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Mak vs refractor observe Jupiter

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#1 smiles233

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 06:24 AM

Where I live has a lot of bad seeing conditions. Which is a better option to view Jupiter ?

I have a few maks but I do read that some like 3 or 4 inch refractor in these conditions.  

 

cost of refractor that would go on my voyagers 2 mount?


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#2 JoshUrban

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 07:11 AM

I see you've got an XT8 and a binoviewer.  I've got an 8" f/8 dob (and binoviewer), and THAT bests my Astro-Tech 102ED refractor.  

 

  However, I also really enjoy the refractor.  I don't have any maks, but hopefully soon!


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#3 Flaming Star

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 07:27 AM

Dear Sir,

 

In Belgium we have a lot of bad seeing conditions too.

 

I have a 3inch (80mm) and a 4 inch refractor and also a 5inch and 6inch Mak.

The big difference is  that the maks needs much more time to reach their temperature equilibrium.

(So the 3inch gets its temperature very fast followed bij the 4 inch refractor.( 15-20 minutes))

 

The front lens of both Maks needs protection against damp. 

 

After 1hour of 2hours the 5inch Mak deliver his power (narrow field F15!)

After 2hours and 3hours the 6inch Mak deliver his power (F10 advertised but +/-11)

During sumertime the Mak reach faster his temperature but be patient during wintertime ...

 

Clear Skies


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#4 smiles233

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Posted 28 May 2021 - 10:09 AM

I did put some reflectix type  wrap over my Maks... hopefully that will help



#5 TheUser

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Posted 29 May 2021 - 02:00 AM

refractor should be more than 900 cm (350 inch) length, does it fit your observation location and conditions?

 

"better" here is pretty broad term. it is possible to have better quality image with some design of refractor. but what about other sides of observation process (setup, usage)?

 

with refractor the image will be brighter.

 

P.S.: could you bring more details about your observation conditions?

 

P.S.S.: do you have filters?



#6 Flaming Star

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Posted 30 May 2021 - 08:53 AM

Dear Sir,

 

My refractor is an equatorial Vixen 80x910mm indeed (not my first scope but my first good scope / year 1980) (see also very good Review By Armando Caussade, November 7, 2019. about long focus refractors)

 

My second and most used refractor is an GP ED 102 SS : 102x660mm (nice transits with Vixen HR 3.4mm)

 

My first reflector is my homemade Dob 150x1200mm (nice with Meade Serie 4000 6.7mm UWA) (nice Lichtenknecker optics, fast cooldown too just after the refractors)

 

My second reflector is my old Mak ETX EC  127x1900mm (F15 very nice optics but noisy)

 

My third reflector is also an Mak but an Intes Micro Alter M603 150x1500mm (F10 advertised but near F11, very nice optics too but 6Kg)

 

The Maks are extremely compacts and portables, they deliver nice views too, but you need to be patient with the Maks en just give them the time to cool down. (Doing backyard astronomy I do'nt let my Maks outside after usage...)

 

Conclusion : I always begin with a refractor, then I am using a reflector only in case of good seing, first the Dob an then the equatorial M603 for planetary.

Maks are extremely compacts and portables, but they needs patience, give the time to your Maks to cool cown and protect the front lens of your Maks against damp. (Never think that your Mak has poor optics before your Mak reaches thermal equilibrium)

 

If your intention is to go outside and observe during no more than 1 ou 2 hours then use an refractor or an Newt Eq or Dob.

The Maks are kings for planetary observations but only if you are ready to spend more time at night.

(Please note that I have no experience with little Maks of 80-90mm aperture).

 

 

 

Clear Skies

 

 

 

 

.



#7 Redbetter

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Posted 30 May 2021 - 05:37 PM

Since I started with an 8" SCT, and have a 127 Mak in the stable now, I never have understood the claim that they can't be used for short sessions.  One of the primary ways I used my SCT in the early days was for evening backyard sessions, many of them not particularly long.   Most of what it takes is some forethought.

 

The routine was simple:  when I came home, if I thought I might want to observe that night, I set out the scope.  If I expected there might be dewing then I would leave it capped but cooling.  If I didn't expect dew then I would leave it uncapped to cool it more rapidly.  While the scope was cooling I would eat, plan observation targets, etc.  Then I would go out and observe.  I still use the same routine for these scopes and the Dobs.

 

Here it is a bit tougher on Maks and SCT's since temps fall much more after dark than they did when I lived in more humid climates.


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#8 nibiru711

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Posted 01 June 2021 - 12:47 AM

I had my sky quest 8 inch out recently and it gave really good view of Jupiter and Saturn when they got higher in the sky. They were both brighter than my Orion 127mm maksutov but the seeing on Jupiter was steadier with seeing cloud belts and it was like I could see three different cloud divisions on Saturn but the rings were better on the 8 inch dobsonian. You would probaly have to have a premium apo refractor of 4 inches or larger to out do a 8 inch dobsonian on both. Maybe a 150mm or 180mm mak might out do an 8 inch dobsonian on the planets. A127mm mak and 8 inch dobsonian both have their bright points when looking at the planets so far. 


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#9 vdog

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Posted 01 June 2021 - 01:19 PM

Seeing conditions where I live are generally average or better.

 

I have a 127 Mak and a 120 refractor, roughly equivalent in aperture.   On Jupiter, I would say the Mak has the advantage in color rendition; the oranges and browns are much more evident.  However, the refractor is definitely sharper and renders a more detailed view of the bands.   In addition, the disks of Jupiter's moons are much more defined, almost 3-D-like at high magnification.


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#10 nibiru711

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Posted 05 June 2021 - 03:23 AM

It cleared up tonight after several days of clouds. I took out the 127mm orion mak and my orion 6 inch f8 dobsonian. The dobsonian was clearly the better telescope tonight but the mak dewed up after 1 hour out. My last view( I waited for it get higher in the sky)   with the 6 inch dob on Jupiter I could see 6 bands plus white band in the middle band and red spot with good moments of seeing with 6mm gosky plossl and 5mm starguider ed. Saturn was good in both, too.


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#11 aeajr

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Posted 05 June 2021 - 02:21 PM

Where I live has a lot of bad seeing conditions. Which is a better option to view Jupiter ?

I have a few maks but I do read that some like 3 or 4 inch refractor in these conditions.  

 

cost of refractor that would go on my voyagers 2 mount?

I recently sold my XT8 when I upgraded to a 12" Dob.

 

I just added an Astro Tech 102ED which I use on an Explore Scientific TW1 mount which  I believe is similar to the voyager mount. 

https://www.astronom...ractor-ota.html

https://www.astronom...1.html?___SID=U

 

bottom line is that aperture wins.  My best views of planets were with my 8" Dob and now my 12" Dob.  My 5" Mak does a good job but the Dobs blow it away.  

 

I expect the new 4" ED refractor will be similar to the 5" Mak.  I have not tried this new, less than 3 weeks old, scope on a planet yet. 


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#12 smiles233

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Posted 06 June 2021 - 05:02 PM

i got my 8 inch dob ready for about 430am for tonight ...last night i had my mak 90 and 4se 102 mak.  i could see the bands of jupiter at around 125x and really couldn't go much more than that with a little mist in the air at that time... very pleased with the small maks and i have some reflectix type jackets on em.


Edited by smiles233, 06 June 2021 - 05:09 PM.


#13 maroubra_boy

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Posted 06 June 2021 - 11:29 PM

Mak vs frac for planets...

 

The issue here is chromatic aberration at play.  Looking at your signature, smiles233, you will not be gaining anything by getting a refractor that your Maks, or your 8SE for that matter, are not already providing you.  If anything you will be introducing chromatic aberration unless you start looking at ED refractors to help control this, and this means much bigger $$$.  An achromatic refractor will be a significant step backwards from your current scopes because of this aspect.

 

And on a Voyager 2 mount, a 4" refractor will begin to test your patience as it will start wobbling every time you touch it - a 4" refractor at high magnification on such a mount is not a great combination.  While you have a 100mm Mak, its smaller, more compact size means less moment issues are at play compared to a long tube.

 

I certainly understand your frustration with poor seeing conditions.  I have the same problem where I live.  And like you I have a variety of telescopes.  Larger apertures are more affected by poor seeing - something you may already be aware of (I am assuming because of your question).  In all honesty, the only two  things I can recommend to you:

 

1,  Patience.  I know it is not much, but there is nothing more you can do.  A different scope won't help you.

2,  Adapt your viewing.  If seeing conditions are not much chop, then you need to adapt to the conditions.  If you can't max out the magnification then your only option is to drop the magnification.

 

My preferred scope at home is a 9" Mak, and for many years before that it was a C8 (like your 8SE).  And being plagued with poor seeing I have no choice but to adapt my planed session to suit the conditions.  OK, I can't max out the magnification, then the only two options I have are either drop the magnification and work with that or pack up.  I do have an ED80 refractor that I could use instead, and it is a nice scope, but I don't use it all that much.  And if I had a smaller Mak or SCT I wouldn't use it any more than I do the refractor.  And an ED80 still shows a small amount of chromatic aberration that my 9" Mak doesn't.

 

Most nights I pull out the Mak (or the C8), the most I can push it to is around 250X, and I am happy to work with that when it comes to the Moon and planets.  If seeing doesn't allow for 100X I will normally do something else.  The smaller scopes I have I use for other applications.

 

When it comes to the planets, aperture is the only route.  You already have that with your 8SE.  You already know the differences between your 8SE and your smaller Maks.  A refractor is not going to help you if seeing is the problem.

 

What a shorter focal length refractor will do is provide you with a rich field scope if you look at an f/5 instrument.  A 4" f/5 or 5" f/5 frac with a nice 2" 30mm eyepiece will provide you with a delightful situation that will very nicely compliment the high magnification beasties you already have.  I LOVE my modest 4" f/5 achromat - a stonking good RFT smile.gif  I know its high magnification shortcomings, so I use it to its strengths waytogo.gif  I keep the magnification right down with this scope, and with an 80° 30mm eyepiece this little scope gives me a 5° true field of view - HUGE!!!  It cost me little and it is a low magnification monster!

 

The sketch below is of the Eta Carina complex that I did with this modest 4" f/5 achro - a view none of my other scopes can provide!

 

Alex.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Eta Carina 4in f5 - CN.JPG

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#14 Voyager 3

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Posted 07 June 2021 - 10:39 AM

Mak vs frac for planets...

 

The issue here is chromatic aberration at play.  Looking at your signature, smiles233, you will not be gaining anything by getting a refractor that your Maks, or your 8SE for that matter, are not already providing you.  If anything you will be introducing chromatic aberration unless you start looking at ED refractors to help control this, and this means much bigger $$$.  An achromatic refractor will be a significant step backwards from your current scopes because of this aspect.

 

And on a Voyager 2 mount, a 4" refractor will begin to test your patience as it will start wobbling every time you touch it - a 4" refractor at high magnification on such a mount is not a great combination.  While you have a 100mm Mak, its smaller, more compact size means less moment issues are at play compared to a long tube.

 

I certainly understand your frustration with poor seeing conditions.  I have the same problem where I live.  And like you I have a variety of telescopes.  Larger apertures are more affected by poor seeing - something you may already be aware of (I am assuming because of your question).  In all honesty, the only two  things I can recommend to you:

 

1,  Patience.  I know it is not much, but there is nothing more you can do.  A different scope won't help you.

2,  Adapt your viewing.  If seeing conditions are not much chop, then you need to adapt to the conditions.  If you can't max out the magnification then your only option is to drop the magnification.

 

My preferred scope at home is a 9" Mak, and for many years before that it was a C8 (like your 8SE).  And being plagued with poor seeing I have no choice but to adapt my planed session to suit the conditions.  OK, I can't max out the magnification, then the only two options I have are either drop the magnification and work with that or pack up.  I do have an ED80 refractor that I could use instead, and it is a nice scope, but I don't use it all that much.  And if I had a smaller Mak or SCT I wouldn't use it any more than I do the refractor.  And an ED80 still shows a small amount of chromatic aberration that my 9" Mak doesn't.

 

Most nights I pull out the Mak (or the C8), the most I can push it to is around 250X, and I am happy to work with that when it comes to the Moon and planets.  If seeing doesn't allow for 100X I will normally do something else.  The smaller scopes I have I use for other applications.

 

When it comes to the planets, aperture is the only route.  You already have that with your 8SE.  You already know the differences between your 8SE and your smaller Maks.  A refractor is not going to help you if seeing is the problem.

 

What a shorter focal length refractor will do is provide you with a rich field scope if you look at an f/5 instrument.  A 4" f/5 or 5" f/5 frac with a nice 2" 30mm eyepiece will provide you with a delightful situation that will very nicely compliment the high magnification beasties you already have.  I LOVE my modest 4" f/5 achromat - a stonking good RFT smile.gif  I know its high magnification shortcomings, so I use it to its strengths waytogo.gif  I keep the magnification right down with this scope, and with an 80° 30mm eyepiece this little scope gives me a 5° true field of view - HUGE!!!  It cost me little and it is a low magnification monster!

 

The sketch below is of the Eta Carina complex that I did with this modest 4" f/5 achro - a view none of my other scopes can provide!

 

Alex.

The keyhole looks perfect waytogo.gif



#15 smiles233

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Posted 07 June 2021 - 08:07 PM

Thanks for the replies. The smaller Maks work great on my Voyager 2 mount it's very steady way better than the 8SE mount



#16 maroubra_boy

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Posted 07 June 2021 - 11:23 PM

Smiles233,

 

There is a way to improve your 8SE that doesn't cost anything more than a couple of house bricks or similar.  And there is a more costly solution too.

 

The main reason for the wobbles on the 8SE is the tripod.  A friend of mine has the 8 Evolution that has the same tripod as the 8SE, and it is terrible the wobble.  I was in disbelief at the wobble it showed.  The way to overcome much of this wobble is by adding weight to the mount across the spreader.  Cut a bit of plywood so you can put a couple of house bricks and this will go a long way to improving the situation.  A house brick is roughly 4kg or 8lb, so you will be putting an extra 8kg (16lb).  The construction of this tripod is just too lightweight/flimsy for what it is asked to do, and adding the extra weight on the spreader goes a long way to improve things.

 

The other solution is getting the heavier tripod that comes with the 9.25 Evolution or the 925 or 1100 CPC scopes - same robust tripod with all three of these.  I have the mount and tripod of the 1100 CPC and it is a brute of a tripod.  I did a single arm conversion of this mount and load it with a 9" Mak.  This rig has less vibrations and wobble than a friend's AZEQ6 mount with his 10" Mak and counterweights!!  And the ultimate solution is to get yourself a 1100 CPC mount and tripod (many people defork the OTA from these mounts) and do a single arm conversion, and you will have a demon of a mount that can not only take your C8 but also a C11 on the single arm!

 

This is the thread that inspired me to do this single arm conversion.  You will find my own rig on post No. 121:

 

https://www.cloudyni...ngle-arm-mount/

 

Alex.


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#17 nibiru711

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Posted 13 June 2021 - 04:24 AM

Finally,  the clouds lifted tonight and got good views on both Saturn and Juipter tonight with both a 127mm orion mak and an orion f6 dobsonian. The best night so far for Jupiter for viewing it so far this year both telescopes were good but dobsonian was better on Jupiter. In good viewing with dob I seen at least 6 red bands and three festoons. I was even able to take the magnification up to a 4mm plossl tonight and still got a really good view. It was good with mak(even saw the festoons) too but it dobsonian was brighter. Saturn was a tie with both. I could see color shade on Saturn a little bit better with the mak but the rings were better on the dobsonian. I cloud have taken Saturn up higher on magnification than a 4mm plossl tonight it was such good seeing. The rings might look better on the mak if I had a correct image diagonal. I'll have to get one for the summer.


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#18 nibiru711

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Posted 16 June 2021 - 04:00 AM

My conclusion on all three scopes I have been using to look at the planets here recently is the1) orion 5 inch maksutov isn't overall as good on Jupiter as are the Orion 6 and 8 inch dobsonians, 2) The Orion 5 inch maksutov is as good in some ways as both dobsonians with better color correction, 3) the Orion is superior to both dobsonians on the moon for sharpness and detail at higher power, 4) Both dobs are performing really well on the planets right now, the 8 is brighter on jupiter and shows the fesstons better than 6 5) The 6 is as good on saturn as the 8, once again the 8 is brighter but looking through the 6 tonight I thought I spotted the bottom cloud feature on saturn and at one point it almost looked like I could see three rings instead just 2. I think a 6 or 7 inch  would be better for planetary performance if you have a 6 or 8 inch dobsonian already. An enhanced diagonal would probaly make a mak perform better than just regular stock that I have on mine right now.


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#19 nibiru711

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Posted 26 June 2021 - 03:17 AM

I finally got my maksutov 127mm to perform better tonight on Jupiter at higher power 7mm celestron excel once I let it to adjust to lower temp after Jupiter got high enough. It took about an hour and a half to get there.



#20 maroubra_boy

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Posted 26 June 2021 - 05:01 PM

Nibiru711,

 

There is a way to work with Maks & SCT's so that you do not need to wait for the scope to cool down and rip high magnification straight away from it - insulating the OTA.

 

I have been insulating my SCT's and Maks for several years now.  When the opportunity comes up to be able to use a scope I don't have time to wait for the thing to cool down.  As with many people I am time poor and I may only have a couple of hours to enjoy some star-time, so waiting for a scope to cool down is not practical.  Even if I do happen to have a whole night available to me, not waiting for a cool down time means I am being productive straight away and not needing to wait 2 hours.

 

Right now I have two Maks, a 127mm Synta and a 9" Santel.  I made insulating wraps for both  straight away on getting each.  With the Santel I am able to rip 500X with no OTA thermal plume issues, with the only limiting factor now being seeing conditions on any given night.

 

There is plenty of information on inslulating Maks and SCT's here on CN - look in the Cats & Casses forum.

 

Below are pics of the insulated 9" and 127 Maks of mine.  These wraps are made from Coreflute.  The wrap of the 127 I've gone to town on it, because it is a blank canvas... and it was begging for it lol.gif

 

Alex.

Attached Thumbnails

  • SCT & Mak dew control (1) - Copy.jpg
  • 127 Mak wrap (1) - Copy.jpg

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#21 smiles233

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Posted 26 June 2021 - 05:29 PM

Yes I have also insulated both of my maks and my 8se. Thanks for the pics and information 



#22 nibiru711

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Posted 30 June 2021 - 11:12 PM

I still think my orion 6 inch dobsonian still out performs my 127mm maksutov but one thing I've noticed is that with the maksutov one thing it does better with Jupiter is being able to see both polar caps at the same time without a filter. I have spotted one festoon with it but the dobsonian will show up to three festoons plus other bands in the middle section of Jupiter   more easily than the maksutov and the moon transits across it better.


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#23 Matt Looby

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Posted 01 July 2021 - 10:21 AM

med_gallery_922_3553_1407435986_3551.jpg

Where I live has a lot of bad seeing conditions. Which is a better option to view Jupiter ?

I have a few maks but I do read that some like 3 or 4 inch refractor in these conditions.  

 

cost of refractor that would go on my voyagers 2 mount?

 

 

I observed with numerous Russian Maks over the years.  They perform well in steady seeing like in South Florida and in in good seeing up here.

They are excellent low power instruments for DSO study.

 

To learn the sky and sketch lunar and planetary and travel, a small refractor is the tool of choice.

I am observing with the 85mm and 76mm refractor 

using tele vue Plossls and Jap orthos.  

 

Even still ...

 

 

 

 


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#24 PlanetMacro

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Posted 02 July 2021 - 11:12 AM

I rarely get great skies in my area so for me the optimal planetary telescope is a 4” APO. 



#25 maroubra_boy

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Posted 04 July 2021 - 06:54 PM

PlanetMarco brings up another point, optimising aperture for the seeing conditions of the night.

 

Poor seeing conditions affect larger apertures more than smaller ones.  I occasionally do this too, use a smaller aperture than my preferred larger ones.  Some nights when seeing is particularly poor I will sometimes opt for my ED80 refractor and adapt my observing plan to suit, which for me usually means low magnification sketching rather than high magnification.  For you Smiles233, that will mean looking at using your smaller Maks on those poor nights than your 8" SCT.  And it will also mean working out what is the optimal magnification to use with the smaller scopes as seeing will still affect them.

 

This however is not an option for people who have just the one scope.  And then there are three options, either 1,adapt your plan for other objects (forgetting the planets for the night if high magnification is just not possible regardless of aperture), 2, mask down your aperture, or 3, spend time doing something less.

 

Planet observing is very much ruled by seeing conditions.  Those fine and low contrast features depend on seeing being good whether you have a 4" refractor or a 20" Mak (there was one for sale recently on AstroMart).

 

And of course, scope selection will also come with it own set of mechanical requirements concerning mounts which has been discussed above.  This is something that needs to be understood when someone asks for gear suggestions to then make suggestions that will suit the mounts that they have, rather than just a blind "I use this" or "get this".

 

The two sketches I've attached below show different scopes being used, and the choice being the seeing conditions of each night and what could be done taking the practical use of magnification.

 

Alex.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 4 day old Moon LR.JPG
  • Volcano alley (1) LR.JPG

Edited by maroubra_boy, 04 July 2021 - 07:06 PM.

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