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Is my telescope not setup properly or am I expecting too much?

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#26 chicagorandy

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 03:59 PM

Hi Samantha -

 

One suggestion, I found using a Celestron 8mm-24mm zoom eyepiece gives me the opportunity to easily increase the magnification (lower the eyepiece 'number') for very good views of the Moon, Saturn and Jupiter plus its many moons. And all that is here in Chicagoland fighting against tremendous light pollution.

 

My scope is just a Nexstar 127SLT, nothing jumbo fancy like your 8SE. That scope should provide amazing views, especially out in the country with dark skies.

 

Realistic expectations are key - Jupiter is 'about' 450 MILLION miles from Earth, Saturn almost twice that. While getting 100+ magnification will increase the size of a planet bigger than the naked eye, it's not like it's going to fill the eyepiece like a major observatory can or anything. The planet will still be 'tiny'.

 

Even if you had a world class observatory telescope the stars will still be small dots of lights. their distance away from Earth is almost impossible to appreciate.

 

Just MY opinion, but if you gain even a tiny bit of experience with that 8SE, you might consider returning that StarSense gizmo for credit. IMHO it is NOT needed at all for aligning a Nexstar.

 

As others have ably posted, FORGET about the stunning color pictures you see in magazines and online featuring nebulae and galaxies etc. The BEST we will ever actually SEE are dim faint grey fuzzies. 


Edited by chicagorandy, 19 August 2019 - 04:02 PM.

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#27 Samantha66

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 04:02 PM

Agree that you should catch a Star Party or Outreach. 

 

This notion is unlikely, but just in case I'll bring it up.   Is there any chance you have a focal reducer in place?

 

That would be an extra lens placed between the visual back and the diagonal.   Google .63 Celestron Focal Reducer to get an image of one.   If so, take that off when viewing planets or use higher powers.

 

Good luck

 

jd 

I just checked for this focal reducer (I had not heard of this in any of my reading / research (or maybe just didn't understand)).  I do not have one of those.  I am thankful for all of the recommendations!  even those that are unlikely!  So much to learn!



#28 Napp

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 04:06 PM

A really good book for beginners is “Turn Left at Orion”.  It will show you how to find objects and includes sketches of what the objects will look like through a telescope.  Sketches are much more accurate at conveying what an object will actually look like.


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#29 ishorx

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 04:21 PM

hi,view the moon,preferably not at its brightest,will wash out details,but you should be able to almost fill the eyepiece even with a 32mm if you can't get any detail then something's wrong,while your not going to see objects like in photos.....also try the scope on terestial ojjects a distant tree for example,a power pole see if you can magnify with different eyepieces,if you can;t then thers a problem,also on deep sky objects are efected by light pollution 


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#30 S.Boerner

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 04:32 PM

On the Moon

Last week any time after Wednesday the Moon was almost full.  With the flat lighting you get under those conditions it isn't to unusual to not be able to see any detail there.

 

Since I got it aligned this week, the moon has not been visible until around 2:00 a.m., so I haven't been able to view it yet.  I had manually tried to view it prior to getting the alignment to work and the new lenses and did not see much detail. 

 

On Saturn and Jupiter

You might consider downloading a free atlas program to get an idea of what size field you get with your various eyepieces.  There's a free program called Stellarium (https://www.google.c...-d&q=stellarium) that you can use to enter your scope and eyepiece information and then have it show you what size it would be in your eyepiece view. 

 

I use something called SkySafari that runs on iOS and Android devices that can do that and a whole lot more including connecting to your telescope to control your gotos.  There is a free version that will show some things but I'd recommend the Plus version of SkySafari.  I believe it is $15 at the OS's online store.  One nice thing about SkySafari is that it has a good deal of information about each object and talking narration about lots of the Messier Objects. 


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#31 Samantha66

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 05:41 PM

I just wanted to clarify my expectation for viewing.

I thought when viewing a planet like Jupiter, I might see something like the picture on the left.  however, no matter what the scope aligns to, I just see something similar to the picture on the right.

 

Is it an unreal expectation to see a planet with this detail with the scope without attaching a camera to it?

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • jupiter expectation.JPG
  • what i see.JPG


#32 kellyvictoria

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 05:46 PM

I don't believe you are properly aligned.

I just sent you a pm.

vk


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#33 Exotics4fun

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 06:02 PM

I don't believe you are properly aligned.

I just sent you a pm.

vk

I agree. I think it's unlikely you're properly aligned or calibrated after seeing those photos. Granted, even in my 9.25 Jupiter doesn't look quite that amazing but it's way better than the pic on the right.

Using Starsense for alignments took me a couple tries but now that I've got the hang of it I couldn't imagine going without. Critical steps for alignment include things like making sure date and time info are correct (it often defaults to California where Celestron is HQ'd) as a starting point. That tripped me up the first time using it. Same with daylight savings time entry. 

The other is to perform a Starsense calibration. This is super critical, or at least was for me. Starsense may properly align once the date and time and location are all correct but if it's not also calibrated then it will dutifully show you stuff that is just far enough from your desired target to be confusing. After the alignment is successful perform a (mostly) one-time calibration. I've only used the app, never the hand control, so hard for me to advise further unless you're using the app but others with more experience can chime in. 


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#34 Kyphoron

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 06:07 PM

Samantha,

 

  This should be your expectation when viewing Jupiter in your scope. I am posting the link since it is not my image. http://ut-images.s3....13composite.gif


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#35 Samantha66

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 06:11 PM

Samantha,

 

  This should be your expectation when viewing Jupiter in your scope. I am posting the link since it is not my image. http://ut-images.s3....13composite.gif

I would be beyond thrilled if I saw that image with my scope!!!  



#36 Kyphoron

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 06:16 PM

Another thing to also remember is that your scope is looking through earth's atmosphere so at times when you are observing you may see it go out of focus and a bit wavy like when you see the heat rising off a hot road. Very few nights will you have a stable atmosphere where that wont happen.


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#37 Kyphoron

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 06:22 PM

Here is a video through an 8" scope. Go full screen and you will see what I mean by wavy when you observe. https://www.youtube....h?v=LRpKvZla89k


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#38 PPPPPP42

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 07:30 PM

Perfect video example of the atmosphere screwing you over.  You should see stripes on Jupiter in at least some obvious colors at that magnification.

It always looks like that if you are viewing it too low in the sky but really terrible seeing can be that bad.  Its not just the wavyness its WAY too bleached out looking.

 

Even on a less than perfect night its better than that when they are at their highest point, which is still pretty low right now but enough to see more.

EDIT: On an excellent seeing night I can clearly see all the colored stripes and the red spot if its facing us at even less magnification than that with my refractor. It looks like the image you said you would be thrilled with or even better at times.  Your scope is capable of that with everything sorted out and the air cooperating.


Edited by PPPPPP42, 19 August 2019 - 07:35 PM.

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#39 chicagorandy

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 08:43 PM

Samantha,

 

  This should be your expectation when viewing Jupiter in your scope. I am posting the link since it is not my image. http://ut-images.s3....13composite.gif

Almost exactly what I see thru my Nexstar 127SLT at 8mm on the zoom eyepiece. Saturn shows up a bit smaller....but it's also much farther away and nowhere near Jupiter's size.


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#40 Migwan

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 08:47 PM

Never quite like the pics, but on good nights you'll be able see multiple bands and at the right times, the GRS, moon transits and moon shadow transits on Jupiter.   Get out early on Jupiter.   You don't have to wait till dark, it will show itself way before then.  The 13mm will commonly be the highest power to use.   Some nights the 17 will be better and on those really good nights, you'll want to slap that 10 in.

 

On Saturn, you'll be able to see the rings, the Cassini Division, the separation between the planet and the rings (where they go behind it),  a couple of bands and some darkening at the pole.   Some moons too, though they appear smaller and less organized than those of Jupiter.   Same EPs.  

 

You should be able to see the rings with you finder scope.   If you don't see the rings, your not on it.  And once again, you don't have to wait till dark.  It'll show itself early.  

 

Common mistakes in alignment include not leveling the scope.  Use a torpedo level or similar to verify that the float level on the scope is correct.   They are sometimes off.    

 

Be sure your clutches are fairly tight.  I have left one a bit loose before and had to realign after figuring it out.

 

Be sure you are aligning on the right stars.  Yep, early on I hit Vega instead of Arcturus.  Oops.   If not sure, start with Polaris. 

 

Pretty sure you'll be smiling when you finally get on them.  Those first views are pretty memorable.  Enjoy.

 

jd


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#41 bobzeq25

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 08:56 PM

I just wanted to clarify my expectation for viewing.

I thought when viewing a planet like Jupiter, I might see something like the picture on the left.  however, no matter what the scope aligns to, I just see something similar to the picture on the right.

 

Is it an unreal expectation to see a planet with this detail with the scope without attaching a camera to it?

That's unfortunately completely unrealistic.  You wouldn't see that even with a very large telescope.  And a _lot_ more than attaching a camera is involved in producing the images you like.

 

Planetary astrophotography is also a completely different thing than visual observation.  One shoots thousands of frames.  The computer identifies ones where one caught a moment of unusually steady air.  Averages those, and then, under your guidance, uses very sophisticated processing techniques to remove noise.  It's called "lucky imaging".

 

Here's the introductory book on that.  Scroll down to the three pictures of Mars.  They illustrate the magic.

 

http://www.astropix....gdpi/index.html

 

Imaging.  Viewing.  Completely different activities.  Professional astronomers rarely look through telescopes any more.  I do it maybe twice a year.

 

Sorry about that.  People look at images, and do not understand what's involved.  Accumulate a very large amount of data (often gigabytes) over time, and process it intensively on a computer.  It's complicated and expensive and time consuming (both doing it, and learning how to do it), and not an activity for everyone.  For DSOs it takes me something like 50 hours of work to make one image.  I did 17 last year, and that's a personal record.

 

For Deep Space Objects, there is something in between.  Electronically Assisted Astronomy.  There's a forum for that here.


Edited by bobzeq25, 19 August 2019 - 09:13 PM.

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#42 ishorx

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 09:15 PM

on jupiter ,depending on how turbulent the air is you should easily bands across the planet some color,the great red spot with color,you can also see shadows of jupiters moons ,but like i said use the moon first 


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#43 ishorx

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 09:24 PM

also go to the forum section,look under astrophotography and sketching,click on sketching there will be many examples of what objects should look like in telescopes as seen with the eye.


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#44 SkipW

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Posted 19 August 2019 - 10:20 PM

The best suggestion is:

 

Here is a list of the astronomy clubs in Georgia.  https://www.skyandte...title&order=asc

...

Nothing beats getting hands on help from experienced observers.

Amen!

 

You do live in the boonies. That's awesome! Get in touch with the Athens group if none of the others are closer and I predict that someone will have you going in no time! 

 

If Saturn didn't knock your socks off using a 25 mm eyepiece in that telescope, you weren't looking at Saturn. Jupiter would be a distinct disc, too, usually accompanied by its four bright moons in a line. With just a little help getting you started, you should be very happy with that rig. Videos and reading will only get you so far. Hands-on help is invaluable.

 

My own opinion is "Mars never fails to disappoint first-time viewers", but if you were pointing at Jupiter or Saturn, you'd know it immediately!

 

Did I mention that getting help from someone experienced would be just the thing?


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#45 sg6

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 01:29 AM

Should have been said but in case -  people see images and they are misleading. Even if people take 10 images and process them they publish the best and most impressive one. You don't see the blurry small messy one(s). You certainly do not see the blank screens that were the final result.

 

Somewhere someone on CN made a list of targets for binoculars, take a copy/download and look at it. Thinking that anything visible in binoculars should be good options for the 8SE. CN_Download

 

A lot of this is actually thinking. I have read so many posts of "I have seen Jupiter, Saturn and M42, now what?"

If you want a "project" visit Wikipedia and get the list of Messier Objects and start ticking them off. You can tick a lot of them off with binoculars so you have a set of objects and you learn the scope and what is does and how.

 

Owing to a post elsewhere I sat down and made a list of 2 Double Stars, 2 Galaxies, 2 Globular Clusters, 2 Open Clusters, 2 Planetary Nebula. Person asked about outreach for non-astronomers and a selection of 2 of each seemed an idea. It is a list I will take and likely use at my next outreach. Means I have something to fall back on.

 

Any clubs around you?

Anyone appears at the club I attend with a goto I seem to be the one they get directed to. They are "simple" but you have to do all the bits you need to, and a big part is understanding why. Another part is being able to read - amazing how many fail at that bit. One person here lived in Birmingham and selected Birmingham. Slight problem was they saw Birmingham, but didn't see the Alabhama bit.


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#46 Redbetter

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 01:36 AM

Samantha,

 

  This should be your expectation when viewing Jupiter in your scope. I am posting the link since it is not my image. http://ut-images.s3....13composite.gif

I would be beyond thrilled if I saw that image with my scope!!!  

 

Jupiter should show at least that much detail even at fairly low power in an 8", even in poor seeing.  It doesn't sound like you are looking at a planet.  And the strongest indication of that is in the initial post where you said that "Mars is located quickly, but is just a tiny white spec in the middle of the eyepiece surrounded by a bunch of other stars."  Mars is too close to the Sun at this time for you to be seeing it this way. 

 

Do you have a red dot finder or something like that to show you where the scope is pointed?  Because it doesn't sound like the optical tube is pointed where you think it is.  Sight in the RDF during the day on some distant target (not the Sun.)  You adjust the RDF so that the object the dot falls on matches the center of the eyepiece view.  At night you should then find that if you point the RDF at Saturn or Jupiter, you will see them in the eyepiece.   


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#47 alarmclock

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 02:02 AM

My guess is your goto isn't aligned properly. 

Try dialing in Albireo next time, it is a very bright double star; you should see two vividly colored stars very close one to each other with your 25mm ep. If you don't, you are out of alignment :)


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#48 Thomas Marshall

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 04:00 AM

I would be beyond thrilled if I saw that image with my scope!!!  

You are clearly Not viewing Jupiter or Saturn, if all the objects look like Stars,  as you show in your comparison pictures. Whether it says you are aligned or not, - and "on target" or not, - your picture shows a star field, - not either of those planets. You probably have date or time or location entered wrong. You will be impressed when you get this straightened out and view these objects properly, and then when you use "Goto" to jump around and view dozens of Globular Clusters and Open Clusters, and some Galaxies, - even more impressed. Don't give up. If you could find someone local that knows this kind of scope, too walk you thru the basics, - you would have it down right away. It was a surprise to you to find that the "lower number" eyepieces are the "higher power", so you are truly starting at Square One, - as they say. When you break past the initial roadbumps, and start making forward progress, you'll make some quick Big Leaps toward full use of that fine scope. 



#49 starbuckin

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 08:39 AM

Keep your finderscope on your telescope. Even if you calibrate with Starsense, it doesn't necessarily center the object.

If you've attached the Starsense to the left side, you can attach your finderscope to the right. (You might need slightly longer screws, for some reason celestron only puts the longer screws on the left). Point at a star and tweak the finderscope until it and the telescope are looking at the same thing.

 

Calibrating Starsense. (yes, you have to do this every time you reattach it to the optical tube, this only takes a minute)

Usually when starts, it asks, "do you want to calibrate Starsense?" Hit yes.

 

All that does is it will pick a bright star and slew to it. You look through the scope, and see if you can find it, and adjust the controls until it is centered.

This way the Starsense and your telescope are pointing at the same thing. This is made a thousand times easier if you have a finderscope on your telescope.

 

But once you do this, then when the Starsense points you to an object, you are at least pretty close (should be in the findescope's field of view).


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#50 starbuckin

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Posted 20 August 2019 - 08:47 AM

The screw size to mount the finderscope on the right side is 8-32x1/2.

 

You can get them in any hardware store.

I can't strongly recommend enough that you have both the finderscope attached as well as Starsense. It will save you LOTS of frustration.


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