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Thread: Trouble spotting Neptune

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    Default Trouble spotting Neptune



    Hi everyone, I am havjng trouble spotting Neptune. I am using an app but the star patterns are quite dull, nothing bright in that part of the sky. What magnification will show a disc and should it be obviously blue being so faint. I am using a 16" dobsonian and can't find anything obvious @ 100x.

    Any suggestions. My finder isn't much help as the surrounding stars are dull and 8x50 may not even resolve it other than a very dark sky.
    16" Lightbridge dobsonian on eq mobile platform. 30mm 10mm 7.5mm Celestron plossls, 26mm 2" Meade qx, 30mm 42mm 2" GSO SV. 8mm 12mm 18mm 25mm Starguider, 1.8x Televue 1.25" barlow. 10x50 Tasco binoculars, 15x70 Celestron binoculars. Saxon 909 f10 refractor AZ3

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    Default Re: Trouble spotting Neptune

    It will be a small disc at 100x, but obviously a disc. The real give away is the deep blue color which is unmistakable.

    The finder will let you recognize the background neighboring stars, but will not be useful for actually seeing the planet it self. The 16" scope will have no problem in seeing it though.

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    Default Re: Trouble spotting Neptune

    From what I've read 200-250 x is the "sweet spot" for Neptune. Should be visible in your scope. I admit I have never seen Neptune.
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    Default Re: Trouble spotting Neptune

    Should I get a telrad, might be easier than my finder. No reverse star patterns which can get quite confusing
    16" Lightbridge dobsonian on eq mobile platform. 30mm 10mm 7.5mm Celestron plossls, 26mm 2" Meade qx, 30mm 42mm 2" GSO SV. 8mm 12mm 18mm 25mm Starguider, 1.8x Televue 1.25" barlow. 10x50 Tasco binoculars, 15x70 Celestron binoculars. Saxon 909 f10 refractor AZ3

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    Default Re: Trouble spotting Neptune

    Quote Originally Posted by Fleegal View Post
    Should I get a telrad, might be easier than my finder. No reverse star patterns which can get quite confusing
    Get a RACI, right angle correct image finder. You can see star patterns COMFORTABLY with this.

    https://www.highpointscientific.com/...bracket-fra850

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    Default Re: Trouble spotting Neptune

    I have seen Netpune in my 8". Even at 133x, it showed a tiny disk. It was almost star-like, but not quite. The blue colour was unmistakable.

    Use a low magnification first to find it, then move up to higher magnifications.

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    Default Re: Trouble spotting Neptune

    I remember I first found Neptune and Uranus using my manual setting circles/inclinometer on the Dob. While star hopping is fun, the setting circles do well on those hard to hop cases. You could add them for less than $50 US.
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    Default Re: Trouble spotting Neptune

    Neptune is at 7.8 mag now. You can easily see it as a bluish star in 8x50 binos or RACI. Neptun's disk is 2.3" now. This is tiny. In order to see the disk with confidence you need good seeing and 200-300x magnification. If the seeing is not good and stars are blotted it will be hard to tell whether you resolve the disk or not.
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    Default Re: Trouble spotting Neptune

    Neptune becomes an easy spot with a little practice. As Andrey says, 10×50 binoculars will suffice once you know where to look.

    I last observed the planet about a month ago...here is my star hop and observing notes:

    Back out about 2300 hrs., I sighted in the little group of three stars that are the ψ Aquarii’s in the telrad, and then RACI’d north two hairs to hit χ Aquarii and on up to φ Aquarii. I could see Neptune in the RACI at that point.

    7. Neptune
    (Planet in Aquarius, mag 7.8, 100.0% illuminated)
    Observed: Sep 14, 2018 at 23:17:14
    Comment: A nice little blue ball. I laid the power to it and I got a decent little blue disk. Of course, no detail other than the color of the small disk. Good to see Neptune again!
    Location: Lowell, AR
    Equipment: AD12, ES 82° 18mm. KK Ortho 12.5mm


    My typical star hop begins with either a telrad or Rigel Quickfinder to sight the nearest naked eye star to my objective, then I employ a RACI finder to do my star hopping. Neptune is easily spotted in my 8×50 RACI's from my backyard. It stands out reasonably well from the field stars by its blue hue.
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    Default Re: Trouble spotting Neptune

    I have been using 10x50 binoculars and seem to find the corresponding star patterns and think I have spotted neptune. As it is rather dull in the binoculars I cant really discern colour except to say that it doesn't look like a point of light, slightly softer looking. I used the 3 stars as a reference using around 60x, 30mm with my 1.8m fl. I think this gives me around 0.7° afov, i would think if I had found neptune it would be obvious by colour or fuzzy disk. I can't say that I have found it easy with the reverse star patterns and small afov, my finder is not the best optically and with dew forming firstly on the finder and then clouding the secondary and eyepieces I gave up frustrated. Its a bucket list thing lol. I think I might reinstall the red dot finder that came with the scope and line it up with the right area. Next clear night!
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