Seeing the Martian moons with a pair of $60 binoculars

  • #1
Is it possible?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Not a chance, sorry. They're extremely tiny and orbit very close to Mars. Even with a large telescope you probably wouldn't be able to see them. Perhaps with some long CCD exposures and some software you might be able to get Deimos in an image.
 
  • #3
DrSteve
Gold Member
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Is it possible?
The law of diffraction provides the answer based on your optics diameter - and it is negative
 
  • #4
sophiecentaur
Science Advisor
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Jovian moons are worth going for, though. Very impressive, for some reason. I guess it's because they are probably the first thing you see with your Real Astronomer's hat on.
 
  • #5
tony873004
Science Advisor
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I once modified an eyepiece with an occulting bar. It's a piece of wire threaded across the diameter of the eyepiece at the focal point. I tried it on a rather large telescope (24 in?) in Sonoma county under a dark moonless night while Mars was at opposition. The occulting bar was used to block Mars so perhaps the moons would be visible.

I couldn't see them. But others in our group claimed they could. I asked them to sketch what they saw. Later, I looked up where the moons should have been at that time. It matched their observations.
 

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