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What's the best way to increase color & contrast for the planets?

planet reflector observing accessories
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#51 Sky Muse

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Posted 14 July 2018 - 11:33 PM

Uh, is that a typo/rearranged digit?  Mars should be closer to 83 degrees from Perth in Oz when it transits. 

Just going by the altitude spec for Perth in Stellarium, although it's showing that the Sun's up now.



#52 Redbetter

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 06:18 AM

Just going by the altitude spec for Perth in Stellarium, although it's showing that the Sun's up now.

The altitude spec will read negative for a considerable portion of the day as well, but that isn't what we use to evaluate how high a planet reaches in the sky from a given location...



#53 infamousnation

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 02:15 AM

In my experience, expensive apo have some good contrast, and bigger scopes show brighter colors.  That being said, planets don't look anything like the pictures, and the difference between scopes tends to be minimal.  Just my 2 cents



#54 SolarSailor

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 06:22 AM

Ok, the other night I found Mars for real this time. Whoa, what a difference! What I mistook as Mars before was a pretty red star. What I saw now was an ominous crimson globe. I assumed it was an airplane at first because it was so bright. Like everyone said, I couldn't see any details (although I could have sworn I saw a dark patch in the middle). The color however didn't need anything done to it. The planet almost looks like its radiating crimson and redish orange. Pictures of the planet don't do that justice. If their wasn't a global dust storm I have the feeling I could see the fainter details in my telescope.

I also discovered the most important accessory everyone needs to get a better astronomy experience. Next time I go out I need bug spray. Every time I had a really good view it would get interrupted by a mosquito buzzing around my head. Ugh! I'm still itching today.
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#55 Sky Muse

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 06:35 AM

The altitude spec will read negative for a considerable portion of the day as well, but that isn't what we use to evaluate how high a planet reaches in the sky from a given location...

Stellarium is currently showing that Mars is 11° above the horizon in Perth, whilst Saturn is riding high at 39°.  I then took a look at Polaris here at my location with the time-lapse feature, and Stellarium's altitude spec for Polaris is at 35°, which is how far above the horizon I would see the star when I saunter outside at night. 



#56 epee

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 09:08 AM


I also discovered the most important accessory everyone needs to get a better astronomy experience. Next time I go out I need bug spray. Every time I had a really good view it would get interrupted by a mosquito buzzing around my head. Ugh! I'm still itching today.


Try the Thermacell, best area mosquito barrier since the invention of the wall.
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#57 tcifani

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 10:27 AM

I shot this a couple of nights ago with a Canon dSLR (EOS 6D, 50mm 1.4 lens, 1/60th sec., iso 5000, RAW file, K temp = 5500) and a 6" f/8 Newt (homebuilt) with a Vixen NPL Plossl 10mm Eyepiece (1.25") - magnification=126x. I actually shot this with camera hand held up against eyepiece (I don't have a camera adapter yet or EQ mount w/ motors), and the attached image is pretty much what I see in my bright urban environment on a hot humid summer night in North Carolina. I did shoot many many frames, and this shot had the least atmospheric turbulence of the bunch. I intentionally left exposure and contrast settings as is out of the camera, light pollution is very evident. If you live in a bright urban environment, another good trick is to make sure the inside of your scope is as dark as possible, especially the inside wall opposite the eyepiece. Since you have a commercial scope, my guess is that the inside surface of the tube is nice and dark. If not, I'd look into dark flat blackout paint or even super black velvet. I also place a black cardboard extension tube over the front of my scope (about 18" long) to help darken the inside even more. Even with all this, the colors of Jupiter are very soft and subtle. Probably if I packed up the scope and drove 45mins out of the city, I'd get better views and more contrast and color. And, the above advice regarding careful telescope collimation and upgrading eyepieces is absolutely true. Also, remember to let your scope adjust to the outdoor air temperature for twenty minutes or so. My current favorite EP for planets is an old Celestron 7mm Ortho I bought 2nd hand here on CN recently (also got an 18mm Celestron Ortho that is probably my current favorite Go-To EP for most everything else in the sky). Both of these EPs were very affordable (~$30 each). Upgrading to a new or used quality Plossl would also be a great way to go. Good luck!

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#58 Redbetter

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 01:18 PM

Stellarium is currently showing that Mars is 11° above the horizon in Perth, whilst Saturn is riding high at 39°.  I then took a look at Polaris here at my location with the time-lapse feature, and Stellarium's altitude spec for Polaris is at 35°, which is how far above the horizon I would see the star when I saunter outside at night. 

 

Okay...and the point is...?   

 

What is shown at any given time during the day is not particularly useful. When someone asks, "how high will Mars reach in my sky?" they want to know the maximum, not what it is at some random time during your day or night.   Mars is presently -50 degrees elevation here, but it will almost reach 29 degrees overnight.  Later today it will reach almost -80 degrees here.  This isn't quite the inverse of Perth, but getting close.

 

I am not sure if you are just having some fun with me, but I will play the straight man on this.   Polaris is near the north pole, so it doesn't change much in elevation throughout a day/night.  Objects closer to 0 degrees change much more during the course of the day.  In Perth, Australia Mars will range between approximately -33 and +82 degrees over the next 24 hours. 


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#59 Sky Muse

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 06:51 PM

"In Perth, Australia Mars will range between approximately -33 and +82 degrees over the next 24 hours.

 

Yes, I saw that range in action, via the time-lapse for Perth within Stellarium.  



#60 SolarSailor

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 09:29 AM

After my replacement telescope arrives I'm going to try and get a 8mm plossl to enhance planetary viewing. That way I'll have 10mm, 8mm, and 4mm eyepieces along with the 3x barlow for a good range of magnifications. Trying to stay on budget this Gosky 8mm plossl seems to be my only true option. Would that be worth it, or should I wait for better options.

https://www.amazon.c...escope eyepiece

I've also been thinking about experimenting with a neutral density filter or variable polarizer. If it can match the view I got out of seeing Venus at twilight or with the pool goggles then it's worth it. If it doesn't work then at least I get a decent moon filter out of the deal. Again I'm trying to keep the price down so even if it doesn't work I haven't wasted too much. The best options seem to be a Meade 13% percent Neutral Density filter for $10 or a Neewer Variable Circular Polarizer for $13. Which of the two (if either) would work better?

https://www.amazon.c...6/dp/B00020XAK0

https://www.amazon.c...ding=UTF8&psc=1

#61 epee

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 09:40 AM

13% is the transmission of the filter. It would be good for the Moon but too dark for planets, except perhaps Venus. While not 100% ideal, the variable polarizer will be the best, all-around, solution.
You might look at the value line of Plossls that our host, Astronomics, sells. With your Cloudy Nights’ discount they should be competitive, and maybe a little more reliable quality-wise, as Gosky.

Edited by epee, 18 July 2018 - 09:43 AM.

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#62 Penarin

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 12:05 PM

13% is the transmission of the filter. It would be good for the Moon but too dark for planets, except perhaps Venus. While not 100% ideal, the variable polarizer will be the best, all-around, solution.
You might look at the value line of Plossls that our host, Astronomics, sells. With your Cloudy Nights’ discount they should be competitive, and maybe a little more reliable quality-wise, as Gosky.

That's a good idea.  Here's a link-

https://www.astronom...pieces_c50.aspx

 

A classic 4 element design, fully multicoated for great transmission, and blackened lens edges for better contrast.  $23 to $33 depending on size, and CN members do get a discount.


Edited by Penarin, 18 July 2018 - 12:16 PM.


#63 vtornado

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Posted 18 July 2018 - 03:47 PM

8mm plossl's are fine optically, but they suffer from short eye relief.

That is the distance you have to hold your eye from the eyepiece to see the image.

If that doesn't bother you then go for the plossl.

 

Another alternative is the a "gold band" expanse clone 9mm eyepiece.

You can pick these up here in the classified, amazon? ebay?

https://www.cloudyni...yepiece-clones/

 

For my 2c a 25% moon filter is better for me than an 13%.  And that is in a 10inch f/5 scope.

I think 13% takes the brightness down too much.   I don't know about venus.


Edited by vtornado, 18 July 2018 - 03:48 PM.



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