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Stargazing My First Telescope Need Advice

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  1. Mar 6, 2012 #1
    Hi i am new to this forum so i apologize if ive posted this in the wrong place.
    I have brought my first telescope:
    http://www.celestron.com/astronomy/telescopes/celestron-skyprodigy-130.html [Broken]
    I have a puzzling problem though witch im sure u guys will know the answer to.
    I paid alot of money for this scope and the clarity is amazing but the size of planets is miniscule jupiter looks like a tiny orange dot with even smaller specs of light with are 4 of its moons i have seen people with less powerful scopes get much bigger images of planets even mars and venus were just tiny red and purple colored dots you can only just make out there spherical planets im using a 9mm lens.
    Do i need a better one or is it a case of calibrating the whole scope from camera to mirrors ?
    id really appreciate some guidance as im really frustrated and don't know who to ask not many people where i live know anything about it im in the uk.
    the only thing i can see clearly and very large is the moon id love to see some galaxys but haven't bothered as im sure i wont be able to at the moment :(
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2012 #2
    generally speaking, you paid for a nice computer guidance and assistance system, with a small telescope attached to it. however, your problem relates directly to the focal length of the optical system of your scope - you have a short focal length whose strengths would be for wide field observing. this is why you are having to use a very short FL eyepiece to acheive enough magnification to see any detail on objects such as jupiter. 4mm eyepieces are notoriously difficult to use due to very limited eye relief.

    for planetary observations, you typically would want a long focal length scope where you can utilize longer FL eyepieces with greater eye relief. also, a scope with a larger diameter objective will, by gathering considerably more light, greatly enhance your observing enjoyment.

    however, there are many wonderful and interesting things to be learned and seen with the scope you have, and i encourage you to use it's abilities to the fullest. brighter/larger objects such as the moon can be a lifetime of study and visual enjoyment all by themselves. likewise, observations of the sun can be totally fascinating (there are very inexpensive ways to construct a solar filter which allow for safe direct viewing of the sun).
     
  4. Mar 6, 2012 #3
    so ur saying theres no way i can see planets bigger ?
    when i ordered it it says its very good for planet observation and even deep space and galaxys im so confused so i i cant do anything about it il lnever b able to see a galaxy either
     
  5. Mar 6, 2012 #4

    turbo

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  6. Mar 6, 2012 #5
    i dont think there is i have a 10yr guarantee to so could always fry the circuits lol but lets just say i cant take it back is there anything i can do ?
     
  7. Mar 6, 2012 #6

    DaveC426913

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    You've got a 5" scope there. That's about average for a beginner scope. Nothing wrong with that.

    There are only 2 things you can do to see a larger image:
    1] get a higher power eyepiece. Your 9mm is pretty high but you could go higher, to a 4 or so. That would double the size of objects. That would cost you, and I'm not sure it's wise to invest that kind of money in this scope.

    2] Use a barlow lens. They are cheap. A 2x or 3x barlow will double or triple the size of object but at the cost of brightness. Frankly, I do not recommend even bothering with a barlow.

    I think the thing you need to adjust is your expectations. I have a similar scope and Jupiter resolves to a disc smaller than my pinkie nail at arms length. That's what you should expect. You should be able to make out the darkest bands on Jupiter but the Great Red Eye might or might not be visible depending on how good your observing conditions are.
     
  8. Mar 6, 2012 #7

    DaveC426913

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    At best they'll replace it. They won't give you a different one, or give you your money back.
     
  9. Mar 6, 2012 #8

    DaveC426913

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    Well, you actually don't need a scope to see a galaxy, just your eyes. Andromeda is visible to the naked eye. (So is Milky Way for all that matter.) :smile:
     
  10. Mar 6, 2012 #9
    ok thanks for the advice eveyone so what kind of scope im i looking at buying to see objects bigger? especially planets and galaxys ?

    yes i kno that but its not the same as seeing it much more clearly through a scope
     
  11. Mar 6, 2012 #10

    turbo

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    Please read the thread that I linked. There are many pages of useful information there, and it would be counterproductive to try to duplicate that info here. If you want to add questions to that thread, they will be preserved so that others can benefit from the advice that you get (the thread is Sticky).
     
  12. Mar 6, 2012 #11

    Chronos

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    A 2x barlow should solve most of your planetary viewing issues. An f5 scope is not ideal for planetary viewing, as already noted, but, the wide field views will be much more appreciated when you move on to deep sky objects. A 2x barlow with a 9mm ep will get you to about 150x, compared to the 76x you are currently getting. The practical magnification limit for your scope is about 250x and even that much magnification will rarely be usable save when conditions are outstanding [~ half a dozen times a year in most locations]. Under average conditions, 150x is about the maximum useful magnification with your scope. The plus part of barlowing vs buying a shorter fl eyepiece is eye relief - which is pretty bad in most ep's under about 6mm. The downside of a barlow is you lose some light due to the extra lens elements. Planets are fairly bright though so this should not be much of an issue.
     
  13. Mar 6, 2012 #12

    Drakkith

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    Unfortunately I think you have too high of an expectation for viewing astronomical objects. Your view of Jupiter is about average from an amateur telescope. Currently Jupiter is nearing conjunction, which means that it is nearing the same part of the sky as the Sun is in. In a month or two it will be on the opposite side of the Sun as Earth is and will not be visible. This means that we are currently much further away from it than we were back in October when Jupiter was at opposition, which means that it is opposite the Sun in the sky, and hence at it's closest approach to Earth. The result is that Jupiter appears smaller and dimmer now than it does at opposition. But don't worry, in about 6 months Jupiter will be bigger and brighter and will be approaching opposition again. You're bound to get some good views even with your scope. I'd personally recommend getting a 2x barlow just so that you don't have to pear through the 9x with it's much smaller eye relief.

    Also, if you want to view galaxies then realize that you are BARELY going to be able to make any of them out with any size amateur scope that doesn't cost several thousand dollars. And at best they will look like fuzzy objects. Your view will also vary greatly depending on how much light pollution is at your observation site. If you near a large city then the only things you will be able to see clearly will be the Moon and Planets, and a few of the brightest deep sky objects, such as Andromeda and a few star clusters.

    Also, do you know how a telescope works? Such as how to determine the magnification a setup will give you?
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2012
  14. Mar 6, 2012 #13
    I Will read through this in the morning when my mind is fresh thanks for the link.

    Right i will try a 2x Barlow lens then but i don't understand why they say its very good for planetary veiwing and deep sky objects if you check the website i linked in my first post it clearly states its capable of seeing many thing it has apparently over 4000 objects programmed into its database, surely celestron couldnt lie about all this ?? also out of curiosity who would u guys say is the best manufacturer of telescopes ?

    thanks for all the info and i understand that telescopes work by how much light they intake and how long the tube is and how wide determine different aspects of what you can view but im still very new to this ive always loved astrology but im new to using a telescope and its very complicated the first time round nobody i kno knows a thing about them and theres no shops near me so i cant go in and ask anybody, its very frustrating you guys have helped more than anyone so far, id also like to find what accessories i can buy for my telescope without ordering from celestron website obviously i could get them cheaper from amazon or ebay trouble is i have no idea where to look for lenses and filters that could fit my telescope? if someone could explain in detail lenses and all aspects of a telescope that would greatly help me furthermore i would greatly appreciate it.
     
  15. Mar 6, 2012 #14

    DaveC426913

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    And it certainly can. But being able to point to over 4000 coordinates in the night sky is not saying anything about what you can expect to see. You'll see them but you won't get Hubble-like images. I think you may have had your expectations set a little high by marketing. (a lesson equally applicable to Cosmo and Victoria Secret ads, and for very similar reasons :wink:).
     
  16. Mar 6, 2012 #15

    Chronos

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    Celestron is a highly regarded telescope OEM and their products are generally very good. They are not, however, the best source for accessories, which tend to be overpriced [you pay for the name]. There are numerous after market sources for accessories and many of these products have excellent value. Antares is one that comes to mind, but, there are many. There are also forums where accessories are discussed in great detail by experienced amateurs and able to answer most any question you can imagine - e.g., cloudy nights.
     
  17. Mar 6, 2012 #16
    Of course i wont see Hubble-like images im not completely stupid but id of thought you would be able to see things a little better than im currently seeing them.
    For example there are videos on youtube with smaller cheaper scopes than mine where planets are viewed much bigger than im seeing them.

    Yeah i saw a filter and lens kit for about £150 on amazon! so i can but different branded lenses and accessories and they will fit my scope ? if so can u point me to the right place cause i don't fancy paying ridiculous amounts if i can get them cheaper thanks. How will i kno if they will fit my scope ?
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2012
  18. Mar 6, 2012 #17

    turbo

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    It's time to dial down the commercial ads and expectations, and get some expert guidance. If you bought a $700 scope without visiting some clubs and star-parties first, I can't really help you. You should have done your homework and peered through enough star-party-scopes to figure out what you wanted, and what you could afford.

    Best of luck in future purchases.
     
  19. Mar 6, 2012 #18
    yeah so where can i get expert guidance ?
     
  20. Mar 6, 2012 #19

    DaveC426913

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    I wasn't meaning to suggest anything of the sort.:redface:
     
  21. Mar 6, 2012 #20

    DaveC426913

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    turbo has got the best answer: you want to join a local star gazing club.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2012
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