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Old 04-08-2019, 10:26 AM
vader42
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Location: Brisbane
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Observations of a new mak user

Sorry, couldn't help the title - a follow on from my first post. Firstly, a big thanks to those who made suggestions for targets, and also a big thanks to Bigjoe for his double star guide.

Quick introduction - I have used dobs for many years, and entered the mak world a few weeks ago. It was very different. I have quite a a few eyepieces but they were better suited to my fast, much shorter dobs. I quite enjoy using a zoom EP to maximise the image quality, but my cheap zoom was quite poor with the mak (get what you pay for). I was considering the bader and did lots of research on different zooms. After reading about maks and the kindness to simpler eyepieces, I ended up choosing the celestron 8-24 zoom (I can hear the groans in the background). I can tell you it is supurb in the mak. Introduction done....

So, the seeing was reasonably good last night, so I started with my usuals Jupiter and Saturn. OMG (and I rarely say this). Jupiter looked like a textbook at 337x - the full zoom of the celestron. GRS with whorls out the back, waves in the opposite main band, and for the first time ever, I could see bands north and south of the main central bands. There was also detail between the main bands. It was amazing. As a bonus, the moons appeared as spheres, not dots of light. Simply stunning.

Next up Saturn. O...M...G (did I mention I never really say this). There was no cassini division, there were 2 separate rings! The planetary disc had fine banding and the whole image looked 3D as the rings dissapeared behind the planet. Again, simply stunning. After I realised 2 1/2 hours had gone, I decided to try to split antares again (it failed miserably with the old seben clone zoom). Wow. The main star was a perfect diffraction pattern, and the secondary nestled beautiflly between maximas as a stunning blue/cyan orb. Split so easily with the new eyepeice - thanks Bigjoe for the advice. The 4 element zoom probably lets more light in than the 7 element bader, and I don't really care about the FOV. In a slow scope, a simpler lens can perform just as well as the "better" eyepieces.

Anyway, I also tried a few more targets with equally good results until the bitterly cold 10 degree Brisbane night drove me inside.

So thanks again all who offered advice, I took it and am gald I did. The mak is a keeper.
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  #2  
Old 04-08-2019, 05:54 PM
Wavytone
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Location: Killara, Sydney
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Congratulations, and welcome to the club
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Old 16-08-2019, 10:47 AM
vader42
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I thought about starting a new topic, but thought I'd keep the mak loving in one place


I'm still getting used to the big(ish) mak, and it keeps amazing me with the views. Its been a bit cloudy lately, but the skys were clear last night, so I took the skymax out to cool when I got home. Several hours later I went outside to find high level clouds over most of the sky


I had set everything up, so I was damned if I wasn't going to at least have a little look around. Very brief views of Jupiter with surprisingly good views given the smattering of cloud (until it disappeared behind the clouds).


OK. The moon. It was in the clear for a bit, and even though it was full, It was all that was on offer. I put in the 8-24mm zoom and was quite taken aback with the view. In my dobs, a full moon appears quite washed out (low contrast) and gets a bit fuzzy when pushed to high mag. The mak showed wonderful contrast - and was still pin sharp at 337x (8mm on the zoom). Now I have always run with the 2 x aperture rule (1/2mm exit pupil), however I was wondering what values others use. I believe I could easily have broken the 1/2mm barrier judging by the view at 337x. Stars show diffraction patterns at 337x, so the extra mag would be for planets/moon which are quite bright.
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Old 16-08-2019, 11:59 AM
Wavytone
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On moon, planets and double stars you may be surprised how far these scopes can be pushed when seeing allows. 3X per mm or 75X per inch is possible, Iím aware of two scopes for which 2-3X is not uncommon.

The other thing you may notice is that a scope that has sharp tight star images handles average seeing surprisingly well.

Sounds like your scope is a keeper.
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