View Full Version here: : I'm useless!
30-12-2011, 01:50 AM
Hey everyone, I've had my 10" Skywatcher dobsonian out tonight for only the second time, I'm using the standard 25mm eyepiece that it came with and to be honset I'm very disappointed with the amount of stuff I'm seeing. I dont expecting to see ufo's flying around or anything, just what Im Seeing has very little difference to what I'm seeing with my naked eyes.. Jupiter was a bit bigger and I was just able to make out different shades of colour, but everything else? Please help as thus is something I have been wanting to indulge in for quiet some time.
Many thanks, mark.
Mark, no one is useless when it comes to starting out in Astronomy, it is a learning curve that we all go through, and things will improve with some practice and help from here especially.
Your 10 inch Dob with a 25mm should give a beautiful view, especially at that magnification, which is not very high.
Some other factors may come into play here, collimation could be out, light pollution, are you in the city, or just plain bad seeing conditions.
I'm no expert, and i'm sure you will get plenty of help from some more experienced here.
Hang in there, it will get better.
30-12-2011, 07:29 AM
I have a 10" Skywatcher Dob and with a 25mm EP your view of jupiter should be about the size of the picture below and the longer you focus your eyes on Jupiter the more detail you will see.
Is the 25mm the only EP you received usually you get 2 or 3 with a new scope.
I agree with Leon you should be able to make out some detail remembering that the longer you look at it the more you will see.
Is the 25mm the only one provided with the scope this would surprise me as usually you get 2 or 3 EP's with a new scope.
And using a barlow lens increases the size of the object you are viewing but increasing the power you use can make the view worse if conditions are not ideal.
Collimation could be and issue to but if it is a new scope it should have been collimated for you before you got it.
You need to get together with a local group of astronomers to help you out in the beginning as you will feel like a fish out of water I know I did and having others to talk to and to see what views look like through their scopes helped heaps.
Anyhow welcome to IIS heaps of helpful people here and I am sure that someone close to you will offer to get you started.:thumbsup::welcome:
Your 10 inch Skywatcher probably has a 1200mm focal length.
The 25mm eyepiece gives a magnification of 1200/25 = 48 or 48X.
This is good for wide field views of star clusters and nebulae but too low for close views of planets.
Try some star clusters (e.g. 47 Tuc or M45 = the Pleiades in Taurus) or the Orion nebula or the Tarantula in the LMC to get an idea of how much better the views are through the scope then say binoculars.
For closer views of planets, you need around a 10mm eyepiece (1200/10 = 120X). For those times when seeing is very good, a 6mm eyepiece would give you 1200/6 = 200X. I would go with a 10mm first.
30-12-2011, 08:41 AM
Hey Warren, that is exactly the same size of the view of Jupiter last night I saw with a 25mm eyepiece, not going with anything more powerful till I get the hang of just finding stuff up there. When I get the hang of pushing my Dob around then I will start experimenting. To Mark, be patient mate, baby steps first till you get the hang of it then start to experiment, otherwise rushing into it will result in disappointment.
30-12-2011, 09:03 AM
I think it would be great if there was a beginners guide with a series of photos that shows how objects look through the eyepiece so people know if what they are seeing is about what they should expect.
A lot of people new to the hobby expect to see something vaguely like the photos they see posted, and are very disappointed as a result.
This video represents about the absolute best viewing of Jupiter I've had through the eyepiece on a 10" scope. It usually isn't this clear.
Often it looks more like this
This is roughly what saturn looks like through the eyepiece with a 8" or 10" scope is average seeing:
For these planets the magnification needs to be anywhere between 120 and 450X (as an example) to see them 'large' in the eyepiece, so you will need a 10mm, 9mm or 8mm (for example) eyepiece to see them like this.
If you get a very clear night then a 6mm eyepiece will give 200X or a 9mm with a 2X barlow will give you 266X
With the 25mm the planets will be tiny.
The moon should look very detailed even with the 25mm.
See if you can find some people in your area, borrow an eyepiece or two, get them to check the collimation and focus etc. of your scope and get a look through some others.
You have a potentially very good scope, find some local enthusiasts to help you get the most out of it, but your expectations my be different to what that scope (or any) can deliver through the eyepiece.
If you are expecting to see colour and more 'hubble-like' images, then perhaps get a look at a mallincam style setup. You can use a small scope like an ED80 on a tracking EQ mount and view images in colour on a small DVD type screen, or on a laptop.
30-12-2011, 10:24 AM
Don't give up Mark
It takes time, equipment, and good seeing.
Lot's of sensible advice from your fellow IIS'ers below
Maybe try and find an astronomy group near you
Also we are blessed by a plethora of amazing space images
from Super Telescopes out there. Real light can be a little underwelming compared to those mega colour images.
As with most things, the more you do, the more you see
Give it some time. And start an observers note book.
You'll be amazed at how you'll learn to see more over time.
The moon is a great beginners object as it is easy to find and has lots of detail.
All the best for your observing future
30-12-2011, 11:09 AM
The 10" when collimated is a beautifull scope combined with high quality eyepieces there are some stunning views.
As said 10mm and under works a treat(only if collimation is smack on)
Dont be afraid of the word collimation everyone will talk about it when you are away from you scope which you lose that info anyways.
Watch someone do it to theres and then get help with others to do yours and you will see how easy the collimation process is.
Out here with no light pollution I have observed the Horeshead visually in it, Averted vision to find it but it was there.
The only reason i sold mine was aperture fever.
Hang in there with it and dont give up, And never call yourself useless.
Remember every one of us here has been in the same boat.
30-12-2011, 12:15 PM
Thanks everyone for your replys. I have no intention in giving up, and im very keen to learn more.
I bought the scope second hand, it looks to be in very good condition and it did come supplyed with both a 10 and 25mm eyepieces. I just took the understanding that a 25mm would be of greater magnification than a 10mm (im very green as i stated!!).
Collimation? I will have to look into this further as i have no idea what this means. I have noticed that the finder doesnt allign up correctly to the view feom the scope, is there anyway i can amend this?
i have only tried the scope in my front garden where there is a few street lamps, though i do like about 45mins from perth so the light pollution is quiet minimal.
30-12-2011, 01:20 PM
I am only new at this myself but as mentioned collimation is a biggy. Before you go and spend any bucks on the fancier collimators make yourself a collimator cap from and old film cannister like this - http://www.tomhole.com/Barlowed%20Laser.htm. It will get you pretty good collimation and will certainly show you if you are out.
BTW, that is just the first site I came across on a quick search so have a look yourself.
30-12-2011, 01:46 PM
Hello again Mark just have a look at this web page its about collimation,
Tell me how you go with it.
Its a start.
30-12-2011, 02:14 PM
Mark welcome, have a look at this site below. You don't need to buy the software as you can get various telescope/eyepiece/object comparisons at the site to at least give some some idea of how scopes, eyepieces, barlows, focal length etc work together.
Collimation is something you will need to come to grips with along with learning about sky conditions and "seeing" particularly when viewing planets. Don't panic about these things though as you will soon come to understand them.
You will get a lot of ongoing great help here on IIS and maybe worth a look up of your local astro club.
It just gets better and better as you learn more about this wonderful hobby, it can take you places you never imagined.
30-12-2011, 05:15 PM
Talking of useless, you should have seen me trying to use my first scope!
Anyway, to align your finder, first take your scope outdoors. NEVER POINT IT AT THE SUN! (Sorry about the capitals but that is important) Best bet is to set it up in the shade.
Then select an identifiable object as far away as possible. I use a TV aerial or chimney pot. Then opo in your long eyepiece (25mm) and see if you can find object and focus on it with the eyepiece in.
Then look through the finder and see if the object is visible. You can then adjust the finder. They usually have two adjusting screws and one spring loaded one. Play with the adjusting screw until the object is centred and Voila!
Then when you take it under the stars, pick a bright star or Jupiter, find it in the finder, then it should be in the main scopes view, if it is off centre, recentre it then adjust the finder again. Once that is done you are set for the night.
I usually adjust each night to be sure.
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