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What can I see with a 70mm telescope?

beginner Celestron planet refractor
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#1 IsaacSucks2

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Posted 27 May 2020 - 08:48 PM

hello, so I am sorta new to astronomy. I know a couple things about telescopes but not much.
My main question was: What can I see with a 70mm telescope?

my telescope is the celestron astromaster 70eq. 

if you are not sure what telescope that is I’ll put the specifics right here

 

its aperture is 70mm

 

its focal length is 900mm

 

its focal ratio is f/13

 

it is a refractor telescope

 

it comes with two eyepieces: a 10mm and a 20mm

 

the 10mm has a magnification of 90x while the 20mm has a magnification of 45x

 

it has a red dot finderscope

 

it has an equatorial mount

 

the highest useful magnification is 165x

 

and lowest useful magnification is 10x

 

 

i was just wondering what we’re the objects I could get a good look at.

my main interest would be the moon, planets, and some nebula.

i was planning to get the celestron astromaster accessory kit as well.

I’m not sure if it’s necessary or not though, you tell me, I’m just a beginner.

 

the kit comes with a 2x Barlow, a 6mm plossl, a 15mm kellner, and three filters: a red, a blue, and a moon filter. I was thinking these things would enhance my viewing. After all it’s only 60 bucks.

 

i hope I can become a better astronomer like you guys one day, but for now I’m just gonna listen to your advice. Thanks for the help. grin.gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#2 cookjaiii

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Posted 27 May 2020 - 08:59 PM

I won one of these at NEAF a few years ago.  My wife uses it for outreach.  It shows very nice views of the Moon and planets.  I haven't tested it much beyond that.  



#3 B 26354

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Posted 27 May 2020 - 09:01 PM

Hi & welcome.

 

In order to more effectively help you, it helps us a great deal if we know approximately where you're located... so that we can more clearly understand what your observing conditions might be. What you can see from the middle of Manhattan, is quite different from what you can see from the middle of the south-central Utah desert -- regardless of the scope you're using.  grin.gif



#4 oshimitsu

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Posted 27 May 2020 - 09:13 PM

Hi & welcome.

 

In order to more effectively help you, it helps us a great deal if we know approximately where you're located... so that we can more clearly understand what your observing conditions might be. What you can see from the middle of Manhattan, is quite different from what you can see from the middle of the south-central Utah desert -- regardless of the scope you're using.  grin.gif

 

Agreed. If you are like me and have to deal with a ton of light pollution then you're going to be limited to bright star clusters, planets and only the brightest reflection nebula. I live in a red zone and can see down to mag 7.5 with my 80mm refractor, maybe 8 if I can block the street lights from my vision. That mount is going to be a bit wobbly but it's a step up from their previous version. Is price a factor? I would push you  to more along the lines of the first light series scopes with an Alt-AZ mount.



#5 MJB

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Posted 27 May 2020 - 09:13 PM

70mm will deliver some great views of the moon. That's always a great target and I think you will be surprised at the level of detail you will see. When the planets are up, the rings and moons of Saturn are certainly within reach. Jupiter will reveal banded details and lots of moon action. M42 in Orion will show some nebulosity and reward darker skies. As always, the seeing conditions will dictate what you can see on any given night. Try to get out as often as you can when conditions are good. Moon and planets will do fine even in town, and you can have good seeing even though it is not very dark.

 

Sounds like you have a good scope setup - similar to what I had when I started (and still have). As far as the additional kit, I think you'd do fine to get used to using the base setup first. The 10 and 20mm eyepieces are good to get going, and you don't really need the filters. 6mm eyepiece you won't likely use much.

 

Have fun!



#6 IsaacSucks2

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Posted 27 May 2020 - 09:20 PM

I live in north eastern Oregon for those who needed to know, if you need a more precise location or any other questions, I’d gladly answer them.


Edited by IsaacSucks2, 27 May 2020 - 09:21 PM.

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#7 oshimitsu

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Posted 27 May 2020 - 09:29 PM

I live in north eastern Oregon for those who needed to know, if you need a more precise location or any other questions, I’d gladly answer them.

Lucky! well you've got plenty of dark sky up there!



#8 JamesMStephens

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Posted 27 May 2020 - 09:59 PM

https://bestdoubles....dsc-60-project/

 

https://groups.io/g/...mmTelescopeClub

 

https://www.cloudyni...challenge-r2784


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#9 aeajr

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Posted 27 May 2020 - 11:01 PM

Discussion about what can be seen with a 70 mm refractor.

Remember that light pollution has a significant influence on what can be seen.
https://www.cloudyni...actor/?hl=+70mm

 

Moon, Planets, open star clusters, double stars, bright nebula.  Enough to keep you busy for years. 

 

Any Messier objects on this list.

Messier with Binoculars

https://www.astrolea...s/binomesa.html

 

 

Small Scope Double Stars
https://bestdoubles....3c-60mm-double/

 

 

Small Telescope resources
http://www.chuckhawk...hat_can_see.htm

http://naasbeginners...can_be_seen.htm

http://www.astronomy...nomy-beginners/

http://www.welcometo...n-see-with.html

 

 

Books
http://www.amazon.co...l/dp/1852336293

http://www.amazon.co...k/dp/B00CW50TOS


Edited by aeajr, 27 May 2020 - 11:04 PM.

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#10 hcf

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Posted 27 May 2020 - 11:17 PM

Get a hold of the book, "Turn Left At Orion". It tells you the easier objects to view and how to find them in the night sky. You can find ex-library copies of the book on ebay for about $5.

Download and learn Stellarium (free on pc/laptop) and use star hopping to find your targets. You might need a low power eyepiece like a 32mm plossl to find objects. This will  be more useful than the kit.

 

Open clusters and the brighter globular clusters from the Messier list are easy first targets, other than the Moon and Planets.


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#11 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 01:17 AM

You may some of the information on amateur astronomy and observing in my post (#22) at https://www.cloudyni...mers/?p=5184287 helpful.



#12 sg6

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 02:51 AM

More then you will expect.

Planets will be good, Jupiter and a 15mm for 60x, might get to 100x or 120x for Saturn, going to need an 8mm for that.

Unsure I would say you will get the stated 165x, thing that 100x and maybe 120x is more real.

 

When it returns M42 should be good, with a 30mm plossl you will get 1.66 degree view - just wide enough. Rather unfortunately M45 (Pleiades) is just too big to see it all in one.

 

Targets like the double cluster and maybe M33 will be OK, again a 30mm plossl. Smaller targers like M36, 37, 38 in Auriga are smaller so would be better targets, M13 and M82 (think it is M92) are other good targets - actually any/most globular clusters.

 

Try an assortment of double stars, search for contrasting colored doubles.

 

Basically you have a large selection.


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#13 IsaacSucks2

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 02:54 AM

Thanks for all the help so far. I will keep this in mind.



#14 jgraham

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 06:50 AM

I do all of my observing from my light polluted backyard using scopes from 60mm up to 16.5". Regardless of the size, for me the key is to be comfortable at the eyepiece and to take the time with each field to really see what there is to see. Using a chair can be very helpful.

The Universe is a very big place with lots to see with any size scope.

Enjoy!

#15 JohnnyBGood

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 07:08 AM

Two thoughts, one very important:

 

1) Don't buy the accessory kit. The eyepieces in the accessory kit are a downgrade from you already have, and for the same price (and a little patience) you can get a greater quantity of much higher quality generic Ploessl design eyepieces on eBay from China. You don't need the filters the accessory kit comes with, except perhaps the moon filter, but you can get one of those for about $10. Generic is fine. https://www.ebay.com...vUAAOSwhQhY1Lme

 

2) With your scope you will be able to see hundreds of interesting things, assuming you can get out to reasonably dark skies now and then. I very highly recommend the book Turn Left At Orion. Later editions (4th and 5th) are a little pricier than the older ones but they really are better. They're spiral bound, so easier to use in the field. The sky maps are larger and easier to read. The directions are slightly better, and more objects are included. Most importantly (to me), the later editions have a much more detailed night-by-night "moon tour" that's fun to follow along with. The book is made for use with a conventional finderscope, but with some creativity you can use it with the red dot finder as well (in which case the 32mm eyepiece will be your friend when it comes to finding things). I've much much more experience with Meade scopes, but I don't think it would be super difficult to swap or add a conventional finder to your scope if you decided you didn't like the red dot.


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#16 rhetfield

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 07:27 AM

I agree with others on staying away from the accessory kit - or other accessories for that matter.  You have a pretty good setup right now.  Your 10mm EP will push you pretty close to the limits of your scope and the filters won't do much for you in your dark skies.  I can't think of any serious deficiencies in what you have for accessories.  As others have said, get the books and maybe the phone apps.

 

Aperture does matter.  If you have fun with your scope in the coming months, you will find yourself looking into upgrades.  The best bang for the buck will be a more capable scope.  $60 gets you 1/3 of the way towards any of the  5"/F5 newts that sell for $200 and greatly outperform what you have now.  A bit more gets you into a 6-8" newt for visual that will greatly outperform the 5" scopes or get you started on astrophotography.  



#17 AstroVPK

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 08:37 AM

I think the Moon and planets are a great place to start right now. We're approaching half moon and we have two planets in the evening sky. Try to see those - it'll help you get used to your telescope. If you can start up later or wake up early, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars are putting up quite the show in the early morning. These are comfortable, easy targets to get started with and will help you get used to operating your telescope. One we are closer to the new moon in June, you can start looking for some DSOs as well.

Edited by AstroVPK, 28 May 2020 - 08:38 AM.


#18 aeajr

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 08:57 AM

hello, so I am sorta new to astronomy. I know a couple things about telescopes but not much.
My main question was: What can I see with a 70mm telescope?

my telescope is the celestron astromaster 70eq. 

if you are not sure what telescope that is I’ll put the specifics right here

 

its aperture is 70mm

 

its focal length is 900mm

 

its focal ratio is f/13

 

it is a refractor telescope

 

it comes with two eyepieces: a 10mm and a 20mm

 

the 10mm has a magnification of 90x while the 20mm has a magnification of 45x

 

it has a red dot finderscope

 

it has an equatorial mount

 

the highest useful magnification is 165x

 

and lowest useful magnification is 10x

 

 

i was just wondering what we’re the objects I could get a good look at.

my main interest would be the moon, planets, and some nebula.

i was planning to get the celestron astromaster accessory kit as well.

I’m not sure if it’s necessary or not though, you tell me, I’m just a beginner.

 

the kit comes with a 2x Barlow, a 6mm plossl, a 15mm kellner, and three filters: a red, a blue, and a moon filter. I was thinking these things would enhance my viewing. After all it’s only 60 bucks.

 

i hope I can become a better astronomer like you guys one day, but for now I’m just gonna listen to your advice. Thanks for the help. grin.gif

I never recommend equatorial mounts to beginners unless you are working with someone who knows how to use an equatorial mount.  They are non-intuitive and my experience  is that they frustrate new people to the point of giving up.   

 

If there is an AZ or AltAz mount version of that scope or any other scope, I would recommend you go that way.I have 5 scopes, none on an EQ mount.  However, if I was going to go into astrophotography, the first thing I would buy would be a $1500 EQ mount. 

 

Second key, which is what you are doing, is having the right expectation.   

 

Yes you can see Mars.  You can see Mars naked eye or with binoculars so of course you can see it with a 70 mm telescope.  But what will it look like?

 

It will be a red/brown ball.  You may see a whiteish cap for the polar ice caps.  You might see some barest hint of color shading over the surface under good atmospheric conditions. BTW, that is what you will see in most telescopes.  The shading will become more distinct in larger scopes, but you won't see any surface detail like the Moon.  

 

Is that what you expect?  Or do you think you will see details that look like the Moon?

 

This is about seeing Mars or Saturn or Jupiter or other targets vs. what you think you are going to see.  Nothing will look like the pictures in the books or magazines.  Not even in my 12" scope. 

 

 

 

How to Use a Telescope:  First Time User’s Guide
https://telescopicwa...ope-user-guide/

How Much Does a First Telescope Cost?

https://telescopicwa...elescope-cost/ 


Edited by aeajr, 28 May 2020 - 11:24 AM.


#19 SteveG

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 11:01 AM

I started with a very similar scope, and it showed me beautiful views of the moon, planets, double stars, and the brighter nebula and star clusters. Don’t be afraid of the EQ mount. Once you get the concept it’s easy to use. Here’s a video:

 

https://youtu.be/F7HVDKAZ6eM


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#20 Jond105

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 11:24 AM

I started with a very similar scope, and it showed me beautiful views of the moon, planets, double stars, and the brighter nebula and star clusters. Don’t be afraid of the EQ mount. Once you get the concept it’s easy to use. Here’s a video:

 

https://youtu.be/F7HVDKAZ6eM

Completely agree... don’t fear the EQ Mount, if you can learn how to use a telescope, one can easily learn an EQ Mount. So many videos out there to show one how to. Once you get it, makes tracking very easy. 


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#21 aeajr

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 11:28 AM

Steve G  provided a great video link on EQ mounts.  But that is actually Part 2.

 

Here are part one and part 2.

 

How to align an Equatorial (EQ) mount
https://www.youtube....h?v=plx6XXDgf2E

 

How to use an Equatorial (EQ) mount
https://www.youtube....h?v=F7HVDKAZ6eM

 

Now, compare this to using a standard AltAz camera tripod


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#22 B 26354

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 12:16 PM

I never recommend equatorial mounts to beginners unless you are working with someone who knows how to use an equatorial mount.  They are non-intuitive and my experience  is that they frustrate new people to the point of giving up.

Without anyone's advice but Sky & Telescope magazine and some books from my local library, I bought my first telescope -- a 4.25" Newtonian on an un-driven EQ pedestal-mount -- when I was twelve. Never had a bit of problem setting it up or finding targets with it, using nothing more than a 1954 Norton's Star Atlas and a cardboard Planisphere.

 

Once you've spent a few minutes understanding the three-dimensional geometry involved, I think using an EQ mount is completely intuitive.


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#23 aeajr

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 02:48 PM

Without anyone's advice but Sky & Telescope magazine and some books from my local library, I bought my first telescope -- a 4.25" Newtonian on an un-driven EQ pedestal-mount -- when I was twelve. Never had a bit of problem setting it up or finding targets with it, using nothing more than a 1954 Norton's Star Atlas and a cardboard Planisphere.

 

Once you've spent a few minutes understanding the three-dimensional geometry involved, I think using an EQ mount is completely intuitive.

Ahhh, there's the rub. Once you have spent the time to understand, most things are easy to do or use.  But too often, people don't do that.  And the outcome is not good.

 

Same with GoTo mounts.   If you read the instructions and follow the steps, these things are generally easy to use and very valuable.  But, sometimes people don't do that and the outcome is not good.

 

I agree an EQ mount is a very good tool and if you are willing to take the time to understand how to set it up and use it, and if it is a reasonably good mount, it is a great tool for astronomy.  Highly recommended. 

 

But a combination of cheap mounts that don't set-up well and people who do not take that time to learn to do it right makes the probability of success much lower than with an AltAz mount that a child can understand. 

 

Up/down, left/right.  Yep, I get it!

 

Right Ascension and Declination? Find Polaris?  Set the Latitude, Polar alignment? Meridian Flip? Move the diagonal? Spin the tube?  Really?  

 

Up/down, left/right.  yep, I get it!

 

When working with newbies I work the path to quickest success for the first scope.  My experience is the AltAz mount consistently has a much higher success rate for that first scope than the EQs.

 

I was out with a friend who has an Orion StarBlast II 114 Newtonian on an EQ mount.   Has had it for years.  Has no idea how to polar align or how to use RA/DEC.  He flips it over on its side and uses it as an AltAz mount.

 

Another friend had a scope sitting in the corner for 5 years.  5" reflector on an EQ mount.  Could never figure out how to use it.   I showed him how to flip it into AltAz mode and he was overjoyed.  Uses it a lot now.  I gave  him the EQ mount set-up videos   He still has no idea how to use RA/Dec or setting circles and doesn't seem to care.  

 

Naturally, your smileage will vary. 


Edited by aeajr, 28 May 2020 - 02:50 PM.


#24 IsaacSucks2

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 03:55 PM

I think I’ve got the hang of the EQ mount. I will consider not buying the accessory kit, I got very nice views of every planet last night. It’s a very neat scope, I think I will keep this one for a while until I can buy a better one. The only reason I wanted the kit was because it came with a Barlow, a 15mm, and that moon filter. But I realize I could probably buy some better quality ones for a higher price. Is there anyway to post images on here? And also what other eyepieces should I buy? 15mm?, 8mm?, 32mm?


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#25 B 26354

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Posted 28 May 2020 - 03:57 PM

@ aeajr

 

I honestly don't think there's any "rub" involved.

 

This isn't "rocket science". If someone's too lazy to want to spend ten minutes figuring out how this 4th-grade geometry works... they'd probably be better off trying a non-science-based pastime. In the sixty-five years that I've been doing this stuff, I've shown innumerable neophytes how an EQ mount works, and why its ability to track or re-find a target by simply rotating one axis, is vastly preferable to randomly hunting all over the sky, using "up-down/right-left".

 

The ones who "got" the system, got it in about five minutes. The ones who didn't -- like the examples you referenced -- weren't really interested in the first place.

 

A great deal of the effectiveness depends upon the teaching methodology, of course. But ultimately... different strokes....    shrug.gif  


Edited by B 26354, 28 May 2020 - 03:59 PM.

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