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Amazing Saturn

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#1 Stellar1

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 10:42 AM

Last night was a night of decent seeing, having set up my scope in the backyard, I was looking forward to a night of various object hunting. Little did I know, the only object I would dedicate almost the entire night to, was Saturn. Saturn was a sight to behold last night, beautifully contrasted, revealing a clear and, unmistakable equatorial belt. Cassini’s division was laser cut sharp, subtle tones in its clouds were visible, given the chance for the eye to adapt. One quick glance at a planet would be a mistake, it’s surprising what I could pick up given enough time at the eyepiece.

 

This night I was also using my new (to me) Pentax XW 5mm, I jumped on this eyepiece because I figured it would be great for those nights when seeing would not permit me to use my 3.5mm for planets. The 5mm proved to be every bit as good as I expected but, Saturn laughed it off this night, the image begged for more power. In went the 3.5, after a while I wondered, even at 230x, using my 115mm APO, Saturn still had more to give. My 3.5 is the highest power eyepiece I have, short of using it with my 2.5x Powermate (which is way too much power) I was at a loss, I needed a bit more, just a measly 50x. Amateur astronomers sometimes do crazy things in our quest for celestial satisfaction, in went the 5mm with the powermate.A quick calculation on my phone, I realized it would be 402X!!, insanity, 90x per inch of aperture, I gave up hope before looking into the eyepiece. Putting my phone away, glancing into the eyepiece, I was stunned to see I could bring Saturn to a fine focus, detail still visible in its clouds, Cassini’s division still sharp, not as sharp but, no less beautiful indeed. 

 

Considering the spectacle Saturn put on last night, I have to wonder if maybe my 3.5 won’t necessarily be that eyepiece only used once in a while when the sky permits. Maybe, I should be considering a 2.5 if such an animal exists. There’s no way I would consider an eyepiece yielding 90x per inch but, maybe a bit more than the 230x my 3.5 yields may not be as crazy as I thought it would be just a few days ago. Regardless, I am well aware that pushing power is at the mercy of the sky but, last night I was given a glimpse of what my scope/eyepiece are capable of when the sky gods are generous. Just as Saturn was about to wave goodbye and, dip below a neighboring house, I hurried for my camera and laptop for a quick shot.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Saturn.jpg

Edited by Stellar1, 01 August 2020 - 10:42 AM.

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#2 AstroVPK

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 11:04 AM

There is a 2.4 mm Vixen HR that is supposed to be quite good.

#3 Stellar1

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 11:25 AM

There is a 2.4 mm Vixen HR that is supposed to be quite good.

Thanks! i'll look into that.



#4 sunnyday

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 11:28 AM

very nice pic , thanks .



#5 payner

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 12:23 PM

Yes, lovely photo of Saturn. Saturn never disappoints.



#6 csphere.d

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 12:26 PM

 

 

Considering the spectacle Saturn put on last night, I have to wonder if maybe my 3.5 won’t necessarily be that eyepiece only used once in a while when the sky permits. Maybe, I should be considering a 2.5 if such an animal exists. There’s no way I would consider an eyepiece yielding 90x per inch but, maybe a bit more than the 230x my 3.5 yields may not be as crazy as I thought it would be just a few days ago. Regardless, I am well aware that pushing power is at the mercy of the sky but, last night I was given a glimpse of what my scope/eyepiece are capable of when the sky gods are generous.  

I assume your 115 apo is f/7.  I am in a similar situation with my 102 f/7.  I also have the XW 3.5mm, and I figured it would be my maximum magnification (0.5mm exit pupil).  But there have been occasions of really good seeing when it seems I could go a little higher, especially on Mars.  I am contemplating picking up a Delite 3mm to push the magnification a bit higher.  The problem, for me anyway, is that when the exit pupil gets lower; floaters become a problem.  Also, when you go below 0.5 mm exit pupil, the view becomes rather dim.  I probably will get a 3mm, and if it works out that it pushes it too much for planets, the I can still use it for doubles.

 

I do have a 4mm Delite, to go between my XW 3.5mm and XW 5mm.  It has become very useful on nights that the seeing won't support the 3.5mm.  The Delites are 62* FOV compared to the 70* FOV of the XWs.  I don't notice the difference that much on planets.


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#7 Stellar1

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 12:32 PM

I assume your 115 apo is f/7.  I am in a similar situation with my 102 f/7.  I also have the XW 3.5mm, and I figured it would be my maximum magnification (0.5mm exit pupil).  But there have been occasions of really good seeing when it seems I could go a little higher, especially on Mars.  I am contemplating picking up a Delite 3mm to push the magnification a bit higher.  The problem, for me anyway, is that when the exit pupil gets lower; floaters become a problem.  Also, when you go below 0.5 mm exit pupil, the view becomes rather dim.  I probably will get a 3mm, and if it works out that it pushes it too much for planets, the I can still use it for doubles.

 

I do have a 4mm Delite, to go between my XW 3.5mm and XW 5mm.  It has become very useful on nights that the seeing won't support the 3.5mm.  The Delites are 62* FOV compared to the 70* FOV of the XWs.  I don't notice the difference that much on planets.

I get what you're saying, its a tossup between floaters in your case and magnification, as with anything up there, resolution is always sacrificed when jacking up power.



#8 Pcbessa

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 04:00 PM

I understand you. I also pushed my 10" up to 600x, and that's ok. Usually things are fine until 300x, a 600x the view becomes much more blurred (and I definitively see a loss of detail) but it might still be useful for instance to separate the moons of Saturn from its glare or help seeing a tight double star.


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