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  1. #1
    MikeElmendorf's Avatar
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    Default Better eyepiece for planetary viewing on Celestron NexStar 4SE?



    Hi there -

    New to the forums and relatively new to the hobby, so please bear with me!

    I'm using a Celestron NexStar 4SE and am primarily interested in planetary viewing. Using the eyepiece that came with the telescope--E-Lux 25mm Plossl--I don't get great planetary images. I can see the rings of Saturn, but everything else looks like a blurry blob. I'm hoping that's a limitation of the eyepiece and not the telescope itself. (The moon looks awesome!).

    Any suggestions for me out there?

    Many thanks in advance.

    ME

  2. #2
    Don Trinko's Avatar
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    The televue plossl's are very good but not dirt cheap. You can get most Focal lenths for $75 to $80. I know this is a lot compared to some others but you will never need to upgade for better quality. (maybee for more FOV, but not for quality) All IMO; Don T.

  3. #3
    MikeElmendorf's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks, Don. What focal length is best for planetary viewing?

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    sxinias's Avatar
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    Default

    Hi, Welcome to the astronomy forum.

    Hi, Welcome to the astronomy forum.

    The 4SE is very nice telescope and will serve you well over the years. The 25mm eyepiece you have is a very good eyepiece. In any case telescopes with high focal ratios like the 4SE with a focal ratio of f/12.9 aren’t as picky about eyepieces as telescopes with lower focal ratios.

    A 32 mm eyepiece will give you a greater field of view making observing many deep space objects more enjoyable. A 2x Barlow will let you see planets in greater details when viewing conditions are good. A 2x Barlow used with a 32 and 25 mm eyepiece will give you an effective 16 and 12.5 mm eyepiece which is a good viewing range for your scope.

    Planets. With it you should be able to see the equatorial belt(s) of Jupiter ... With excellent seeing and the proper positioning of Earth and Jupiter, you may be able to see the red spot if you have good vision. At the moment Saturn is nearly edge on and looks like a white dot with a line drawn across it with the ring's shadow visible on the surface of the planet. Mars will only be an orange dot that looks just like a star except about every two years when it and the Earth are close … at that time you may be able to see some color patterns on the planet’s surface and a polar ice cap. Venus and Mercury .. you can see their phases but nothing else. Neptune, Pluto, and Uranus will be tiny dots … like stars. With the 25 mm eyepiece planets will be small, like a large BB. With a 12.5 mm eyepiece they will be pea sized (2x Barlow + 25mm eyepiece). Often atmospherics will preclude viewing at higher levels of magnification.

    Blurry images. The most likely cause of your blurry images is that your telescope had not yet thermally equalized with the ambient conditions. The temperature of the components of a telescope must equalize with the ambient temperature to produce good images; if not, small, bright objects like planets will be blobs. For some telescopes like Newtonians and refractors this equalization time is very short a few minutes at the most. For Cassegrain telescopes thermal equalization can take some time; thirty minutes to an hour. The 4SE is a Maksutov Cassegrain telescope and can produce very sharp images ... unfortunately; its equalization time is rather long due to its thick corrector plate.

    I take my Schmidt Cassegrain telescopes outside to equalize just as the sun is setting. Generally by the time the sky is as dark as it is going to get the inside temperature has equalized with the outside temperature and I can start viewing. Sometimes it takes a little longer. While I wait for the scope to equalize, I view objects like the moon, nebula, galaxies, star clusters, etc. where the impact of thermal differences is not so obvious. I tend to leave planets to the last part of my viewing for the night unless they are close to the horizon.


    Another cause of blurry images is atmospheric conditions. Air currents, pollution, water vapor, etc. all conspire to reduce the quality of the images we see in a telescope. On some nights atmospherics …. seeing can be so bad that you are almost limited to the moon. Other nights, you can crank up the power.
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  5. #5
    Bob327's Avatar
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    Your scope is a very good scope for both lunar and planetary viewing.... BUT when viewing Planets you are using all of 53x and to be honest no matter what scope I am using I find muself viewing between 150x to 200x ...

    So You need a more powerful eyepiece ...

    I'm not sure if I understand your statement that the lunar views are fine but on Saturn the rings are visible but everything else s a blob,...

    DID YOU LET THE SCOPE COOL DOWN before you started observing and looking for detail?????

    Bob G
    CPC1100 housed in a slotted domed observatory (Exploradome) 4 and 5 inch refractors for use from the lawn, a 8" Sct (NS 8i) for star parties...
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    Retired, also have 2 other hobbies
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    2. make a heck of a lot of sawdust in my wood shop.

  6. #6
    MikeElmendorf's Avatar
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    Thanks for the very helpful replies--you guys are great.

    So it sounds like I need a 2x Barlow and possibly a more powerful eyepieces.

    Are there any specific ones you can recommend?

    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    The Orion brand possl's are great and they have free shipping on them right now.

  8. #8
    MikeElmendorf's Avatar
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    Would this work?

    Celestron 1.25in. 2x Ultima Barlow Lens

    * 2x Barlow lens doubles magnification of virtually any 1.25" eyepiece
    * Fully multicoated design ensures maximum brightness
    * 3-element design with 27mm clear aperture
    * Compact and lightweight at 5 ounces, 2.75" length


    The Celestron Ultima 2x Barlow Lens is a popular choice among amateur astronomers who want the best performance from their optics. The Ultima Series 1.25" 2x Barlow is an air-spaced, 3-element apochromatic design with a 27mm clear aperture. This lens features a very high quality, fully multicoated design. Amazingly compact and lightweight, it's just 5 ounces and 2.75" in length.

    Warranty Information
    Orion products are covered by a limited, non-transferable warranty. Products sold through this website and our catalog that do not bear the Orion Brand name are serviced and supported exclusively by their manufacturers in accordance with terms and conditions packaged with the products. Orion's Limited Warranty does not apply to products that are not Orion-branded, even if packaged or sold with Orion products. Please contact the manufacturer directly for technical support and customer service.

  9. #9
    DigitalNinja's Avatar
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    I like this one better, it's cheaper and imo just as good.

    Barlow Lens: 1.25" 2x Orion Shorty | Orion Telescopes: Barlows

  10. #10
    MikeElmendorf's Avatar
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    Great, thanks. And that would fit on my scope with my eyepiece?

 

 
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