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DSO’s - Will I see more details with a better eyepiece?

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#1 LtBrowncoat

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 04:03 PM

Hello! 

 

So I have been exploring the sky for about a year now and I’ve been loving it. I’ve seen the moon, planets, double-stars and DSO’s - and I now want to focus on DSO’s as they have been my favourite (and most frustrating) to find (maybe it’s the thrill of the “hunt”).

 

Some info:

I am currently using a Heritage 150p (f/5, 750mm) with the stock EPs (20mm/10mm Super). Currently, I am seeing just a small “blur” on the 20mm EP and a bigger “blur” on the 10mm. I am in the middle of a big city, so the light conditions are normally not great which will have the biggest effect I’m sure, but I will be heading out to areas with darker and (hopefully) clearer skies more regularly. 

 

So the main question is: Will getting a better, high-quality eyepiece help with seeing more details (in or out of the city)? I read that the general “best” EP on f/5 scopes is a 2mm exit pupil, so getting a high-quality 10mm should be what I’m looking at next. Any recommendations would be great as well!

 

Thanks and clear skies in advanced! 

 

PS. Or should I save and focus on getting a scope with a bigger aperture and get better EPs then?

 

PPS - I would like to see individual stars like the Hercules cluster shown form a small telescope on this website.

 

 

 


Edited by LtBrowncoat, 15 August 2022 - 04:11 PM.

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#2 Tangerman

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 04:14 PM

You probably won't see more details with better eyepieces. You can expand your apparent field of view and choose an eye relief that is comfortable to you and make stars more pinpoint in the outer portion of the field of view with nice eyepieces, but the center will probably be about the same. The best thing you can do is drive somewhere darker. For planets and globular clusters, you may want to get a higher magnification eyepiece.


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#3 vtornado

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 04:19 PM

What eyepieces do you have now?

 

Top shelf eyepieces will allow a wider field of view at the same magnification,

and more eye relief at high power, but will increase DSO viewing very little.

(Maybe a few percentage points).

 

It's always possible that the eyepieces that came with your scope are defective, but this is unlikely.

 

I live in Bortle 8/9.   aperture helps a little, but if you are traveling with your scope,

aperture makes packing and traveling with the scope harder.

 

I recently compared a Televue Ethos, in an 8  inch dob to a Paradigm Dual ED,

In heavy light pollution on the Leo Triplet.  The Ethos had a better presentation

because of the wide field but I could not see any more detail in the galaxies.  Faint smudges in both.

 

 

Dark skies are the key.  I remember as a kid with a 114mm reflector and kellner eyepieces pointing at sagitarius in Bortle 2 skies. I did'nt need a map, or setting

circles or anything to find stuff.  Just point an look for fuzzy things.  I could see more with the 4.25 there than a 12 inch in town.


Edited by vtornado, 15 August 2022 - 04:33 PM.

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#4 aeajr

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 04:33 PM

Hello! 

 

So I have been exploring the sky for about a year now and I’ve been loving it. I’ve seen the moon, planets, double-stars and DSO’s - and I now want to focus on DSO’s as they have been my favourite (and most frustrating) to find (maybe it’s the thrill of the “hunt”).

 

Some info:

I am currently using a Heritage 150p (f/5, 750mm) with the stock EPs (20mm/10mm Super). Currently, I am seeing just a small “blur” on the 20mm EP and a bigger “blur” on the 10mm. I am in the middle of a big city, so the light conditions are normally not great which will have the biggest effect I’m sure, but I will be heading out to areas with darker and (hopefully) clearer skies more regularly. 

 

So the main question is: Will getting a better, high-quality eyepiece help with seeing more details (in or out of the city)? I read that the general “best” EP on f/5 scopes is a 2mm exit pupil, so getting a high-quality 10mm should be what I’m looking at next. Any recommendations would be great as well!

 

Thanks and clear skies in advanced! 

 

PS. Or should I save and focus on getting a scope with a bigger aperture and get better EPs then?

 

PPS - I would like to see individual stars like the Hercules cluster shown form a small telescope on this website.

So, first, let's see what you have.  I can't assume you know anything about eyepieces or Barlow lenses, so I suggest you read these two articles because there are going to be terms thrown at you that you need to understand.

 

 

Understanding Telescope Eyepieces- There are recommendations, based on budget, but the meat of the article is about understanding the considerations and specifications to know when selecting eyepieces.
https://telescopicwa...cope-eyepieces/

 

Understanding and using a Barlow Lens
https://telescopicwa...ens-and-how-to/

 

 

You scope comes with 25mm and 10mm SUPER eyepiece (1.25").  I don't know what kind of eyepiece that is but I am presuming Kellners or Plossls, both of which will work fine in your scope but will have relatively narrow AFOV and, if you go any shorter, they will have very short eye relief.  There are lots of better options, but these should work OK for now. 

 

 

FL scope / FL eyepiece = magnification

 

750 / 20 = 37.5X

 

750 / 10 = 75X

 

So, the first thing is to recognize that you are only tapping into a small part of the capability of your scope which can easily handle 150X and likely 250X on a night of VERY good seeing.

 

Do you understand "seeing"?

 

What is SEEING and why it can be bad.  This is not a problem with your
telescope
http://www.skyandtel...ing-the-seeing/
http://www.damianpeach.com/seeing1.htm
http://www.damianpea...m/pickering.htm

 

 

 

Do you understand the impact of light pollution on what you see?  You say you are in the city so this will be a HUGE factor for what you see.   

 

When you talk about DSOs you have to be very specific.  Open clusters and nebula are very different from globular clusters and galaxies, all of which are DSOs.   How we view them can vary quite a bit.

 

Did you note that those images of the Hercules cluster says dark sky?  You are not viewing from a dark sky and no eyepiece is going to overcome that.  So, do you plan to go to a dark sky location to view it to get that kind of an image?  You will need more magnification than what you have now. 

 

 

The light pollution article can help a bit with that.

 

 

Light Pollution
https://telescopicwa...ight-pollution/

 

 

 

Once you read these three articles we can start talking about eyepieces.  There is no reason to wait till you have a "better scope" as better eyepieces will benefit you now, but perhaps not in the way you expect.  I use the same set of eyepieces in all of my scopes and that set has evolved over years. 

 

And don't forget we need to understand your budget.  I can easily recommend eyepieces that cost $300+.  Is that in your budget?


Edited by aeajr, 15 August 2022 - 04:47 PM.

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#5 spaceoddity

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 04:34 PM

No, the only things that will help you see more details in DSO's are dark skies and more aperture. Better optics may help slightly. Not every night will be equal. Transparency and seeing vary a lot even on clear nights.  


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#6 havasman

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 04:43 PM

...should I save and focus on getting a scope with a bigger aperture and get better EPs then?

 

PPS - I would like to see individual stars like the Hercules cluster shown form a small telescope on this website.

You're not going to see individual stars in M13 from the middle of a major American city with a small aperture scope, maybe with any amateur scope. More eyepieces won't change that. That website mentions, but glosses over, the influence of dark skies and particularly the lack of them. I had that scope and with it, an ES68 24mm eyepiece (no longer the high value option it once was), and a good dark site I got great widefield views. The M31/32/110 complex was particularly memorable with dark lanes and NGC206 visible along with the 3 galaxies in a pretty field.

 

You have 2 good options:

  1. Change you observing focus and enjoy double, multiple and colored stars, prominent open clusters and the brightest parts (only) of the most prominent galaxies, bright nebulae and globular clusters along with the moon and planets.
  2. Find a good dark place from which to observe.

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#7 SteveG

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 04:54 PM

As others have noted, no.

 

Get to some dark skies and use what you have, then decide on eyepiece upgrades. 


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#8 WheezyGod

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 05:00 PM

Unfortunately better eyepieces won’t allow you to see more details unless you’re talking about eyepieces that are very poor or talking about very subtle differences caused by differences in contrast and light scatter.

Best way to see more from DSOs is darker skies. If you have the $, night vision can help a ton. The cheaper option for nebula only is a UHC and maybe a OIII filter, but these only work on nebula and work better under darker skies.

#9 Chad7531

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 05:07 PM

What you’re seeing is what I would expect out of my 6” f5 at a bortle 4, good work. Eyepieces will make everything easier and more relaxing, but what you see is about what you’re going to get. If you really want to see a difference then a 10” would start to get interesting. Those cotton balls turn into resolved stars, galaxies start showing some detail. Eyepieces aren’t going to help you there unfortunately.
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#10 rgk901

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 05:21 PM

I can see m13 like this (sometimes even better) with my 6 from B9 on a dark moonless night with good seeing and transparency.

Screenshot_20220815-170901.png

My tube is flocked and I have a dew shield sticking out for light control.


This is best observed without the moon and as high on the sky as possible.
I try to sheild my eyes best I can to get them somewhat dark adapted. I will stare at m13 as long as I can away from lights... you'll see the view improve gradually as your eyes adapt.


I will go as low as a 5mm fairly often on this... stars will eventually double the longer I observe as my eyes eek out the details.


darker skies are the ticket! But can be done from brighter skies.


make sure your collimation is spot on, or it will be a blur no matter what you do.


good eyepieces will travel from scope to scope, but the heritage needs light ep's so the expensive heavy one's won't work well on this scope but the paradigms and such work beautifully.

shield scope/eyes from lights, collimate, cool scope and observe without the moon and of course travel to darker skies whe you can.

have fun and enjoy!

Edited by rgk901, 15 August 2022 - 05:25 PM.

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#11 Chad7531

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 05:27 PM

I can see m13 like this (sometimes even better) with my 6 from B9 on a dark moonless night with good seeing and transparency.

Screenshot_20220815-170901.png

My tube is flocked and I have a dew shield sticking out for light control.


This is best observed without the moon and as high on the sky as possible.
I try to sheild my eyes best I can to get them somewhat dark adapted. I will stare at m13 as long as I can away from lights... you'll see the view improve gradually as your eyes adapt.


I will go as low as a 5mm fairly often on this... stars will eventually double the longer I observe as my eyes eek out the details.


darker skies are the ticket! But can be done from brighter skies.


make sure your collimation is spot on, or it will be a blur no matter what you do.


good eyepieces will travel from scope to scope, but the heritage needs light ep's so the expensive heavy one's won't work well on this scope but the paradigms and such work beautifully.

shield scope/eyes from lights, collimate, cool scope and observe without the moon and of course travel to darker skies whe you can.

have fun and enjoy!


That’s the best view of a globular you will ever get with a 6” right there. It’s a binocular target. Keep the expectations in check and enjoy the lightweight scope.

#12 Asbytec

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 06:12 PM

There are a lot of variables in seeing more DSO detail. Folks have touched on sky conditions, first and foremost darkness (contrast) and transparency. Some light pollution filters can help on particular DSOs, but I do not believe different eyepieces will make much, if any, difference to anyone except possibly the most discriminating observer on a good night. Even then, the difference will be very subtle. Too subtle and likely beyond the ability of an inexperienced observer to notice any difference. 

 

In a given set of sky conditions in the same aperture, you will get more bang for the buck by choosing the proper magnification and gaining valuable experience observing DSOs. They are not easy to observe. At any given contrast between the sky and the DSO there is a critical size for detection. It's important to increase the size of the DSO so that it matches the resolution of your dark adapted eye. The scope may resolve detail down to some small limit, but to see detail in DSOs the eye needs a larger image that is not too dim to see. You simply have to experiment with magnification until you find the sweet spot on your eye.

 

The second thing to seeing more detail is one needs to know how dim things appear to our eye. Remember, often we are operating near the limit of our acuity, and that is not easy. You have to know what you are looking at and recognize it when you see it. With gained experience with seeing dim things, you will begin to understand what dim things look like and see them more often. In my view, you will gain far more by using the proper magnification and gaining experience than you will gain by changing eyepieces. Preferably under reasonably dark skies, at least, with good atmospheric transparency (particulates, humidity, etc.). 


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#13 WheezyGod

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 06:40 PM

I can see m13 like this (sometimes even better) with my 6 from B9 on a dark moonless night with good seeing and transparency.

Screenshot_20220815-170901.png

My tube is flocked and I have a dew shield sticking out for light control.


This is best observed without the moon and as high on the sky as possible.
I try to sheild my eyes best I can to get them somewhat dark adapted. I will stare at m13 as long as I can away from lights... you'll see the view improve gradually as your eyes adapt.


I will go as low as a 5mm fairly often on this... stars will eventually double the longer I observe as my eyes eek out the details.


darker skies are the ticket! But can be done from brighter skies.


make sure your collimation is spot on, or it will be a blur no matter what you do.


good eyepieces will travel from scope to scope, but the heritage needs light ep's so the expensive heavy one's won't work well on this scope but the paradigms and such work beautifully.

shield scope/eyes from lights, collimate, cool scope and observe without the moon and of course travel to darker skies whe you can.

have fun and enjoy!


Are you really able to get this from a 6in under bortle 9 skies? This isn’t much brighter than the picture you posted and was done by a very experienced observer under bortle 4 skies with a 14in.

https://www.cloudyni...-1567888960.jpg

#14 rgk901

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 06:50 PM

Are you really able to get this from a 6in under bortle 9 skies? This isn’t much brighter than the picture you posted and was done by a very experienced observer under bortle 4 skies with a 14in.

https://www.cloudyni...-1567888960.jpg

not the one you linked smile.gif

but the one I attached in my post above marked small scope...

 

One night last month or so with a dark sky and exceptional transparency/seeing for my area I saw probably dozens with direct and many, many more with averted vision. That's after keeping my eye glued to the eyepiece for a good 10+ minutes... the stars just kept exploding in front of me ! smile.gif

 

but more so than not it's a fuzz ball LOL


Edited by rgk901, 15 August 2022 - 06:51 PM.

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#15 Chad7531

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 06:56 PM

not the one you linked smile.gif
but the one I attached in my post above marked small scope...

One night last month or so with a dark sky and exceptional transparency/seeing for my area I saw probably dozens with direct and many, many more with averted vision. That's after keeping my eye glued to the eyepiece for a good 10+ minutes... the stars just kept exploding in front of me ! smile.gif

but more so than not it's a fuzz ball LOL

From a bortle 9 I’m surprised you could see it at all in a 6”. It’s not really a representation of what the op will see in a bortle 6, it’ll be a fuzz ball. Even in a bortle 4 it’s basically a fuzz ball with that scope.

Edited by Chad7531, 15 August 2022 - 06:57 PM.


#16 aeajr

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 06:57 PM

not the one you linked smile.gif

but the one I attached in my post above marked small scope...

 

One night last month or so with a dark sky and exceptional transparency/seeing for my area I saw probably dozens with direct and many, many more with averted vision. That's after keeping my eye glued to the eyepiece for a good 10+ minutes... the stars just kept exploding in front of me ! smile.gif

 

but more so than not it's a fuzz ball LOL

That's great!  At what magnification?



#17 Chad7531

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 06:57 PM

That's great! At what magnification?


900x

#18 rgk901

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 07:00 PM

That's great!  At what magnification?

I use 9 / 7 / 5 so 83 to 150 ... a bit more if my CC is in use.



#19 rgk901

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 07:04 PM

m13 is quite large... of course in our bright skies it's a lot fainter and smaller but on paper it almost fills a 5mm 60 degree...

Attached Thumbnails

  • m13.JPG


#20 rgk901

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 07:07 PM

it's all observing often so you can catching the best conditions which are #1 determinant of your views.

 

keeping scope collimated / cooled to a 't'

 

keeping light from your eye/scope and getting as best dark adapted as possible.



#21 rgk901

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 07:10 PM

900x

haha ... that's only on your moon!

 

if I remember you stand and dislike sitting. So by that alone your eyes don't get as adapted/remain at the eyepiece long enough to adapt / suck in all the photons?

 

I sit and am able to view for many minutes at a time, giving my eyes time to adapt, than as soon as I pull away and get my surrounding lights hitting my eye I have to re-do it all over again... sucks I know but doable


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#22 Chad7531

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 07:11 PM

m13 is quite large... of course in our bright skies it's a lot fainter and smaller but on paper it almost fills a 5mm 60 degree...


M13 and M27 are my go to targets to start my dark site nights with the 10” right now. I’m about to get my 6” out to see if I can even see M13 in bortle 8 skies tonight. I doubt it.

#23 rgk901

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 07:13 PM

I do it in my 5" all the time too and in fact on that excellent night compared my 5 to the 6 and aside from the scale they were very close!



#24 rgk901

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 07:20 PM

M13 and M27 are my go to targets to start my dark site nights with the 10” right now. I’m about to get my 6” out to see if I can even see M13 in bortle 8 skies tonight. I doubt it.

m27 is fainter and smaller and does better for me with my narrowband / OIII



#25 Chad7531

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Posted 15 August 2022 - 07:21 PM

m27 is fainter and smaller and does better for me with my narrowband / OIII


9 minutes later my scope is mounted, collimated, and EPs outside. That’s the great thing about these scopes.
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