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What is the most usable power you've used?

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#51 Starman1

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 06:04 PM

I just got done looking at Mars tonight.  My best views ever.

 

I have a 10" dob with Zambuto mirror and an upgraded secondary.

 

I started at about 90x and kept bumping the power up.  Surprisingly, the views continued to look pretty good during those moments of steady seeing.

 

Next thing I know I've got my 7mm Pentax and I'm at about 180x.  Still looks pretty decent.  Maria features are easily discerned and defined.  In goes the 5mm Pentax at 250x.  Still good.

 

I barlow the 7mm at 357x.  This starts to look like the limit.  But I try the barlow on the 5mm anyway, just to see.  500x was still usable, but overall the barlowed 7mm gave the best views.

 

I don't think I've been able to come close to using these types of powers before, so I thought I'd ask what the most usable power is that you've experienced and maybe how often you've been able to achieve that.

It varies, but I can use ~500x in the 12.5" about 1 night in 3.

I can use 300x every night.

The highest power I've ever seen was around 1375x and the image was only a tad softer than the same 28" scope at 980x.


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#52 Starman1

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 06:06 PM

A friend and I went out one foggy evening to observe double stars.  I brought my 4.25" f/5 reflector that was made the highest accuracy I would ever achieve.  The Strehl had to be way up there..

 

I recalled that it was possible on foggy nights to have steady air and on this night, nothing twinkled at all.   We started at 25 power/inch, and in steps, moved up to 50 power/inch.   And then, seeing that there was no image breakdown we "went for the gold," and then popped things up to 75 times the aperture and then to 100 times.  No image breakup.  Would you believe that I cannot remember any of the doubles I observed that night?  So very long ago.  I must have been twenty-five . . . .

I read the seeing was better a lot of the time in the 19th century......lol.gif


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#53 KBHornblower

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Posted 26 September 2020 - 08:50 PM

I pushed my Celestron 8 up to nominally 625x on a hot, humid summer evening with excellent seeing, in a quest to elongate Eta CrB.  That star is currently about 1/2 of Dawes' limit for the scope, so I was going for broke to get the diffraction pattern big enough for a good look.  I could see a bit of elongation compared with a nearby single star.  The pinprick exit pupil had the risk of making floaters a problem, but I had no trouble with them.  This was analogous to attempting to resolve Capella with the 36" Lick refractor at 2600x.  Of course a planet would have been bloated mush at that magnification.



#54 izar187

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 10:57 AM

Really dependent upon the seeing, declination of the target, and how near the meridian.

The usual mostest for 6" and 8" I choose is 200x (+/- ).

Sometime to 250x in 8".

Sometimes 280x in the 13" seeing permitting, but honestly 200x still the more common most power.

Ultra wide field in view or tracking, which I do not have, very possibly would make higher mag chasing more fun.

 


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#55 Thomas_M44

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 12:46 PM

I remember the night my uncle used a 2.5mm ball singlet eyepiece plus a 5X Powermate with his custom 5" f/22 refractor.

 

The lunar view that night, at 5,588X was...... ****BREATHTAKING****

 

So, do I win the macho magnification bragging contest?

 

HA HA HA lol.gif

 

P.S. Wanna buy a piece of prime observing swampland in Florida? cool.gif


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#56 MartinPond

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 05:05 AM

I read the seeing was better a lot of the time in the 19th century......lol.gif

Ah the 1800s.....on summer vacation in the high Atacama Desert.

And a llama or two to haul the brass mount and tube.


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#57 noisejammer

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 05:05 AM

I had my TOA150 up at 270x a couple of nights back. The seeing was good but I was limited by the diagonal I was testing ... I'm going back to my prism.

 

270x translates to a 0.55 mm exit pupil. One of the challenges is getting my binoviewers aligned accurately enough so that the light cones enter both eyes.

 

I'm a mile high, in a semi-desert environment and thousands of kilometers away from the jetstream!



#58 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 07:12 AM

I remember the night my uncle used a 2.5mm ball singlet eyepiece plus a 5X Powermate with his custom 5" f/22 refractor.

 

The lunar view that night, at 5,588X was...... ****BREATHTAKING****

 

So, do I win the macho magnification bragging contest?

 

HA HA HA lol.gif

 

P.S. Wanna buy a piece of prime observing swampland in Florida? cool.gif

 
Barlows stacked.jpg
 
All kidding aside.  The most magnification I have used in a semi-practical way was 1610x on the Saturn Nebula.  It was mostly an exercise in manual tracking. I would not say the view was better than at significantly lower magnifications.. 
 
Jon

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#59 Kutno

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 11:39 AM

Love the stacking!


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#60 MartinPond

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 02:07 PM

Is the Dawes Limit like the "Kessel Run"?

 

Jon comes out with better and better Barlow stacks!   lol.gif

 

Sometimes he's making the point that stacking Barlows works great (it's other factors

   that crumble).   It does work great....up to 4--6x, though.   To the point where

   it's not the Barlow's fault.

 

Limiting myself to 80mm as a challenge, I'd say

   the old rules of thumb  like  4mm to 1mm exit pupil, 0.5 in a pinch

   work fine for me.   After all, you run out of light and sharpness at the same time.

At a much bigger aperture, it's the non-premium quality of the

   atmosphere that gets you.   That's worth a fresh thread.


Edited by MartinPond, 28 September 2020 - 02:11 PM.

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#61 Thomas_M44

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 02:56 PM

I've seen such incredible textures, colors, and sharp details on Jupiter, Saturn and Mars (during oppositions) over many years with an 8-inch f/7 Newtonian (very good primary mirror and carefully collimated). At the time I never had the capability of more than 225X magnification.

 

To be honest, I'm actually at a loss to fully understand the virtue of some of the extreme magnifications mentioned in this thread.

 

I'm not saying I'm a categorical doubter of all such claims, rather that I simply retain a little provisional skepticism.


Edited by Thomas_M44, 28 September 2020 - 02:58 PM.


#62 BDS316

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 03:14 PM

I would say for me 109x with my 11mm Nagler in my XT8.  Three quarter degree actual field of view.  On some nights it's the only eyepiece i'll use.  Something magical about a 2mm exit pupil, made possible by the 82 degree apparent fov of the Nagler.


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#63 KBHornblower

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 03:35 PM

I've seen such incredible textures, colors, and sharp details on Jupiter, Saturn and Mars (during oppositions) over many years with an 8-inch f/7 Newtonian (very good primary mirror and carefully collimated). At the time I never had the capability of more than 225X magnification.

 

To be honest, I'm actually at a loss to fully understand the virtue of some of the extreme magnifications mentioned in this thread.

 

I'm not saying I'm a categorical doubter of all such claims, rather that I simply retain a little provisional skepticism.

The virtue of mine was that it made the pattern of the overlapping Airy disks large enough for me to see the shape.  This was not like trying to resolve ever smaller spots on a planet, which it would not have done.  I just wanted to see whether the bloody thing was round or slightly elongated.  My best look at Jupiter that night was at something like 250x.  Going higher just gave me bigger fuzz without showing any more detail.


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#64 REC

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Posted 28 September 2020 - 05:30 PM

I find about 30x per inch is a good limit in my scopes. We usually just get a 3/5 for seeing which limits my magnification. The highest I have used on a good night in my 8" SCT is 225x. That's a decent view on Jupiter and Saturn now.


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#65 bjkaras

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 02:06 AM

Under a Bortle 1 sky with exceptional seeing I got up to 650x with my 10” newt, but most nights I max out between 180-260x.



#66 Miranda2525

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Posted 05 October 2020 - 07:20 AM

What is the most usable power you've used?

 

Well, the most usable depends on "location", "object" being viewed, etc.

 

I find the most usable magnification on average, for most nights is about 130x. There's been times when I have used 300x, or 400x, but on average, 130x is the average most usable for deep sky. Sometimes even 93x.

 

Jupiter: 200x-240x

Saturn: 250x-300x

Mars: 280x-340x

 

It really depends.....


Edited by Miranda2525, 05 October 2020 - 07:23 AM.

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#67 barbie

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 11:48 AM

Where I live, 200x on the planets is the most usable magnification on a good night of above average seeing in my 72mm ED Apochromat. Most nights, it's between 140x and 180x.



#68 laedco58

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 12:11 PM

 

 
 
 
All kidding aside.  The most magnification I have used in a semi-practical way was 1610x on the Saturn Nebula.  It was mostly an exercise in manual tracking. I would not say the view was better than at significantly lower magnifications.. 
 
Jon

 

Handy setup for when you’re up on the ladder observing with one of your big Newtonian and want to compare views without having to climb up and down...



#69 earlyriser

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Posted 06 October 2020 - 01:56 PM

The magic number for viewing Mars in my 10" dob has been 320X the last few mornings.  This means my 4.5mm Meade 60HD has been getting more focuser time than either the 6mm Delos or the 3.5mm Nagler, which I bought recently specifically for viewing Mars after seeing more detail at 320X than at 240X. 

 

This is interesting to me being relatively new to planet viewing.  Even though I probably wouldn't have gone above 150X or so on star clusters during those sessions due to seeing, Mars seemed to show more detail all the way up to 320X, and maybe even at 410X.  Extended objects appear to me to tolerate more power than stars under the same seeing conditions.  


Edited by earlyriser, 06 October 2020 - 01:59 PM.

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#70 HellsKitchen

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Posted 08 October 2020 - 09:22 AM

Over 800x in my 8" on several planetary nebulae one legendary evening back in 2012. Here's a couple of sketches from that night

 

 

IC 417 @ 857x

AFRDOpV.png

 

 

Ghost of Jupiter @ 600x

1z7jj9C.png

 

 

On another night back in 2011  I had Uranus and Neptune at 600x with the 8" both showing a solid ball, where I picked out Oberon and Titania; and Triton respectively. 

 

More recently, I had Saturn and Jupiter at 400x in my 8" a couple months ago. Unreal views, Jupiter showed so much fine detail it was unsketchable and Saturn was like a razor. This was the best seeing I scored the planets in, shame Mars wasn't up.

 

There was also one night with the same 8" when I was getting solid views of the moon at 750x. 


Edited by HellsKitchen, 08 October 2020 - 09:26 AM.

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#71 Voyager 3

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Posted 09 October 2020 - 07:44 AM

Over 800x in my 8" on several planetary nebulae one legendary evening back in 2012. Here's a couple of sketches from that night

 

 

IC 417 @ 857x

AFRDOpV.png

 

 

Ghost of Jupiter @ 600x

1z7jj9C.png

 

 

On another night back in 2011  I had Uranus and Neptune at 600x with the 8" both showing a solid ball, where I picked out Oberon and Titania; and Triton respectively. 

 

More recently, I had Saturn and Jupiter at 400x in my 8" a couple months ago. Unreal views, Jupiter showed so much fine detail it was unsketchable and Saturn was like a razor. This was the best seeing I scored the planets in, shame Mars wasn't up.

 

There was also one night with the same 8" when I was getting solid views of the moon at 750x. 

bow.gif waytogo.gif  great sketches especially the ghost of Jupiter nebula which looks like a picture smile.gif .



#72 Steeveaux

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Posted 09 October 2020 - 10:00 AM

180 power on my 10 inch reflector and 160 power on my 7 inch refractor.

 

Both are accomplished with the same 10mm Pentax XW.

 

The view is clear and relaxing.

 

Lots of nights will handle higher powers and I might test the limits but after about ten minutes of that I'm back to the 10mm.

 

Steve O.



#73 monoceros

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Posted 09 October 2020 - 12:22 PM

A friend and I went out one foggy evening to observe double stars.  I brought my 4.25" f/5 reflector that was made the highest accuracy I would ever achieve.  The Strehl had to be way up there..

 

I recalled that it was possible on foggy nights to have steady air and on this night, nothing twinkled at all.   We started at 25 power/inch, and in steps, moved up to 50 power/inch.   And then, seeing that there was no image breakdown we "went for the gold," and then popped things up to 75 times the aperture and then to 100 times.  No image breakup.  Would you believe that I cannot remember any of the doubles I observed that night?  So very long ago.  I must have been twenty-five . . . .

and foolish?



#74 Steeveaux

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Posted 09 October 2020 - 01:48 PM

and foolish?

He said he was 25 didn't he?




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