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    Question How do you get fine detail of planets.



    2 days ago I studied Jupiter and saw its rings and 4 moons with a reasonable degree of sharpness. Last night I tried to view Venus, but all I could see was a super bright white ball with slightly fuzzy edges.

    How can I obtain detail with my 8 inch GSO dobsonian please?
    Do I need to cut down on the light by blocking part of the aperture off, or is a filter the only way to go.
    If I need to buy a filter, what type(s) will I need please?

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

    That is all you will see of Venus, other than it's phases like the moon, there are no surface details to see. Your scope does not need any filters, but some filters help a little bit on some planetary details. These planetary filters I speak of are not cheap colored filters, which I do not recommend, but keep the true colors of the target.
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    Default Re: How do you get fine detail of planets.

    Thanks Oz,
    I have seen people talking about filters when viewing so was expecting that to have been the answer.
    Glad I asked before splashing out on a load of possibly useless filters.

    Especially since I have seen a humongous range of filters, including a few which cost more than I paid for my dobsonian.

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

    What filters do you recommend Ozman13?

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

    My viewing out of my 10" dob is less than pleasing, I make out the band's but no real detail, I was thinking it has to do with perfect mirror alignment. I "think" I have mine properly aligned. I have a cheap laser that after testing seems collimated properly and when I try it on the stars all seems well but I am new to all this. Old Hardin 10"dob.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Dominic Vendola Jr View Post
    What filters do you recommend Ozman13?
    I use a combination of Baader Moon&SkyGlow and FringeKiller filters. It helps SUBSTANCIALLY with an achromatic refractor as it greatly reduces the CA associated with those scopes. But it also helps bring out color contrast in ALL scopes while maintaining natural color balance unlike other filters, this is particularly important to me when viewing the planets. They were purchased for my achros, but I see marginal improvement in my Dob under normal conditions, but a marked improvement when conditions are very good and I'm trying to squeeze out those finest details.
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    Default Re: How do you get fine detail of planets.

    Thanks for the feedback Ozman13, I will check them out. They should be handy for my Lx90 8".

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

    The filters Oz mentioned are great for Refractors (achromats) but due to the cost (in RSA anyway) , in my opinion not worth it in a Reflector or a SCT, rather spend your money on better eyepieces, unless you have some short tube achromats
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    Default Re: How do you get fine detail of planets.

    Quote Originally Posted by 12richardk View Post
    The filters Oz mentioned are great for Refractors (achromats) but due to the cost (in RSA anyway) , in my opinion not worth it in a Reflector or a SCT, rather spend your money on better eyepieces, unless you have some short tube achromats
    I agree. If it were only for an SCT, it would be bottom of list priority, EPs and most any other accessories would come first. If all your bases are well covered and just want to optimize for those rare occurrences of excellent planetary observing, you can get a little more detail from the filters. But you really need a trained eye to see the subtle difference these will make in an SCT. They help a little more it seems in the faster Newts, and for those scopes, would have a little higher priority for me, absolute must have for an achromat.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Dominic Vendola Jr View Post
    My viewing out of my 10" dob is less than pleasing, I make out the band's but no real detail, I was thinking it has to do with perfect mirror alignment. I "think" I have mine properly aligned. I have a cheap laser that after testing seems collimated properly and when I try it on the stars all seems well but I am new to all this. Old Hardin 10"dob.
    Before you start lamenting about how poorly your optics are performing, make sure you look at what the seeing conditions are/were for the time that you are observing. Seeing makes more of a difference than any other factor when it comes to planetary viewing. With my 8" Newt I see the festoons within the cloud bands on Jupiter and loads of color, but this only happens when the seeing is exceptional.

    So my recommendation is to view Jupiter for a month on as many nights as you can get away with then see if you haven't noticed an appreciable difference at some point.

    Cheers,
    JT
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