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Advice/Recs For a Sharp Planetary Eyepiece (galvanized by NEOWISE)!

beginner Celestron eyepieces observing optics planet reflector SCT
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#1 Kane0304

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 08:11 PM

Hello all! I would greatly appreciate some advice on observational planetary astronomy; I'm taking a bit of a turn away from AP in favor of planetary viewing/imaging right now...

 

 

After forcing myself to get up at 4:00 am this morning in time for NEOWISE (image below), and having put up my Nextsar 6SE the night before, I was overjoyed to see not only the comet but Mars and Venus also! (I guess I need to get up at obscene times more often grin.gif) . I live in a Bortle class 6 or 7... but I was so excited to see Mars and Venus through my scope, and image them as [slightly] more than mere clumps of pixels!

 

All I have is the kit E-Lux 25mm Plossl from Celestron. So, on my f/10 1500mm SCT, that's 60x mag. Kind of weak for Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, and Venus...

 

I also read that Jupiter is approaching opposition on Tuesday, and so now I have spent a few hours researching the numerous considerations of higher-power eyepieces, and I'm going to buy one. Price under $150 is great, because I don't think my ten-year-old 6SE warrants much more, although this is still a good long-term investment. 

 

So, now I'm all excited to buy a higher-power eyepiece, and I'm looking at four Celestrons right now: 

                                 Mag:      Apparent:    True FOV:        Exit Pupil:

X-Cel LX   9mm:      167x       60 deg         .36 deg             0.9

Luminos:   10mm:    150x       82 deg         .55 deg             1

X-Cel LX   7mm:      214x       60 deg         .28 deg             0.7

Luminos:   7mm:      214x       82 deg         .38 deg             0.7

 

So a few Q's:

-Is 214x too much for my scope? Will Jupiter and Mars just be blurry?

-Is an exit pupil between 1 and 0.7 too small?

-the 9mm LX and the 7mm Luminos have very similar True FOVs... how can I have nearly the same FOV but wildly different mag?

-Are Luminos eyepieces better than LXs?? (They cost ~$30 more)

-Is a nice eyepiece rendered pointless without a nice dielectric diagonal? (recommendations?)

 

Any bits of advice about any of this is greatly appreciated!!!! grin.gif grin.gif

 

Thanks,

Kane

NEOWISE 1.jpg

EOS 80D(1.6x crop), 320mm effective, f/4.5 

NEOWISE 2.jpg

Prime Focus thru 6SE, 2400mm effective, f/16

Mars.jpg

Yay! More than 4 pixels! 6SE, 2400mm

Venus.jpg

La Lune.jpg

Prime Focus.

Roof1 (1).jpg


Edited by Kane0304, 12 July 2020 - 08:13 PM.

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#2 rjaszcz

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 12:23 PM

Hi Kane,

 

Those are great pictures! Good job. I am in San Antonio Bortle 8 or 9 skies. The bright planets are my best targets. I have an 8 inch Celestron SCT. I use the the Celestron zoom lense 8 to 24mm which gives me 84x to 254x. Lots of times i have to use a 40mm eyepiece to find the target then I swap in the zoom to see how much I can blow it up. I know a lot of people will say zoom are junk but I think its worth every penny for me in the bright urban skies. Anyway didn't your SCT come with a 2x barlow? You should try that with your 25mm get you 120x. With my normal "seeing" I think I am around 145x most of the time, less frequently I can get up to 160x to 200x. Two summers ago I was able to use close to 8mm or 254x what a glorious night! on Mars (ice cap and some dark sections of the main body), Jupiter (with more belts, zones and caps then I'd ever seen) and Saturn (crisp rings and Cassini division, belts on the planet body) what a treat! I think your 6" would be usually 120x to 150x at best. Don't know if you use glasses when you view but keep it in mind when you look at the eye relief of those eyepieces, the longer the better if you use glasses.

 

Cheers, Ray


Edited by rjaszcz, 13 July 2020 - 04:13 PM.

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#3 ed100

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 02:32 PM

Agree with everything Ray said above. I can recommend Tele Vue Plossls, my favorite eyepieces.


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#4 rjaszcz

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Posted 13 July 2020 - 04:19 PM



Agree with everything Ray said above. I can recommend Tele Vue Plossls, my favorite eyepieces.


Hi Edward, I see you have a C8 and C11. [I have been dreaming of getting a bigger scope, maybe a 12.5" dob F/6.5? The C11 on a fork at my urban setting seems ideal, Who knows] Anyway, do you use the C8 and C11 at the same time? Given the same average seeing would you end up with similar magnifications in both? I am quite curious, that and how much more can you see with the C11 with bright targets like the planets vs the C8?

 

Thanks!

Ray



#5 ed100

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 04:20 PM




Hi Edward, I see you have a C8 and C11. [I have been dreaming of getting a bigger scope, maybe a 12.5" dob F/6.5? The C11 on a fork at my urban setting seems ideal, Who knows] Anyway, do you use the C8 and C11 at the same time? Given the same average seeing would you end up with similar magnifications in both? I am quite curious, that and how much more can you see with the C11 with bright targets like the planets vs the C8?

 

Thanks!

Ray

There’s a lot to unpack there. My telescope choices are based on 1) my most frequent observing location, namely Los Angeles, which means massive light pollution as well as moderate to poor seeing based on thermals from hundreds of square miles of concrete, onshore and offshore air flows as well as frequent air traffic; 2) the targets that the above suggest: planets, the Moon, and double stars; 3) the comfort and convenience of a folded optic scope.  

 

I rarely use both in tandem, but when I have I’ve observed several things: both scopes have very good optics. The views in the C11 are both larger for a given eyepiece and brighter. There is the possibility of higher resolution in the C11 when seeing permits, but generally 200x is the limit beyond which things fall apart. The mag is therefore the same but brightness and color intensity change.  Both scopes are good choices for binoviewing which I strongly recommend. A top-line bino is not necessary.  Subtle variations in color (Jupiter) stand out more in the C11 but the C8 does well enough. I prefer the C8 for the Moon because I can frame the whole thing. I’m going to run a comparison on Mars soon just for fun.

 

The C11 really pulls ahead under dark skies where dim objects benefit from the increased aperture. Nebula filters also are more effective in the C11. The trade off is the bulk and weight of a much larger scope. I notice the CGEM is less accurate with a bigger load to push around. 


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#6 rjaszcz

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Posted 14 July 2020 - 08:16 PM

There’s a lot to unpack there. My telescope choices are based on 1) my most frequent observing location, namely Los Angeles, which means massive light pollution as well as moderate to poor seeing based on thermals from hundreds of square miles of concrete, onshore and offshore air flows as well as frequent air traffic; 2) the targets that the above suggest: planets, the Moon, and double stars; 3) the comfort and convenience of a folded optic scope.  

 

I rarely use both in tandem, but when I have I’ve observed several things: both scopes have very good optics. The views in the C11 are both larger for a given eyepiece and brighter. There is the possibility of higher resolution in the C11 when seeing permits, but generally 200x is the limit beyond which things fall apart. The mag is therefore the same but brightness and color intensity change.  Both scopes are good choices for binoviewing which I strongly recommend. A top-line bino is not necessary.  Subtle variations in color (Jupiter) stand out more in the C11 but the C8 does well enough. I prefer the C8 for the Moon because I can frame the whole thing. I’m going to run a comparison on Mars soon just for fun.

 

The C11 really pulls ahead under dark skies where dim objects benefit from the increased aperture. Nebula filters also are more effective in the C11. The trade off is the bulk and weight of a much larger scope. I notice the CGEM is less accurate with a bigger load to push around. 

That makes perfect sense, I appreciate the thorough reply! Wishing you all clear skies, Ray


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