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    Default Zoom questions, what am I missing?



    Alright, maybe Im just tired, but how is it that with this Mead ETX70 or other, I can see the crater detail on the moon, but an airliner at night flying by all lit up just looks like its you know, through some small binoculars? I would think you could see the pilot lol.
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    Well, it's a long story! You're probably using a low mag ep, probably a 25mm. That will not magnify a lot, because you must keep in mind that telescopes are meant to gather light, not necessarily make it bigger. You'll need a higher magnification ep to make the plane bigger, but you're never gonna see the pilot in the cockpit!
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsymo View Post
    Well, it's a long story! You're probably using a low mag ep, probably a 25mm. That will not magnify a lot, because you must keep in mind that telescopes are meant to gather light, not necessarily make it bigger. You'll need a higher magnification ep to make the plane bigger, but you're never gonna see the pilot in the cockpit!
    Just go ahead and smash my dreams lol. Using a 9mm though.
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    I would think that the same thing that limits you from viewing celestial objects at high power would limit your ability to see the pilot or passengers, air turbulence.
    If you hung out above the airport with your scope you could probably see the pilot, less air to interfere.
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    Look at it this way. A jet airplane flies about 35,000 feet high (10,500 m) in the sky. At an magnification of 40x (your 9mm eyepiece) its apparent distance would be 875 feet (260m). Now throw in the distortion of the atmosphere and telescope optics. When you observe the moon in a very small telescope like the ETX70, you are only seeing the larger features of the moon as much of its features and details are hidden from you.
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    AND if you were able to apply say 250 power to that small scope-- (you cannot) then the plane would FLASH through the eyepiece so fast you would only see it for about 1-2 seconds.
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    huh uh I can fallow it like duck hunter lol.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sxinias View Post
    Look at it this way. A jet airplane flies about 35,000 feet high (10,500 m) in the sky. At an magnification of 40x (your 9mm eyepiece) its apparent distance would be 875 feet (260m). Now throw in the distortion of the atmosphere and telescope optics. When you observe the moon in a very small telescope like the ETX70, you are only seeing the larger features of the moon as much of its features and details are hidden from you.
    Can you recommend a book or website that teaches you the ins and outs of the magnification formulas and such like you just explained. Not necessarily something for dummies but you know, not over the top for a noob. Thanks for all the info you guys.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDS View Post
    Can you recommend a book or website that teaches you the ins and outs of the magnification formulas and such like you just explained. Not necessarily something for dummies but you know, not over the top for a noob. Thanks for all the info you guys.
    It'd be a really small book.

    Magnification = Focal length of scope / focal length of eyepiece

    Focal ratio = Focal length of scope / Aperture

    Maximum useful magnification (normal conditions) = aperture in mm

    Maximum useful magnification (excellent conditions) = 2 * aperture in mm

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