View Full Version here: : How do things look through a scope? See these sketches
17-02-2012, 01:32 PM
There are many articles and threads that describe what and how things will appear through different telescopes. While many have fine descriptions, unless you actually understand what is being described, it can make for confusion.
"A picture tells a thousand words"
Alas, the many beautiful photographs we salivate over are not a true indication of how things actually appear through a telescope. Our human eyes operate very differently from cameras and clever computer software.
There is a thread here on IIS that is dedicated to sketching. Not only is it to showcase the talents of fellow IIS members, but it gives a fantastic synopsis of how things ACTUALLY APPEAR through many different sized scopes.
This link to Solar System & DSO sketches (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=73111) has sketches done naked eye & from 4.5" through to 17.5" telescopes. Refractors, reflectors and Schmidt Cassegrains are represented. Comets, planets, open clusters, globular clusters, nebulae, galaxies are all there. Dark sky sites and from urban areas too (yes, you can still see a lot from the big smoke).
Also, have a look through the Observational and Visual Astronomy forum (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=8). There are many, many more sketches dotted throughout the threads. All of these will give further indication of what and how things actually appear through telescopes. As a fabulous example, Rob_K has started a thread on how tiny Mars actually is through a telescope (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=86813).
A related thread is Sketch the Moon Night (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=67296). While the Moon can be overlooked as a target, it offers so much detail to the keen eye. The good thing about it is size of the scope is not as critical, & you don't need to look at it with all the lights turned off, :).
Hopefully we'll see contributions from you in the near future too.
17-02-2012, 05:03 PM
I agree, as I've witnessed last week when my family friend came over and was disappointed by what he saw of Sirius, Jupiter and M42. He had a look at Jupiter first and was expecting a Hollywood type image with 1024 x 768 HD resolution. When he actually saw the planet, he was really disappointed by what he saw even though the seeing was reasonably good. Next came Sirius, this time he expected to see it like the sun with a H Alpha filter. Again he was disappointed by the view, even though to me, it is one of the most beautiful stars to observe:astron:. last but not least came Orion. This time it filled up most of the FOV, but, again he was expecting Hubble like images.
Sketching what you see in the eyepiece would be the most accurate way of showing someone how objects actually appear in a telescope. If he had seen a sketch of these objects, it would have saved me the labor of setting up the scope :lol:
17-02-2012, 06:39 PM
ibrahim....... has your friend got a pulse?
17-02-2012, 09:09 PM
RE Ibrahim-I love what i see through my modest 76mm celestron.... i guess there is just no pleasing some people:shrug:
19-02-2012, 10:26 AM
Ibrahim, a symptom of unrealistic expectations created by all those pretty photos sadly.
Seeing through a scope is a very different experience. But rushing is our worst enemy. I'm sure your friend didn't take his time at the eyepiece either. The details on Jupiter would have been there, & the 3D effect of the "Fish Mouth" in M42 (that you don't get in photos) too would have been missed.
Take your time at the eyepiece. None of the sketches you'll see have come about from "smash & grab". The finest, dimmest details come from teaching our eyes to look 'indirectly' at the object! It is a technique called averted vision, and it takes an instant to learn & 10minutes to master.
Have a look at this thread on Honing Your Observing Skills (http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=80946). There is a wealth of information given by some extremely experienced observers. You'll know how our very human eyes work & then how averted vision works by exploiting our eyes physiology. Plus many, many more tips and techniques. It is good to read all this stuff too as it will help in making the more informed decision when you purchase your first scope or your tenth.
The beauty of that thread too is if you don't understand something, need help in spotting some object, help with technique or gear for observing, or any other question, that thread is a very, very good place to ask.
19-02-2012, 11:12 AM
yeah, this guy was being a bit unrealistic, but I explained to him that the light coming from distant objects must pass through the earth's polluted atmosphere. I like to take my time with DSO's, while he had a 5 second look and turned away. I understand averted vision as I literally had an exam on it during biology last week:lol:.
19-02-2012, 11:32 AM
I think. You may have shown him the wrong subjects. I'll explain my thoughts.
Sirius while impress to the astronomically minded, is just a bright star to everyone else. They won't know its a binary star system with a really faint companion that difficult to see and makes the hunt worth while.
Jupiter. Well even I don't find Jupiter to be THAT impressive generally. But, I blame atmospheric conditions. My 67 year old Mother and Father on the other hand will alwayss leave the comfort of our house to take a look at it. But, because they know what it is and how far away it is they are not disappointed by any view in any of my telescopes of Jupiter.
M42 is a bright nebula. The reason why we appreciate it is because we know how much fainter, pretty much every other nebula is. So we appreciate how much detail we can see. But, someone who does not understand probably wont appreciate what a marvel it is.
Objects that I find that always get a WOW and impresses, even me, without fail are open star clusters, globular clusters and similarly bright binary star systems. OK Globular's are difficult to see from the city. But, open star clusters and binary stars are easy. Another thing with regards to these objects. They looks fairly similar to the pictures.
19-02-2012, 03:13 PM
next time he comes over, it'll be alpha centauri, omega centauri and NGC 3532. NGC 3532 is really impressive. I never get tired of observing this massive cluster.
22-02-2012, 11:55 AM
There is another thing you can do, if you don't have a scope &/or are considering getting one, get to a Star Party! Star Parties are a fantastic way to get to see many different types of telescopes, how they work, their ease of setting up, accessories, even what you get for your money. Folks at these nocturnal gatherings will be only too happy to have you look through their gear.
There are many astronomy clubs scatter throughout the country. There is a list of clubs in the "Our Community" heading in the left margin. You can contact them to see when their next session will be.
There are also many Star Parties listed in the "Star Parties & Community Events" forum. This week end will see many gatherings happening due to the New Moon phase.
Have a look!
This is exactly why when showing someone stuff at the telescope, we should be saying to them something like this....
"These are called faint fuzzies for a reason, just think that light took 30 million years (or whatever) to get here, there was no life on the planet then. What we can manage to see out of this will be most amazing. Now take a good hard look and see what you can make out."
The above in my opinion will get them more excited and they will feel more rewarded.
Now, as for planets, I have no tolerance for people at the scope that can't appreciate Jupiter or Saturn. Tell me you don't see anything and you'll either get abused if you're bigger than I (more likely as I'm a featherweight) or get a fat lip. :mad2: Aged people excused. Esp. if you're an aged person that doesn't know we reside in the Milky Way galaxy (yes that's you Mum) :rolleyes:
22-02-2012, 04:07 PM
I know exactly what you mean Suzy, but it really isn't for everyone.
I still get people look through one of my scopes and say "ho hum".
It just doesn't fascinate all people. Just the same as their hobbies don't interest all of us, yet they are Zealous about it.
Many of my friends have hobbies that bore the Poo out of me. But it's their thing, and I leave them to it :P
22-02-2012, 04:15 PM
Bring on the astro rage :astron: :question: :screwy: :mad2: :fight: :thumbsup:
Luckily the majority of people at public viewing nights do appreciate what they are looking at.
Recently I was at Mt Coot-tha and a group of mildly drunk youth were more interested in using my scope to look at the Southbank Wheel than the night sky. It did not seem to matter that the view was upside down. :sadeyes:
22-02-2012, 04:47 PM
Iv'e had a few people who were more interested in looking at passing planes than anything astronomical:shrug:.
I'm glad I happened to look at this post. Now I know where to look for sketches on IIS. Thanks.
25-02-2012, 09:43 PM
Hi, I've got a pic of my brother's first sketch of the Orion nebula. It is his first ever sketch as he intends to better his skills and fill up the sketch book. Feel free to leave comments that I can pass on to him:thumbsup:
05-04-2013, 07:42 AM
I thought I'd revive this thread. It's been a while since a post was made in it, and it's been lost from the current thread listing in this forum.
The links in this thread are still active and current though. Many new sketches have been uploaded to the sketching stickies since the last post in this thread, and the information provided in these stickies is aways relvant. The links are in Post No. 1 of this thread.
If you are trying to decide upon what size scope to get, having a good idea of what different sizes are capable of is a good start. Not so much for astro photography as the cameras and software can pretty much overcome aperture issues, but for visual applications, aperture is everything.
Below I've added a couple of my more recent sketches as a teaser for what the stickies show. They are both of the nebula M42, following on from Vegeta's contribution. Both were done from my home in Sydney. The first was done using my 8" dob at 62X, the second my 17.5" dob at 154X, both using the same eyepiece. The third sketch was done a couple of years ago using my 2" refractor at 19X. It's a good indicator of the difference that aperture makes to what one can see.
05-04-2013, 10:08 AM
Very nice sketches guys, sadly for me i have trouble drawing a straight line so nice to see what people can do.
05-04-2013, 10:12 AM
Luckily, sketching involves almost no straight lines!!
As much as I enjoy some of the sketches I don't find them practical as a guide. The FOV Simulator gives a much more accurate idea of how things will look through a scope, especially the "disappointing" size of planets which first timers often get. It's also a great guide for comparing upgrade options and what to expect in regard to magnification.
05-04-2013, 01:19 PM
Sil, that site is fine if you are imaging, not if you are looking through a scope and expecting to see a "Hubble" like image through the eyepiece.
I think you've missed the point of this thread. The sketches that are posted by me or others don't always show a scale - the sketcher isn't always interested in the scale, but more interested in as an accurate representation of what they see. For me, scale is more of a hinderance than an asset, so I rarely use a "scale" or draw a FOV circle, but the sketches I produce are as visually as accrate as I can make them.
Another reason why scale can be irrelivant is with the very thing you mention - planets. I'll be the first to acknowledge the small size of the planets through a scope. But if that is all you are interested in, then visually you underestimate the accutity of your eyes.
This thread, and the sketching stickies, are not an exercise in imaging as there is no comparison between the two disciplines. I've not implied that either. What I've always maintained is that the sketches are a direct representation of what a keen eye can see through the eyepiece. I could draw the same analogy that imaging is a misrepresentation of objects in the sky, as they show colour, extensions, faintness of detail, etc, that we cannot see through the scope - even scale is misleading as the final presented image is cropped. I don't as imaging is its own niche. Please don't confuse the two.
06-04-2013, 01:51 PM
Heres the moon i sketched with a joint venture of NASA and the use of the Hubble telescope, the detail i have captured lets you see what to expect with NASA's vast budget this year :rofl:
06-04-2013, 01:57 PM
06-04-2013, 02:04 PM
Very cool sketches. I admire the skills involved in doing this kind of work. Especially drawing in the dark with a red light. Looking at the pictures though it's always a interpretation of what's at the eyepiece on the night. The three renditions of M42 are different. Two different people will see different things. Different seeing/transparency conditions will also dictate what you can see. I like CCD imaging because it shows colors and true shapes. I don't think imaging is to blame for people expectations at the eye piece but clever marketing on telescope packaging showing color pictures of galaxies.
06-04-2013, 04:57 PM
Alexander, those sketches are amazing!!! You have a gift there :thumbsup:
06-04-2013, 05:38 PM
You are very talented, Alex. Just as it looks through the eyepiece!:thumbsup:
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