is me anyway.:)



#21 greywulf4570

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 09:33 PM

I'm not certain about resolving the bands yet, (waiting for a better night of clear seeing) but I can definitely resolve the moons  of Jupiter using my 9x35 B&L .   



#22 JeffreyAK

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 11:27 PM

Well I tried again, in early twilight this time, and yes, definitively, I can see the darker northern band through my 15x50s.  No filter needed, but I do need to stop down to effectively 15x30 and use a tripod.  Could not see the southern band or the red spot, which was prominent through my scope.  The view wouldn't impress your non-astronomer friends, and it was at the edge of my visual acuity, but yes, 15x seems enough for my eyes, barely.



#23 Phillip Creed

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 12:13 PM

I've seen Jupiter's two equatorial belts with a set of 20x100's on a good night.  Just bumping up to a set of 25x100s made it much easier.

Clear Skies,

Phil


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#24 lit

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 04:48 PM

Your eyesight and perhaps viewing condition is exceptional!  Even with my Tak 22x60 I could barely see the bands.  I can't see them at all with Lunt 16x70 and Fujinon 16x70 binoculars.  My astigmatism is a problem.  Using a 82mm scope (like Eric) and ~28X I could see the bands.

my Eye DR says l have gifted eyes..not quite sure wht he all means...

 

l like to view in Steady conditions in dark skies here FLINT HILLS here around  a large Lake

 

really helps

 

Air brcomes very Steady and transparent

 

also when the Sky is not all the way dark yet


Edited by lit, 11 June 2018 - 05:13 PM.


#25 Peacock

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Posted 11 June 2018 - 06:08 PM

I confirm that on the weekend I saw Jupiter's equatorial bands with a Vortex Razor 50mm spotting scope (zoom eyepiece 11-33x magnification range). Could only see them at the higher half of the zooming range. This is an ED spotting scope with a triplet objective. Chromatic aberration was nigh on invisible.




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