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another filter question

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#1 donald41

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Posted 04 August 2020 - 10:20 PM

what would be a good filter for mars. where you might see some detail, maybe not a lot but some. i observed it a number of times with a 8" sct and 10" dob but it just comes in like a bright orange ball and no detail. thanks, don



#2 OldManSky

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 08:21 AM

A light-blue filter is good for detail on Mars...



#3 Supernova74

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 09:01 AM

well as this is just my opinion I would stay away from coloured filters if you can as even some surface details may Be more apparent it kinds of spoils the veiw and doesn’t look natural.even how ironic it may sounds the planet is red maybe a little bit more expensive I would invest in a baader moon and sky glow or baader contrast booster filter even tho this does,nt correct the atmospheric turbulence in the earths atmosphere I think you will find most probably the best filters to use.



#4 Starman1

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 11:45 AM

what would be a good filter for mars. where you might see some detail, maybe not a lot but some. i observed it a number of times with a 8" sct and 10" dob but it just comes in like a bright orange ball and no detail. thanks, don

Baader Contrast Booster is the best Mars filter I've used.

 

But, don't ignore the 3 "C"s:

--collimation.  is the scope collimated?  this will make a huge difference at the high powers needed for Mars.

--cooling.  has the scope been sitting outside for at least 2 hours or more?  heat in the scope will ruin high power images, and SCTs cool very slowly.

--conditions.  how good is the seeing?  is there a lot of atmospheric turbulence?  if so, you won't see a clear sharp image.

to maximize the best seeing, :

  • don't set up the scope on asphalt or concrete.  set up on grass or dirt instead.  there will be less heat wafting up from the ground.
  • don't view a planet directly above a roof.  this is summer and heat will waft up from roofs almost all night long
  • don't view the planet when really low.  wait until it is nearing the meridian, which is its highest position in the sky.  the best time for Mars now is 3am to dawn
  • read the weather maps--when the air is not moving and slightly stagnant, planets will be better than on nights when the wind has blown away all the haze.

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#5 vdog

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 01:39 PM

i observed it a number of times with a 8" sct and 10" dob but it just comes in like a bright orange ball and no detail. thanks, don

Don's advice in the previous post is spot on.  Filter or no, you should be able to see more detail than that with the scopes you're using and the problem likely goes beyond what a filter alone will address.  Even in my 5" Mak I can clearly see the southern polar cap and maria plains.

 

My 2 cents:

 

Seeing--cleardarksky.com is a good resource.  They aren't always completely accurate, but no forecast ever is, and it's worked well enough for my planning purposes.

 

Magnification--Mars needs as much magnification as your local seeing will allow.  Detail is there but harder to discern under 200x.  With my scopes, the sweet spot is between 250-325x.

 

Filters--The Baader Contrast Booster does make a difference, but I also like stacking it with a single polarizer in my smaller scopes and even a 12.5% ND in my 16" to cut the glare.  I think doing that makes even more of a difference, and those types of filters can be had pretty cheaply.


Edited by vdog, 05 August 2020 - 01:41 PM.

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#6 Supernova74

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 03:33 PM

mars is really a tricky little planet to observe visually!? Apart from the obvious Jupiter and Saturn you can get away with some atmospheric turbulence in the atmosphere even with good optics still can show a reddish blob in this case I would even go far as that within reason aperture of your scope is secondary just demands good seeing conditions and as a certain forum member told me just spend more time at the eyepiece how very true as it’s just a question of waiting for that small opportunity of a window and all can be revealed to you.an another prime exsample for me was last year starring at Saturn for ages and it was even lower in the meridian as it is now currently in theory I shouldn’t of been able to view at nearly 400x however for a very small window did emerge that the atmosphere was very calm and the veiw was breath taking you just to be patient which amateur Astronomy is all about.

thats why I never did take any notice of 50x per inch rule besides thay are just guide lines not rules 



#7 epee

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Posted 05 August 2020 - 04:51 PM

On decent mornings I'm seeing detail with a 4" refractor. I'd suggest you give your scope plenty of time to acclimate, collimate your scope to the highest magnification you can muster and try a Neutral density filter and/or a Baader Contrast Booster. Heck, even look through some sunglasses and see if that helps.


Edited by epee, 05 August 2020 - 04:52 PM.


#8 SiouxCityRat

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 03:52 PM

If I may jump on the bandwagon . . . I live in a Bortle class 6 area. The last time I had my scope out ( just purchased June 10) I was looking at Saturn. I noticed the sky was purple. That was only the second time I had it out. The city has been "upgrading" our street lights to new LED versions. These suckers are bright! Would the Baader Contrast Booster help out with this?



#9 epee

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 03:57 PM

I have LED street and yard lights all around me. They are a creation of Satan. However, I've never noticed their lending a particular cast to the night sky; only brightening what is already there.

Unfortunately, not even Narrow-band, "Pollution" filters have much effect on LED lights.


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#10 Starman1

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 04:16 PM

If I may jump on the bandwagon . . . I live in a Bortle class 6 area. The last time I had my scope out ( just purchased June 10) I was looking at Saturn. I noticed the sky was purple. That was only the second time I had it out. The city has been "upgrading" our street lights to new LED versions. These suckers are bright! Would the Baader Contrast Booster help out with this?

The Contrast Booster cuts out violet and deep blue, so it might help a tad if a lot of the scatter happens to be in those wavelengths.

It should make things sharper and emphasize details, however, regardless of the sky brightness.

I live in LA, and I KNOW light pollution intimately, and the Baader CB helps here, so I don't see why it wouldn't for you.

Light pollution doesn't bother planets, though, so suppressing it is unimportant where planets are concerned.


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#11 SonnyE

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 04:24 PM

I have LED street and yard lights all around me. They are a creation of Satan. However, I've never noticed their lending a particular cast to the night sky; only brightening what is already there.

Unfortunately, not even Narrow-band, "Pollution" filters have much effect on LED lights.

My walls and shrubs knock the peadootely out of it.

It can't get through a block wall. lol.gif



#12 SiouxCityRat

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 04:41 PM


 

 

 

The Contrast Booster cuts out violet and deep blue, so it might help a tad if a lot of the scatter happens to be in those wavelengths.

It should make things sharper and emphasize details, however, regardless of the sky brightness.

I live in LA, and I KNOW light pollution intimately, and the Baader CB helps here, so I don't see why it wouldn't for you.

Light pollution doesn't bother planets, though, so suppressing it is unimportant where planets are concerned
 

All the major planets are out now, but it will be time to move on from those and go for deep sky stuff. Thanks for the input.



#13 Starman1

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Posted 07 August 2020 - 04:49 PM

All the major planets are out now, but it will be time to move on from those and go for deep sky stuff. Thanks for the input.

The Baader filter's application, I wasn't specific, was for planets.  As a light pollution filter, it's terrible.

But I don't think there is such a thing as a light pollution filter, any more.  LP is too broadband, now.

Nebula filters work some on nebulae in an LP sky, but I haven't found a filter that works on broadband targets like stars.

Except higher magnifications sometimes help.




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