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Help me see more detail on Jupiter

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#1 Inferlogic

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 02:32 AM

Hi,

I have been taking out my celestron astro fi 5 telescope to try to look at Jupiter and I just seem to get a ball of white, does anyone know what i could be doing wrong/not doing properly? I have taken a video on my phone of what i am seeing, but I can't seem to see any detail at all. I am using a celestron astro fi 5 telescope with a 2x barlow lens and a 10mm eyepeice and that's really all. I did try to look at with with a moon filter but it didn't make much difference. Nay tips much appreciated

 

Video below

 

https://youtu.be/yT-N6StdtXk



#2 Redbetter

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 03:12 AM

Probably best if you provide more info.  What was the local time of the observation?  What is your approximate latitude?  If it was early when Jupiter was still low in the sky, then this would not be unusual.  If you are far north and Jupiter remains low all night, you could have a similar problem.

 

But the first recommendation is to look at the planet without the Barlow.  250x is a lot to ask of a 5" SCT, even if the planet is well placed and the seeing is perfect.   125x will give you an idea of conditions and should show reasonable levels of detail for the aperture as a starting point. 

 

It is hard to tell from the video, since Jupiter might never be centered in the eyepiece, but I am seeing that the image has sharp lower left disk edge and a blurred (or dimmed) upper right.  This could be an indication of miscollimation.  You should check collimation (your Barlow will work  well for this with the 10mm) with a reasonably bright star centered in the field.  If you are far enough north, Polaris will work for this, having the advantage that it moves slowly in the eyepiece.  

 

The fading on one side could also be an indication of atmospheric chromatic dispersion, but I can't tell because I don't see clear reddish hue on one side and bluish on the other.  Atmospheric chromatic dispersion occurs when objects are low in the sky (prismatic type refraction dispersion by the atmosphere.)

 

Poor seeing can produce a featureless blob, lower magnification can help somewhat to produce a somewhat resolved image for the eye.  Larger features should be resolved on the Moon at low power, even if the smaller features on planets are mere blurs.

 

If your scope is warm and the night sky is cool, the you might be having some thermals.  


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#3 Sky Muse

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 03:44 AM

Hi,

I have been taking out my celestron astro fi 5 telescope to try to look at Jupiter and I just seem to get a ball of white, does anyone know what i could be doing wrong/not doing properly? I have taken a video on my phone of what i am seeing, but I can't seem to see any detail at all. I am using a celestron astro fi 5 telescope with a 2x barlow lens and a 10mm eyepeice and that's really all. I did try to look at with with a moon filter but it didn't make much difference. Nay tips much appreciated

 

Video below

 

https://youtu.be/yT-N6StdtXk

Through a 150/750 Newtonian, I saw Jupiter as a white ball too...

 

101915 - Jupiter.jpg

 

I then increased the magnification, but the planet was still too bright to discern any details.  I went into the house, and got my variable-polariser...

 

variable polariser7b.jpg

 

It's like a dimming-switch for indoor-lighting, but for the outdoors and the brighter lights in the sky instead...

 

https://www.rotherva...filter-125.html

 

Upon integrating said filter, and during a few moments of nigh-perfect seeing, I saw glory: festoons and whorls within the planet's equatorial bands, tack-sharp.  I had the magnification up to about 180x during the event.

 

But the atmosphere can be daunting, and in that your Schmidt-Cassegrain is a reflector too, it may need collimating.  



#4 maroubra_boy

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 04:00 AM

Hello Interlogic,

 

My first "real" scope was a C5, the same scope as yours.  I had that scope for over 12 years and had untold happy hours with it, and very much pushed it as much as I could.

 

As Redbetter said, the best image quality happens with the planet as high as possible.  Good seeing conditions are also important as it is only with stead atmospheric conditions that the fine detail and subtle low contrast features.

 

Redbetter also mentioned the importance of having the scope well collimated.  If you are not familiar with the term it only means aligning the optics.  Unlike a refractor, reflectors of whatever flavour you like (SCT, Newtonian, Maksutov, Classical Cassegrain, etc) have optical components held gently in place with screws and springs, and these optics can shift over time.  Thankfully though SCT's and Maks experience the least amount of change and over time.  It is a simple process and just ask if you need more info on this.

 

One other thing that will help you with Jupiter, Saturn and Mars for that matter is an #80A blue filter.  This is the single best all-round filter for spotting the majority of features that these three planets have to offer, and works extremely well with a C5.

 

As for letting your scope cool, this is now a mute point if you insulate the OTA.  Thermal issues happen because the tube cools faster than the still warm air, primary mirror and baffle tube inside the OTA.  A heat differential is generated and hence a thermal plume is created that spoils the image at high magnification.  This happens from set up until the whole scope cools.  HOWEVER, if you insulate the OTA the tube does not cool quickly so no heat differential is allowed to develop and so no heat plume is created meaning you can rip high magnification straight away from set-up without any heat related distortions.

 

I have been insulating my Maks and SCTs for several years.  While there are no off the shelf insulating wraps to buy, the good thing is you can use just about any material to make these.  I have used yoga mats and sheets of Corflute.  While I sold my original SCT years ago, I had another C5 for a short time recently and I also made an insulating wrap for it with Coreflute - see the pic below.  Design your wrap appropriately and you can also have it double up as a dewshield.  I've also added a pic of the orange tube SCT I had with its yoga mat wrap, and of the 127mm Mak I now have with the wrap also made of Coreflute.  Another popular material that is used is called "Reflectix".  You wil find plenty of info on insulating SCT's and Maks in the Cats and Casses forum.

 

Alex.

Attached Thumbnails

  • C5 wrap - Copy.jpg
  • Alex sketching Moon - lo res - Copy.JPG
  • 127 Mak wrap (1) - Copy.jpg

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#5 SteveG

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 04:56 AM

Alex, I love your artwork on those!


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#6 Inferlogic

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 05:40 AM

Probably best if you provide more info.  What was the local time of the observation?  What is your approximate latitude?  If it was early when Jupiter was still low in the sky, then this would not be unusual.  If you are far north and Jupiter remains low all night, you could have a similar problem.

 

But the first recommendation is to look at the planet without the Barlow.  250x is a lot to ask of a 5" SCT, even if the planet is well placed and the seeing is perfect.   125x will give you an idea of conditions and should show reasonable levels of detail for the aperture as a starting point. 

 

It is hard to tell from the video, since Jupiter might never be centered in the eyepiece, but I am seeing that the image has sharp lower left disk edge and a blurred (or dimmed) upper right.  This could be an indication of miscollimation.  You should check collimation (your Barlow will work  well for this with the 10mm) with a reasonably bright star centered in the field.  If you are far enough north, Polaris will work for this, having the advantage that it moves slowly in the eyepiece.  

 

The fading on one side could also be an indication of atmospheric chromatic dispersion, but I can't tell because I don't see clear reddish hue on one side and bluish on the other.  Atmospheric chromatic dispersion occurs when objects are low in the sky (prismatic type refraction dispersion by the atmosphere.)

 

Poor seeing can produce a featureless blob, lower magnification can help somewhat to produce a somewhat resolved image for the eye.  Larger features should be resolved on the Moon at low power, even if the smaller features on planets are mere blurs.

 

If your scope is warm and the night sky is cool, the you might be having some thermals.  

 

 

appreciate your reply and tips, i have attached a stellarium screen shot this was Jupiter information as I was viewing Jupiter last night it shows how high in the sky it was for me. in terms of latitude i am not what latitude i am but i am observing from the UK if that answers that.

 

It may be the collimation, the scope is only 6 months old and only used a handful of times but i did drop the optic tube once. I will try it on a start tonight to see if it is out of collimation. i will also try to look at the planet at lower magnification so if this helps, so you think 250x magnification is too much? i'll try it at lower although i do start at low magnification and make my way up. I think my problem is i don't keep at low magnification for very long and not giving it time/maybe not getting proper focus before moving up the power.

 

Cheers

Attached Thumbnails

  • Jupiter Stellarium.jpg


#7 Inferlogic

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 05:44 AM

Through a 150/750 Newtonian, I saw Jupiter as a white ball too...

 

attachicon.gif101915 - Jupiter.jpg

 

I then increased the magnification, but the planet was still too bright to discern any details.  I went into the house, and got my variable-polariser...

 

attachicon.gifvariable polariser7b.jpg

 

It's like a dimming-switch for indoor-lighting, but for the outdoors and the brighter lights in the sky instead...

 

https://www.rotherva...filter-125.html

 

Upon integrating said filter, and during a few moments of nigh-perfect seeing, I saw glory: festoons and whorls within the planet's equatorial bands, tack-sharp.  I had the magnification up to about 180x during the event.

 

But the atmosphere can be daunting, and in that your Schmidt-Cassegrain is a reflector too, it may need collimating.  

thank you for taking the time to reply, as the other member mentioned collimating too so i will double check tonight on a star and see if it looks off centre. So you think a polarizing filter could make a huge difference? worth investing in? should i still not see some slight detail without a filter or would I only always see a white disc without any filter aid?

 

Cheers



#8 Inferlogic

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 05:52 AM

Hello Interlogic,

 

My first "real" scope was a C5, the same scope as yours.  I had that scope for over 12 years and had untold happy hours with it, and very much pushed it as much as I could.

 

As Redbetter said, the best image quality happens with the planet as high as possible.  Good seeing conditions are also important as it is only with stead atmospheric conditions that the fine detail and subtle low contrast features.

 

Redbetter also mentioned the importance of having the scope well collimated.  If you are not familiar with the term it only means aligning the optics.  Unlike a refractor, reflectors of whatever flavour you like (SCT, Newtonian, Maksutov, Classical Cassegrain, etc) have optical components held gently in place with screws and springs, and these optics can shift over time.  Thankfully though SCT's and Maks experience the least amount of change and over time.  It is a simple process and just ask if you need more info on this.

 

One other thing that will help you with Jupiter, Saturn and Mars for that matter is an #80A blue filter.  This is the single best all-round filter for spotting the majority of features that these three planets have to offer, and works extremely well with a C5.

 

As for letting your scope cool, this is now a mute point if you insulate the OTA.  Thermal issues happen because the tube cools faster than the still warm air, primary mirror and baffle tube inside the OTA.  A heat differential is generated and hence a thermal plume is created that spoils the image at high magnification.  This happens from set up until the whole scope cools.  HOWEVER, if you insulate the OTA the tube does not cool quickly so no heat differential is allowed to develop and so no heat plume is created meaning you can rip high magnification straight away from set-up without any heat related distortions.

 

I have been insulating my Maks and SCTs for several years.  While there are no off the shelf insulating wraps to buy, the good thing is you can use just about any material to make these.  I have used yoga mats and sheets of Corflute.  While I sold my original SCT years ago, I had another C5 for a short time recently and I also made an insulating wrap for it with Coreflute - see the pic below.  Design your wrap appropriately and you can also have it double up as a dewshield.  I've also added a pic of the orange tube SCT I had with its yoga mat wrap, and of the 127mm Mak I now have with the wrap also made of Coreflute.  Another popular material that is used is called "Reflectix".  You wil find plenty of info on insulating SCT's and Maks in the Cats and Casses forum.

 

Alex.

Thanks Alex, i too love the artwork you have created, it turns a boring tube into something more interesting! As a few people have mentioned collimating I think that is probably the first port of call, I do believe it is pretty easy as you mention, just a case of slightly turning the screws on the front of my sct, i will check it tonight, someone has mentioned a polarizing filter and a blue filter could be a good idea too, you can get really cheap coloured filters on the internet, would these be any good or will cheap colour filters just not show a quality image?

 

i will definitely have to look into a wrap for my tube it obviously would make a difference.

 

Cheers



#9 Sky Muse

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 06:23 AM

thank you for taking the time to reply, as the other member mentioned collimating too so i will double check tonight on a star and see if it looks off centre. So you think a polarizing filter could make a huge difference? worth investing in? should i still not see some slight detail without a filter or would I only always see a white disc without any filter aid?

 

Cheers

A planet's details are always going to be rather subtle.  A 127mm-or-so aperture collects quite a bit of light.  There are times, like this one, where there can be too much light gathered by a given aperture.  Jupiter is already quite a beacon of light.  The variable-polariser will allow you to select just the right amount of dimming to reveal the planet's intricate details, if the atmosphere and the collimation cooperate.

 

Then, for those who use a variable-polariser with a Newtonian, the filter can reduce and even eliminate the flares or spikes caused by the telescope's spider-vanes.


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#10 Redbetter

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 06:39 AM

19 degrees is still pretty low, so it will suffer more from seeing and atmospheric dispersion.   However, in the UK it is not going to get many degrees higher than that in the near future, maybe another 5 degrees if you waited for it to transit last night.  I am guessing this was somewhere in the vicinity of Liverpool.

 

250x is way too much to start out with, particularly with this aperture, and this low in the sky.   It wouldn't surprise me if you never found 250x useful for planets with this scope, no matter how high they reach in the sky or how good the seeing gets.  (Such magnification could still be very useful for tight double stars.)   When things look indistinct at high power, try lower.   SCT's generally don't play well with the 50x/inch rule-of-thumb for planetary at the top end.  Something like 40x/inch or slightly less is more reasonable as I saw with my 8" SCT on rock steady nights.  On average/mediocre/poor nights, much lower magnification is common. 

 

Whether or not anything has happened to the scope since you got it, it has been shipped, and shipping can be heck on collimation.  I have not yet had a Mak or SCT arrive that was fully collimated, including one I packed well in original factory foam and shipped to myself.  After shipping, assume they need to be collimated.  Furthermore, factory collimation is not necessarily precise, it could just be "good enough" and not what you want for max detail.  

 

The thing with collimating a Mak or SCT is that you will likely rarely need to do it again, unless something happens to throw it out.  It isn't difficult, but you need to do it methodically, on a night of good seeing.  You can rough it in on a night of poor/mediocre seeing if the collimation is substantially off (I did this with my Mak initially because it looked pretty bad and would have gone back immediately if I had not been able to correct it), but it will take a good night to fine tune it for better images. 


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#11 maroubra_boy

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 06:46 AM

Inferlogic,

 

I'll share this bit of experience with you.

 

Sketching is my niche in astro.  Halley's Comet was my very first astro target way back when Christopher Columbus was kicking around as a kid...

 

For the Moon and planets, at high magnification I only ever use SOMETIMES a colour filter.  I only ever use a polarising filter (or two coupled to each other as you can vary intensity this way) with a largish aperture say from 5" and ONLY at low magnification.  Even with my 9" Mak.

 

Below is a sketch I did of Jupiter using an 8" SCT.  I used two filters here, an #80A and #8 to help tease out some features.  No polarising filter.  Magnification was modest too, 222X.

 

The other is an early sketch of mine of Saturn using an 8" f/4 push-pull dob at 360X.  No filters.  No tracking.

 

I try to find the sketches of Jupiter and Saturn I did with my C5.  Looks like I don't have them on my computer.

 

The thing with cheap filters is this:  The numbers that describe these colours are actually specific colours, Wratten Kodak numbers to be more accurate.  Cheap filters often fail to be an accurate reproduction of these hues.  This is the risk that you run with going too cheap.  There is a lot to be said for spending a few bucks extra sometimes.

 

Alex.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Jupiter, May 5 2018 (2) LR.JPG
  • Jupiter, May 5 2018 (3) LR.JPG
  • Saturn, June 12, 2013 - Copy.JPG

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#12 hlee

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 07:28 AM

Hi,

 

I started a link about something similar:

 

https://www.cloudyni...great-red-spot/

 

However, you should check your focus.  The moons of Jupiter should pop into view when you are properly focused.  I don't see the moons in your video, but that could be because the camera was exposing for the planet which is a lot brighter than the moons and washing them out.

 

We had pink skies last night, because all the smoke from the B.C. fires (correction: Northwestern Ontario fires) have finally drifted into Toronto.  All the stars were washed out by that pink glow, and the only two celestial objects visible were the moon and Jupiter.  Couldn't even see Saturn.


Edited by hlee, 20 July 2021 - 07:57 AM.

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#13 rhetfield

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 08:27 AM

thank you for taking the time to reply, as the other member mentioned collimating too so i will double check tonight on a star and see if it looks off centre. So you think a polarizing filter could make a huge difference? worth investing in? should i still not see some slight detail without a filter or would I only always see a white disc without any filter aid?

 

Cheers

A variable polarizer would help.  I prefer to look at the planets at sunrise/sunset when they are out.  Less glare and more detail at that time.

 

Agree with others that 250x may be too high.  That is pushing the limits of your scope and in less than perfect atmosphere conditions, it is well past what the skies might tolerate.  Low in the sky does not help.  It is rare that I can get a decent view of Jupiter above 150x.  I have better luck pushing Saturn and Mars higher than I do with Jupiter.   

 

Something to try with the barlow - the lens assembly can unscrew from some of them and be screwed to the end of an eyepiece like a filter.  If yours can do that, it would act as a 1.5x barlow and give you another magnification option (187x).


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#14 Barlowbill

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 09:59 AM

I have read that the human eye can "see" colors better when there is some light available.  If you can find Jupiter high enough at dusk, it is worth a look.  Another trick, try with the back porch light on if it is dark out.  Good luck.  Persevere! 



#15 vtornado

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 10:47 AM

Hello and welcome to the forum!

 

Someone (names withheld to protect the guilty) dropped my C5 too.

It  knocked the secondary out of collimation, you will have to check this.

Find a bright star with your scope and use your 10mm eyepiece.  Defocus slightly on this and see if you get a nice set of concentric  rings.   If they are skewed you will need to recollimate.

 

If you find your scope is out of collimation there are several sets of instructions on this site to help.

Read them carefully several times so you feel comfortable.   You can't break anything (unless you

over tighten one of the screws, or loosen all the screws too much so the mirror falls off the corrector)

 

SCTs hold collimation very well unless jarred.  So once you get it, it may never need it again.



#16 PNW

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Posted 20 July 2021 - 11:04 AM

+1 on the polarizing filter. I have an old single Polarizing Filter and it's like putting on those Tactical sunglasses as seen on TV. Variable polarizers are actually 2 filters that twist to control light transmission. Most users say they put one part on the diagonal and the other on the eyepiece. That way you can control the light transmission by twisting the eyepiece.


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#17 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 21 July 2021 - 03:31 PM

Here are some articles that discuss the concept of astronomical seeing:
 

http://www.damianpeach.com/seeing1.htm

 

http://www.damianpea...m/pickering.htm

 

https://skyandtelesc...ing-the-seeing/

 

https://www.skyatnig...nomical-seeing/

 

The quality of the seeing has a major impact on planetary observing.



#18 Inferlogic

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 04:32 AM

Hi All,

 

thank you for your help so far it has been good, I think I have made a slight improvement with everyone's advise. I took the telescope and shot a few small videos and managed to get this. Did I manage to get some details on Jupiter? I think i can see bands?

 

After reading your advise about collimation, i looked at a star and the circle wasn't quite in the middle but not very far off nevertheless it wasn't in the centre. Will this make my observing less efficient, I couldn't really collimate it whilst trying to turn the screws in the dark of night aswell as trying to look through my eyepiece it's pretty hard, so i just left it for now. Will it make a massive difference? should I be able to get better than what i got above with the size of my scope?

 

Thanks for the help so far.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Final image PS.jpg

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#19 peta62

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 04:57 AM

Jupiter is eccentric on your video and picture ( I can see bands on it, much better than video ), so you have to collimate. Yes, it is hard the first time. The star tends to leave eyepiece field of view if you move too much. I first learned what effect has each knob on rings. Also when I turn one knob in one direction I turn both other half way in opposite direction to keep constant tension. Also you have to allocate enough time not to feel any urgency, especially when things do not go well, I rather start collimating as the first thing after setting the scope. I wish you success and enjoying not only Jupiter waytogo.gif


Edited by peta62, 22 July 2021 - 04:58 AM.


#20 Asbytec

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 05:43 AM

A ton of great replies.

 

If I may just summarize my own experience seeing more detail, which overlaps with everyone else. You have to prep your scope for observing, That is, make sure your scope is well collimated and thermally stable (cooled or insulated). You need pretty good seeing. In my view few things are more important than the atmosphere, and generally the higher in the sky the better. I prefer higher magnification around 40x per inch to dim the image. It's more difficult to see subtle detail with a lot of glare. I prefer no filters, but others find them useful. Try it.

 

Lastly, as was mentioned, much of the detail will be subtle, soft, low contrast. You simply have to spend time observing the planet. Seeing that detail takes experience, confidence, and trusting what you do see. You can learn to see more detail by recognizing it when you see it. Included in the latter is learning to see color. Jupiter's detail is color or very subtle hues. All of that just comes with increasing experience. Observing is not easy, it requires some effort on our part. We have to prep ourselves for observing, too. So, settle in for a half hour or more and watch closely...

 

Below is a sketch of Jupiter made near the zenith at 240x using a 6" aperture. The colors and contrasts are a bit embellished so they show better on various monitor settings and so anyone looking at it does not have to work as hard as I did. I don't want people to "observe" my sketch to see what I saw. Once you get going observing detail, I can think of no better tool to help you see more than sketching what you see. It forces you to really pay attention to detail, literally...

 

Jupiter 2 Feb 1330UT FInal.jpg



#21 Ulmer Spatz

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 06:38 AM

Jupiter is eccentric on your video and picture ( I can see bands on it, much better than video ), so you have to collimate.

If by 'eccentric' you mean 'not round,' it may not be a fault. Jupiter is not exactly round. Its polar diameter is about 7% smaller than its equatorial diameter. I can definitely see this out-of-roundness in my small and well- collimated scope.



#22 Asbytec

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 07:09 AM

If by 'eccentric' you mean 'not round,' it may not be a fault. Jupiter is not exactly round. Its polar diameter is about 7% smaller than its equatorial diameter. I can definitely see this out-of-roundness in my small and well- collimated scope.

I am not sure he means the eccentricity of Jupiter, but you are right. You can tell it's slightly out of round. However, in the video there does appear to be a little "eccentric" blurring of the image toward the upper right. It may be collimation or cooling, not sure...but my guess is the scope needs to be collimated. Especially if it was dropped.  


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#23 spereira

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 07:13 AM

Folks, there is no astrophotography discussion allowed in the Beginners forum.

For collimation assistance, please go to the Reflectors forum.

For video of the planets discussion, please go to either the Major & Minor Planetary Imaging forum, or the EAA forum.

 

smp



#24 TheUser

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 07:29 AM

I think there are serious problems with the instrument, so maybe it's is reasonable to trash it and buy a new instead of trying to fix. looks like there's not only huge collimation problems but also smth with focusing mechanics.

 

2 Inferlogic

 

is it possible to give us a macro photos of the primary mirror and the corrector plate?



#25 rhetfield

rhetfield

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Posted 22 July 2021 - 07:55 AM

Folks, there is no astrophotography discussion allowed in the Beginners forum.

For collimation assistance, please go to the Reflectors forum.

For video of the planets discussion, please go to either the Major & Minor Planetary Imaging forum, or the EAA forum.

 

smp

Since the OP has a SCT, it might be more appropriate to go to the Cat & Cass forum for collimation.  Possibly even the celestron computerized scope forum. 




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