Astronomy

Planetary observations: what to expect from the Powerseeker 50AZ?

Planetary observations: what to expect from the Powerseeker 50AZ?


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I bought the Powerseeker 50AZ, which has D=50mm; F=600mm F/12 which comes with 3 eyepieces: 20mm, 12.5mm and 4mm.

As far as I can tell it's not possible to colimate this telescope. As suggested here this is a very important part to see sharp images.

I have tried to observe jupiter and mars with it and jupiter I could see a dim small blurry image and mars a very tiny dot with absolutely no way of seeing details on any of those in what seemed the best focus I could get from them. The only thing I can see details is the moon really. Also I have observed in what seemed very clear sky conditions.

So my question is: How much can I expect to see from planets with this telescope? With this current setup should I be seeing jupiter and mars in more details?

UPDATE: Equipment link

https://www.amazon.com/Celestron-PowerSeeker-50-Refractor-Telescope/dp/B0000UMLYI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515177254&sr=8-1&keywords=powerseeker%2B50az%2Btelescope&th=1


Currently, Mars is very far from the Earth, so it appears to be very small. I doubt that any amateur telescope will show any details on Mars in this condition. Perhaps when it comes to opposition and is close to Earth, you might be able to see some faint markings with your scope.

Jupiter should show a sharp disk and nearly pinpoint moons with the 12.5 mm eyepiece (48 power). You should see two prominent bands on Jupiter.

The 4 mm eyepiece is probably poor quality, and since it provides 150 power, is too much power for a 50 mm scope. In ideal conditions, the general rule is 100 power for a 50 mm scope (2 times the scope size in mm). The clarity of the sky is not what makes a sharp image. There is a condition named "seeing" that indicates how sharp the viewing is. On some nights, the seeing is poor, so the images will be soft (not sharp) and perhaps shimmering, as if you are viewing the object through a stream of water. (Essentially, you are, except it is miles or kilometers of air!)


Also see the answer by @JohnHoltz - as he said, the 4mm ocular is way too much magnification for this scope. Anything below 6mm is probably useless.

Don't worry about collimation. Most refractors, if built properly, don't require maintenance such as collimation. I will edit my answer you've linked above to make that clear.

Mars is only observable for a few weeks around opposition, which occurs every 2 years approximately. The next opposition is later this year (2018) in the summer.

http://www.nakedeyeplanets.com/mars-oppositions.htm

Realistically, even in a perfect instrument you may not see a lot of detail on Mars in 50 mm of aperture. If the optics are shipshape, and seeing (air turbulence) is not too bad, you may just barely see Syrtis Major (when it's facing us) like a dark smudge on the disk. If Hellas Basin is full of frost, you may see it as a bright spot. But that should be it. I have not tried to look at Mars in such a small aperture before, but I'll try it this year.

You should be able to see the equatorial belts on Jupiter. I can see them in my 50 mm finderscopes.


Celestron PowerSeeker 50AZ

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Optics

The PowerSeeker 60AZ has a 60mm aperture. Although 60mm is more than enough for observing the Moon, it may disappoint you with planets and deep space objects.

60mm is able to provide some major details such as 4 Galilean Moon’s of Jupiter and Rings of Saturn. But any other detail such as the Great Red Spot, Saturn’s largest moon Titan, phases of Venus, or details on Mars are hard to observe with this scope. It might be possible with a high-quality eyepiece and on ideal atmospheric conditions, but with the eyepieces that come with this telescope, it is incredibly hard.

Lunar observation is the strong suit of PowerSeeker 60AZ. Its long optical tube increases color accuracy to an almost perfect level. Therefore Lunar Surface looks gorgeous with a significant amount of detail.

60mm aperture is disappointingly narrow, but cheap.

Deep space is an area that requires the maximum amount of aperture with a wide-field view. These are not present with the PowerSeeker 60AZ. Although you can get some detail from the Pleiades and some of the brighter star clusters, the deep space performance of PowerSeeker 60AZ is below-average for its price. A tabletop Dobsonian would be a better choice for deep space.

Overall PowerSeeker 60AZ has great Lunar, average planetary, and below-average deep space performance. Considering the price tag, I would say the optics are more than sufficient.

I have to remind you that at this price range, the slightest increase in the aperture makes a huge difference. PowerSeeker 70AZ, for example, has %36 more light gathering ability. The images it is able to provide are %36 better. It is almost the same as the difference between a 480p video and a 720p video. So try to stretch your budget as much as you can for higher apertures, you won’t be disappointed.


Mount

The mount is just adequate. It is not more or less, and I don’t expect anything else from budget refractors. It is impossible to provide anything other than plastic mounts and thin aluminum tripods at this price range, and that is what Celestron has done. Until a company comes up and sends butter-smooth metal bases for budget refractors, the plastic one that comes with PowerSeeker 70 is acceptable.

The same is true for the tripod. It is not rock-solid, but it is not frustrating either.


Celestron Firstscope vs Powerseeker

I want to view planets and other deep space objects, which many would think it's a joke! I wanted to know which is better among the firstscope and powerseeker 50AZ ? considering these facts.. If so why would that be?

Conditons - I Live in city. Budget 60 - 70$

The Firstscope has a very short focal length and large obstruction, which is not ideal for high magnification (planets) due to lower contrast. The short focal length and the eyepieces don't even give you enough magnification to really spot enough detail on planets, and even with a better eyepiece (costing almost as much as the telescope itself) it's very limited.

The 50mm refractor's small aperture limit what you'll be able to see as well.

But yes, in principle, Saturn's rings and Jupiter's main cloud-bands are visible with a bit more magnification, but the planets will appear very small.

Many deep-sky objects are already visible in binoculars (under dark skies). Light pollution is the limiting factor. For planets, it does not matter.

Where are you from? The US? Than there's the "2nd" (used/refurbished) SkyScanner 100 (price fluctuates a bit).

Outside the US, the Heritage 100p is an alternative to that.

The short 4" table telescopes aren't great either, but at least outperform the others.

What area are you from? I could check out the local classifieds.

In your price range, especially if you have an interest in deep-sky, Binoculars might be a better choice. But limiting regarding planets.


Celestron Powerseeker 70AZ telescope review

The Celestron Powerseeker 70AZ is frequently a top recommendation when people ask me what telescope they should get their kids as a first telescope. Let’s find out why.

Their First Telescope

That first telescope is much more important that most parents realize as it can help foster an interest in astronomy and science in general, or completely destroy the child’s interest. You probably wonder how that could be, and that is an excellent question.

Let’s look at this a different way assume your kid wanted to play little league baseball. You went out and bought them a glove and a ball but when it came to the bat you bought one of those foam bats you can hit people with and not hurt anyone. Every time they tried to hit a baseball, the bat would simply flex and never actually make the baseball do anything. Since they never got a hit, always struck out, they would quickly loose interest and give up the game.

Who wants to play a game where you never even have a chance of winning no matter how hard you practice and try? No one, that’s who.

So now let’s switch to astronomy you buy them a great book on astronomy and a cool map showing where some amazing objects are, then you give them a telescope that even when used by a professional could not identify a car across a football field much less the planet Jupiter in the night sky. It wobbles, it’s blurry, and it is extremely hard to navigate. What do you think their reaction would be?

The good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a reasonable telescope that will keep them interested, and this telescope is one of those.

The Celestron Powerseeker 70AZ

The Celestron Powerseeker 70AZ telescope is a refractor telescope with a 70mm aperture on an alt/az mount and is pretty well made for it’s price of around $80. A large part of the telescope and mount are actually metal and have more stability than you might expect from a telescope of this size.

From the minute you unbox the Celestron Powerseeker 70AZ you can tell it is a much better telescope than those cheap department store models. Setup is pretty easy and straight forward consisting of a few thumb screws and requiring no tools.

The current model of the Celestron Powerseeker 70AZ comes with an adequate 5x24mm finder scope (just barely), a 20mm eyepiece, a 4mm eyepiece (useless) and a 3x barlow (also useless).

You are probably wondering why I like the Celestron Powerseeker 70AZ when I use terms like barely adequate and useless when I describe the accessories. Good question.

Virtually every manufacturer of lower end telescopes these days throws in some junk so that their “specifications” are better than the competitor’s, and the Celestron Powerseeker 70AZ is no exception. It is simply a sales tactic and it does not apply to just astronomy equipment. The last time I bought a toaster oven it came with racks and trays I have never had a use for, but it sure looked cool on the box that it came with all this extra stuff. Same thing here.

I don’t really penalize the Celestron Powerseeker 70AZ for doing what everyone else does, particularly since the quality of the scope is high enough for the price that I could simply throw away the 4mm eyepiece and barlow.

In comparison to other telescopes like the Celestron Powerseeker 80eq, the Celestron Powerseeker 70AZ has a longer focal length making it a better choice for close ups of the moon and viewing planets.

Comparing the Celestron Powerseeker 70AZ to something like a Celestron Powerseeker 127eq reflector telescope it does not require near the cool down time (the 127eq has two mirrors which need to acclimate to the outside temperature before use or extremely blurry images could result) and requires no maintenance or adjustments such as the collimation required by the 127eq. The 127eq also requires learning how to use an equatorial telescope mount whereas the alt/az mount on the 70AZ is pretty much intuitive even to children with no experience. This makes the Celestron Powerseeker 70AZ a better choice for kids and first time telescope users.

Using the scope

Where the Celestron Powerseeker 70AZ shines is actually using the telescope. With the alt/az mount there is nothing to learn, point it at something and look through the eyepiece, simple as that.

The optics in this little scope are surprisingly good. No, they are not as good as say a $350 Orion Astroview 90mm refractor, but then again they are close enough to ignore considering how much cheaper they are. Images of the moon are very impressive although I would really like to have a moon filter (stay away from Celestron’s own moon filter) to make viewing a little more comfortable.

Saturn and Jupiter are clearly identifiable and a joy to watch, as is the Orion nebula and Andromeda galaxy. From there it is a mixed bag with objects such as the Pleadies being easy to see and pretty spectacular, The Lagoon and Eagle nebulae are quite pleasing but require a bit more effort, while the Ring and Dumbbell nebulae are virtually impossible to get any enjoyment out of with the Celestron Powerseeker 70AZ beyond finding them.

To some extent this can be improved with a couple of better eyepieces but I personally would probably suggest moving to a nicer telescope such as the previously mentioned Orion Astroview 90mm refractor if you find you outgrow the Celestron Powerseeker 70AZ and still want more.

I was originally a little concerned about the plastic rack and pinion focuser but after using it a few times it has proven to be remarkably smooth and tight, allowing virtually no play but still being easy to use. I think that the light weight of the diagonal and eyepiece along with the relatively small size of the telescope tube allows plastic to work well here whereas it would not in a larger telescope.

Speaking of the diagonal, the Celestron Powerseeker 70AZ comes with one made of plastic and a little unusual. Where most diagonals are angled the one included with the Celestron Powerseeker 70AZ is more of a ball shape with two tubes coming out. It also seems to be much more enclosed than a standard diagonal which should help keep dust, dirt and dew out of it over time.

I am not really a fan of the finder but it serves it’s purpose fairly well. Like all finders, be sure you set it up during the day using a far away object such as the top of a telephone pole, water tower antenna, etc. Once it is adjusted it is acceptable. Of course, no telescope in this price range has a good finder because that would take money away from making the actual telescope better and we do not want that. You can do without a finder, but a terrible quality main telescope will just make the whole thing a waste of money, and the Celestron Powerseeker 70AZ is certainly not a waste.

Final thoughts

You will be hard pressed to find a better first telescope for a beginning astronomer. I really like to recommend the Celestron Powerseeker 70AZ because it is inexpensive, light weight, breaks down and stores small, requires no maintenance and provides more than adequate views of the most popular objects in the night sky.


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Looking for a portable telescope for $ 400-500

Anything on a tripod will take up nearly as much floor/car space as a Dob and take longer to set up and transport.

#3 sg6

Ignoring the scope what do you wan tthe mount to do?

Manual but comfortably hande whatever scope - say Vixen portamount type.

Or a goto that would need a battery - thinking Az GTi and a 12v lithium here.

Oddly you can change the scope easily, buy an inexpensive 80mm achro and later buy a better 80mm ed or up to say a 102mm.

#4 astroaboodM42

Would've a tripod based mount allow me to interchange scopes in the future and be more versatile. I think a Dobsonian is a great scope, don't get me wrong, but for me, I think a tripod based system is more modular.

#5 astroaboodM42

I'm thinking of a manual system like the twilight 1, but feel free to recommend either.

#6 Augustus

Would've a tripod based mount allow me to interchange scopes in the future and be more versatile. I think a Dobsonian is a great scope, don't get me wrong, but for me, I think a tripod based system is more modular.

Not sure why that'd matter when a Dobsonian will blow away pretty much anything you can put on a tripod in your price range.

The only thing I'd really recommend instead of a Dob for under $500 would be a used C8.

#7 MellonLake

What type of viewing do you want to do and do you have access to dark skies? Are you looking to view faint galaxies and nebula from dark skies or general viewing from light pollution?

#8 astroaboodM42

I'm in a Bortle 7-8 zone so mostly moon and planets with the aperture for brighter nebulae and galaxies. Im within an hour of a Bortle 4 zone but that's not where I usually observe.

#9 wrnchhead

I would back Augustus’ recommendation on the C8. Had a great time with mine Friday night. Mine was EQ mounted but on a fork (and thusly a tripod) would be super convenient.

Considerations are the field of view is undeniably small. It’s better with a 6.3 reducer, but that does stack $100 on the price. A dew shield is also a necessity. I have never done planetary with an unobstructed scope unfortunately so maybe a 102 or 127 refractor would be more flexible/capable.

#10 astroaboodM42

Thx for the recommendation, Augustus too. I'll check it out. Regarding the refractor, I saw an ES firstlight 102 on a twilight 1 for 450, was thinking it was a good option. Also, do you recommend any sites for used gear as I live in the Middle East and want a reliable site.

#11 Augustus

Thx for the recommendation, Augustus too. I'll check it out. Regarding the refractor, I saw an ES firstlight 102 on a twilight 1 for 450, was thinking it was a good option. Also, do you recommend any sites for used gear as I live in the Middle East and want a reliable site.

The ES FirstLight 102 is good but the finderscope and eyepiece that are included are pure abominations.

#12 sg6

I was looking at the ES Firstlight, the 102/600 is a bit too short and you will get chromatic aberration on objects - I know I have one.

The 102/1000 may be too long, I have a Tal 100 RS and it is in effect 100mm and 1000mm focal length. It needs space to store. Also a Twilight may not be up to holding the length and weight.

Middle East means that the source is not obvious for what is best. Could you add the coubtry to your profile information. Going to be useful.

Wonder what TS and Altair have. Although unsure of Altair, strange company.

#13 astroaboodM42

Alrighty, I'll be sure to budget in a Telrad or RACI and maybe a zoom eyepiece.

#14 MellonLake

I don't think you are going to get a decently sized new SCT or MCT in you price range. Like above, I also think a used 8" SCT would be the way to go (you will need dew management for this telescope if there is humidity where you live). If you can't find a used SCT then I would suggest the Dob as well.

#15 Augustus

Alrighty, I'll be sure to budget in a Telrad or RACI and maybe a zoom eyepiece.

Zooms are horrible, avoid them like the plague. Narrow field and fuzzy images

#16 jeffreym

Ignoring the scope what do you wan tthe mount to do?

Manual but comfortably hande whatever scope - say Vixen portamount type.

Or a goto that would need a battery - thinking Az GTi and a 12v lithium here.

Oddly you can change the scope easily, buy an inexpensive 80mm achro and later buy a better 80mm ed or up to say a 102mm.

Along these lines, if a dob is off the table, for your price range try these:

Sky-Watcher StarTravel 102mm AZ3 Refractor

Sky-Watcher StarTravel 102 AZ-GTe Refractor

At f/5, these are wide field scope options.

There are a number of 102mm refractors in the f/5.9 to f/7 FL that would ride on the mounts referenced above that you could find here on CN for $150 to $500 depending on the quality. Any of these would make a nice step up from the 50mm.

#17 astroaboodM42

Ok, although some people really recommend them. I'll stick with fixed FL eyepieces then, thank you for the warning.

#18 astroaboodM42

FYI I live in Bahrain, I'll be sure to add it to my profile

#19 ButterFly

You won't get any tripod that will handle upgrades in that price range. Strongly reconsider and 8" dob. They take up less than two square feet of floor space when stored. Go to a star party and actually see one in person.

I use an 80mm scope on a tripod, mostly during the day. At night, it is great for wide fields, but the aperture is the limiting factor for planets (resolution) and nebulae (light gathering). The tripod handles my 120mm refractor fine as well. Both resolution and lilght gathering are still limited compared to an 8' dob. The tripod and video head alone already consume your budget. Refractors get heavy quickly and the mount options increase in price faster. A heavy duty alt/az mount or EQ mount costs hundreds of dollars. Any tripod in your range will not leave much room for upgrades. A good 80mm is a must, but only after many years on a good dob.

SCTs offer a very small field of view. I prefer a regular dob becuase you can get wider fields and higher power per cost than with an SCT.

The Baader zoom is a great eyepiece, by the way. If the view through it looks fuzzy, use the focusing knob.

#20 sg6

I cannot see anything that I would choose for myself.

As said I have the 102/600 and although nice it has limitations. Last year I looked at Saturn and there was too much color in the view to be enjoyable - I did buy the scope for outreach not for myself.

The 102/1000 will be too big I expect. And I cannot see something like a 102/800 on offer from anyone.

There used to be a Celestron Omni 102 XLT that was f/6.6, bit more useful the f/6. But unavailable now.

To me "portable" would be the ES Firstlight 80/640mm scope. Small and on a Nano mount. And half your budget. Which isn't a bad idea. If this is a first scope an 80mm will do you well and if the hobby is not for you the outlay is lessened.

80mm sounds small but an 80mm is a very good all round do most things size. Yes there are bigger. However I tend to find myself using either a 70mm ETX or a 72mm ED.

The ETX is the most portable. One hand will carry the scope+tripod out to the car, other hand has atrolly bag of the accessories and I can literally throw in car, throw me in car and go. The 72ED needs 2 trips out to the car, but is maybe a little easier at the home end, not so at the observing end.

So for portability I will go small(er) and suggest the firstlight 80/640 on the Nano, buy a couple of eyepieces with the remaining money - you need to budget for say 2 eyepieces. Say for that scope a 6mm and a wide one up at 25mm - have assumed 60 degree eyepieces.

One other aspect of the 80/640 is if you stay in the hobby you can buy a Skywatcher Az GTi mount and have a goto system - the 80/640 will just make it nothing bigger then the 80 however. So an advancement to goto, in a step.

The scope will also be good with a solar filter for the sun and you could go to a Herschel Wedge again for the sun.


How To Make 80mm Telescope Best for Planetary Viewing

What is the best equipments can be used to make Powerseeker 80mm work as best for planetary observation? I don’t know what collimation is, and don’t know the eye piece which is 90 degrees mirror. How would I make it work most effective?

#2 photoracer18

Which Powerseeker 80? Long or short telescope tube? EQ or AZ mount? All these things figure in to the equation.

#3 MalVeauX

What is the best equipments can be used to make Powerseeker 80mm work as best for planetary observation? I don’t know what collimation is, and don’t know the eye piece which is 90 degrees mirror. How would I make it work most effective?

Go through the rituals and sacrifices necessary to conjure up good seeing.

Then, point your scope at your subject, start with a long eyepiece (low power), center up, and slowly push magnification through medium to high power until you cannot see new details resolved and you'll have met the limits of your aperture and seeing for resolution.

#4 vtornado

In my experience, I have found the a glass prism diagonal will out perform a mirror diagonal for planetary detail IFyour mirror diagonal is of the

generic variety. There are enhanced aluminum, dielectric etc. mirror diagonals that can compete and be better than a glass prism diagonal.

But for the money $30.00 celestron or gso prism diagonal is really good.

Your scope was factory collimated, and unless you get a lemon, or it was really handled roughly during shipment, it should be OK.

You can run a simple star test on your telescope. Point your scope at polaris (not necessary, but it is the most convienent star because it does not move)

Put in a 10mm eyepiece and defocus the star image slightly. If it looks like nice round rings, like a bulls eye, then you are pretty good. If it looks like an oval,

What eyepieces do you have? A 10mm eyepiece is a good one to have for this scope.

Depending upon what eyepieces you have a 2x barlow might be a good way to get more power for this scope. On the planets you can probably push

this scope to 150x, which is a 6mm eyepiece or barlowed equivalent

Do you know how to align your mount so it tracks the stars? If you don't, that will be very helpful to learn how.

I would purposefully bump your scope on the mount in the day time and watch how it vibrates. vibration is bad for planetary viewing, If you see

the tripod shaking, or the mount head shaking, make sure they are reasonably tight. Some folks find adding a small weight to the accessory tray

makes the scope more stable.

First if you can, don't observe where there are houses, or streets between you and the planet you are observing. These can cause heat plumes at night

and make your view blurry. A baseball or soccer field is an excellent place.

Do you observe on concrete or a hard surface? If so you can buy or make some anti vibration pads to put under the feet of your tripod.

You might get a better view if you buy a #8 color wratten filter that screws onto your eyepiec. This will remove a lot of the chromatic abberation from your view. (That is the purple fringe on bright objects). It will turn your view yellow. It is a preference thing.

I think that covers the easy and cheap stuff.

OOPS i did not think about which powerseek you have. The above comments about power and eyepieces refer to a 80mm f/11 powerseeker.

Edited by vtornado, 04 May 2018 - 03:52 PM.

#5 SteveG

What is the best equipments can be used to make Powerseeker 80mm work as best for planetary observation? I don’t know what collimation is, and don’t know the eye piece which is 90 degrees mirror. How would I make it work most effective?

As mentioned, which Powerseeker? there's a huge difference in planetary performance between the f5 and f11 versions (you want the latter).

#6 bobito

I didn't realize there was an f/5 Powerseeker, I hope you have the f/11. I had responded on a prior thread on some questions you had about viewing Jupiter, if you have the f/5 version everything I said previously can be disregarded.

#7 sg6

There is really no way to "make" a scope work, it either will or it will not.

Seems talk of 2 options f/11 or f/5.

Start with the f/5, then a 5mm eyepiece will give 80x. Which is adaquate for Jupiter, 6mm eyepiece would give 66x which again should show Jupiter. At f/5 things are a bit tight so a 4mm may work or may not. If an 80mm ED or apo then I would expect it to but sounds like the one in question is an achro and as said it is a "maybe". However 4mm EP in a 400mm scope is still 100x and likely a little low for Saturn - depends on expectations.

If the f/11 option then again an 11mm eyepice would give 80x, however being f/11 there is a greater chance that an 8mm would work and so deliver 110x. Now 110x may be sufficent to see Saturn and its rings. Will not be big and maybe boarder line but possible. I had a good view at 125x some years ago, never looked again oddly.

Ignore the claims of 160x on either, they are highly unlikely - you may be fortunate but luck will come into it.

Is it the PS 80 that you have or are considering?

If considering then if budget is sensible maybe look at the Bresser 102 f/10 offerings, they are likely to be a better option.

#8 Redbetter

The name and accessories indicated it was the EQ which is the 900mm focal length version. Not sure what the OP has done to upgrade since then. The diagonal was one of the weak links in the original, but there is no guarantee that changing it out would make the view that much better in this particular sample. The problem with a scope like this is that one can change out everything else, only to learn that the objective lens set is the real problem. Someone with experience and various parts on hand can figure this out quickly, but a new observer with their first scope will lack the spare proven parts to evaluate it.

#9 Observer200

F/11 EQ. Today I saw Jupiters bands! For the first time! I am using both plösll 2x barlow and 12mm together.

Which Powerseeker 80? Long or short telescope tube? EQ or AZ mount? All these things figure in to the equation.

Edited by Observer200, 04 May 2018 - 04:38 PM.

#10 Observer200

I needed a new thread before seeing jupiter today, because I saw seeing blurry image until today, I thought something might be wrong or I could make it better with tools, however it was clear and jupiter had risen more upwards this time and was very clear, I could see its bands.

#11 Sketcher

As far as equipment goes -- you're all set with your 80mm f/11 EQ, 12mm eyepiece, and 2x barlow. The rest of the equation involves getting out and obtaining more experience. Take notes. Make sketches. Never assume that you've already seen all that your telescope is capable of showing you -- not on Jupiter, and not on anything else!

#12 Peter Besenbruch

F/11 EQ. Today I saw Jupiters bands! For the first time! I am using both plösll 2x barlow and 12mm together.

Nice. I'm glad it's clicking.

#13 Redbetter

If you now have a reliable Barlow and eyepiece to get you to

150x (and a decent diagonal), you should be able to get the maximum planetary image that the scope has to offer. The rest is up to you as the observer. The more you observe, the better you will become at seeing detail and determining what it takes to get the best image.

It still sounds as if you might still not be observing Jupiter near transit. Resolution improves as it moves higher in the sky. You might want to download something like Stellarium so that you can better time your observations and anticipate things such as the Great Red Spot transiting, shadow transits, etc.

#14 Jon Isaacs

The scope itself is very competent. The mount can be shaky so a sturdier set of tripod lol egs can help. These can be made from wood.

The erect image diagonal is a weak point. The erect image optics have a complicated light path that splits the image and then puts it back together.. not good at high magnifications. A simple star diagonal, either a mirror or a prism will make a significant improvement.

Your 12 mm plus a 2x barlow should be good on good night's. Last night I had my Meade 80 mm F/11 out looking at Jupiter and I happened to be using a 12 mm Plossl plus a 2x Barlow.

#15 Scott Beith

For the planets you already have everything you need. As you gain experience and spend hours observing the planets, you will see a lot more detail. The seeing conditions (stability of the atmosphere) will sometimes limit the detail you can see. Just spend time using your scope and you will be fine.

#16 jhighfield

Get a glass stretcher and stretch it out to at least a 4 inch f/12

#17 Ed D

Conditions rule for planetary and lunar observing. You already have pretty good equipment. Spend as much time as possible observing planets. This way you gain valuable experience, especially observing fine detail and adapting your equipment choices for the conditions. If planets interest you I suggest going to the solar system observing forum. Read whatever discussions seem relevant to your interests. You can gain a wealth of knowledge there.

I'm happy that you were finally able to observe under better conditions, observe more detail, and feel more confident about your equipment. Keep at it and learn how to get the most from what you have, which is pretty decent.

#18 Zapp Brannigan

#19 Jon Isaacs

I am the only one who has experience with the Powerseeker 90 degree Correct Image Diagonal? It is a real weak point and replacing it will improve the views significantly. The wooden legs are also a big help, I built these for $6 in parts and less than an hour's time.

#20 Ed D

What Jon mentioned about the correct image diagonal is worth repeating. Those diagonals are good for daytime observing of scenery, such as ships in a harbor, etc. For astronomy a good quality star diagonal is much preferred, principally because there are less surfaces to degrade the image, both softening and dimming, as well as the line that appears across the field of view. Good star diagonals are available in both mirror and prism, and don't have to cost a fortune.

For planets and the moon in my long focal length achromats I like the Celestron 1.25" Telescope Star Diagonal # 94115-A. It's only $35 shipped to your door and gives nice performance. I have been using one for almost a decade on a regular basis in my Vixen A70Lf. It's one I strongly suggest if the bright planets and Luna are your objects of interest.

I don't have any experience with that particular scope, but weak tripods can really sour up what could otherwise be a nice evening of observing. If you don't have the resources to fabricate your own tripod legs there are plenty of techniques explained online that help, such as adding weight to the tripod.


Watch the video: Venus through my old telescope. Celestron Powerseeker 50 Az (February 2023).