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Thread: How do you get fine detail of planets.

  1. #11
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    Default Re: How do you get fine detail of planets.



    I think Ozman and Richard provided excellent advice. I use a Baader Moon and Skyglow filter occasionally and I think it's a worthwhile investment - I just takes the edge off super bright objects eg. Jupiter and highlights (maybe) the cloud bands. OR perhaps I'm just trying to justify my purchase
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  2. #12
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    Default Re: How do you get fine detail of planets.

    Quote Originally Posted by Macrob1 View Post
    I think Ozman and Richard provided excellent advice. I use a Baader Moon and Skyglow filter occasionally and I think it's a worthwhile investment - I just takes the edge off super bright objects eg. Jupiter and highlights (maybe) the cloud bands. OR perhaps I'm just trying to justify my purchase
    I've just come in from an early viewing of Jupiter, viewing conditions are ordinary due to Moon and some smoke in the air from controlled burns, and guess what! I couldn't detect any difference with or without the Baader filter. I'm sure it makes a slight difference sometimes though.

    As we speak there's an interesting juxtaposition with Jupiter and its' line of moons and several stars - nice
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    Default Re: How do you get fine detail of planets.

    True. Georgia has humid sky's, being new to this I rely on the local weather app and their astronomy "viewing conditions" section although I'm not sure how accurate that is. That being said on a night that they say is a 10 "excellent" , stars seem twinkle free I still have issues. Is there a go to sitr as far as checking seeing conditions or is that a learning curve I'll figure out over time.
    Hope this doesn't sound silly.

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    Default Re: How do you get fine detail of planets.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dominic Vendola Jr View Post
    True. Georgia has humid sky's, being new to this I rely on the local weather app and their astronomy "viewing conditions" section although I'm not sure how accurate that is. That being said on a night that they say is a 10 "excellent" , stars seem twinkle free I still have issues. Is there a go to sitr as far as checking seeing conditions or is that a learning curve I'll figure out over time.
    Hope this doesn't sound silly.
    Not silly at all! But yes, it's a learning curve. A few ideas to work with:
    1. Learn to do a star test; start each session by star-testing Polaris. This gives you a feeling for all the defects in your optical train, including atmospheric turbulence and tube currents in your scope.
    2. If the atmosphere is really jumpy, consider switching to deep-sky targets. YMMV.
    3. Keep your eye at the eyepiece; don't expect the image to obey your wishes. You may find, as I do, that every few seconds you will get a quarter-second of clarity when the air briefly allows it. Grab that image in your mind, and wait for the next one. Patience, grasshopper!

    Cheers,
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    Default Re: How do you get fine detail of planets.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dominic Vendola Jr View Post
    Is there a go to sitr as far as checking seeing conditions or is that a learning curve I'll figure out over time.
    I use the Astro Panel app (Android). It pulls data from tools.astron.ac.cn (a.k.a 7Timer) and gives worst case scenario that's pretty consistent with seeing at about 30 degrees above the horizon. A similar app for iOS that also pulls from 7Timer is Astroweather . I've found it to be far more accurate and consistent than Clear Dark Sky and MeteoBlue as they seem to be more "best case scenario".

    I still star test, but I use my LS970 for that as it's very unforgiving when it comes to seeing conditions.
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    Default Re: How do you get fine detail of planets.

    I like a polarizing filter. It's adjustable and can help by dimming down some of the brightness. I found it helpful on Jupiter and the moon. Orion sells a 1.25" one for $30 and a 2" one for $60 (if you have 2" eyepieces).
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    Default Re: How do you get fine detail of planets.

    Thanks Lokifish, I downloaded astro panel. Seems legit compared to my local weather astro section.
    I'll continue to learn the ropes and star test also pay more attention to what I'm actually seeing.

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    Default Re: How do you get fine detail of planets.

    Quote Originally Posted by Macrob1 View Post
    I think Ozman and Richard provided excellent advice. I use a Baader Moon and Skyglow filter occasionally and I think it's a worthwhile investment - I just takes the edge off super bright objects eg. Jupiter and highlights (maybe) the cloud bands. OR perhaps I'm just trying to justify my purchase
    Actually it does more than that. And I quote: "Based on earlier research at Carl Zeiss, Baader has developed a new filter that uses Neodymium glass which filters out a few specific wavelengths from streetlights as well as skyglow from the Moon."

    I have the filter and use it quite a bit in the might polluted driveway in the Chicago suburbs. I have seen close to 85 messier objects in my driveway with it. So it can help.

    As i mentioned in another thread color filters may help as well. But not the super cheap ones. I was at a star party last summer viewing Jupiter through my 8SE at high power. I could see the obvious bands and moons but not the Great Red Spot. A smaller scope next to mine did see the GRS quite obviously. The difference? A filter. But to be honest I cannot recall now which one it was.
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    Default Re: How do you get fine detail of planets.

    I know this does not apply to Mercury and not very much with Venus, but Altitude of the object also makes a big difference on what details you will see. The higher the better.

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    Default Re: How do you get fine detail of planets.

    Excellent advice has been offered here, from filters to seeing conditions, specific objects and the better altitude for objects to be at (low on the horizon just use your eyes...).

    Zippie, in your original post you mentioned masking or stopping down the aperture of your scope to make its effective aperture smaller. There is a lot going for this too.

    Seeing conditions has been mentioned. Thing is that how significant poor seeing is is also determined by aperture size - the larger the aperture the more sensitive it is to the prevailing conditions. While larger aperture also means finer resolution, sometimes seeing just won't play nice for all your filters and careful timing. This is when you need a little bit of craftiness. Here is where stopping down aperture comes in, especially if your only scope is an 8" Newtonian or SCT or whatever.

    Stopping down does two things: 1, it reduces the susceptibility to poor seeing by a larger aperture, 2, improves effective resolution as seeing through the scope is more stabilized - those windows of stable seeing are longer, more frequent and more productive.

    If you have two scopes, one larger aperture than the other, then the smaller one will be your best asset if seeing is poor for the same reasons that stopping down the larger aperture does.

    For all the fancy filters I have, and scopes from 80mm through to 17.5" I have, and all the tricked up mounts, when seeing is not good when I'm targeting the Moon and planets, it is my 80mm refractor that gets used, and not the larger scopes. And I still have outstanding resolution as I also match the best eyepiece for the scope, and this also DOES NOT mean big $$$ either.

    If you are caught with only a larger aperture and no way to fashion a mask out in the field, the only option left then is to reduce your magnification and use what ever filters you have with you.

    Seeing is also VERY fluid. It can go from brilliant to crap in an instant, and the same the other way around. Also one section of the sky can be awful and another spectacular. I've experienced all of these conditions too. I've also had nights at my dark site when I took my 17.5" and abandoned it all night in preference for my 4" refractor because conditions dictated so. No use crying or bitching about it, you need to go with the flow...

    Being aware of how conditions can change, how to work under different conditions and being adaptable at the drop of a hat will see you be most productive along with your carefully considered gear.

    Alex.

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