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Author Topic: Is this telescope useless except as a toy?  (Read 499 times)

Offline annie123

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Is this telescope useless except as a toy?
« on: 09/10/2016 21:27:25 »
I bought a telescope at a sale - I've never had one before - don't know much about them - it seemed a bargain. I have tried it in the daytime and seem to get an OK image of treetops etc. but when i tried to get the moon at a full/bright time I couldn't get a good image. I know it's further away - duh - but am I too naive re a good image, let alone any stars/planets?
It only came with 2 lenses-9mm and 25mm.
It's Meade model 230 60mm Altazimuth refracting telescope


 

Offline Semaphore

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Re: Is this telescope useless except as a toy?
« Reply #1 on: 09/10/2016 22:03:42 »
I'm no expert but it looks like it retails at about $80?

I bought a Newtonian for around 400 which was good enough to show Jupiter and its moons plus pretty good close-ups of the moon. I can't find the manual, though.
 

Offline RD

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Re: Is this telescope useless except as a toy?
« Reply #2 on: 10/10/2016 07:58:24 »
... 60mm ...

Quote from: ozscopes.com
What can you expect to see with your telescope?

60mm (2.3in) to 70mm (2.8in) aperture or equivalent
With telescopes of this aperture size, you'll be able to see the moon and her craters, as well as some of the bigger planets. Although they won't be able to see them in the greatest of detail, you can easily see things like the rings of Saturn, as well as most nebulae.
http://www.ozscopes.com.au/what-can-you-expect-to-see-with-a-telescope.html

On a 60mm aperture lens, Jupiter looks like this (at best) ...

http://www.cloudynights.com/topic/547405-mayflower-816-d76-f1200/?p=7387177

and its moons will be points of light.

So not as good as the Hubble space telescope ... http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/goddard/hubble-s-planetary-portrait-captures-new-changes-in-jupiter-s-great-red-spot


« Last Edit: 10/10/2016 09:37:47 by RD »
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Is this telescope useless except as a toy?
« Reply #3 on: 10/10/2016 09:47:25 »
Meade is a reputable brand (other reputable brands are available).

You do have to adjust the focus depending on the object you are viewing!!??

Also, the best time to observe the Moon is when it is a half-Moon:
- Not a New Moon: The Moon is too dark to see anything, and the sky glow is too bright soon after sunset
- Nor a Full Moon: the illumination is straight down, and you are viewing straight down, so everything is uniformly bright, and it is hard to make out details
- A Half-Moon is best: The illumination is from the side, and objects near the light/dark boundary cast long shadows, revealing mountains and craters clearly.

The 60mm lens on your telescope collects a bit more light than the 51mm lens on Galileo's telescope - but that didn't stop Galileo turning the intellectual world of his time upside down by seeing craters on the Moon, and seeing 4 of the Moons of Jupiter!

You have some considerable advantages over Galileo:
- Your lenses will be made to far higher precision - Galileo had to grind his own.
- Your lenses will probably have anti-reflective coating, to minimize reflections inside the telescope
- Your lenses are probably designed with different types of glass having differing refractive indices to partially cancel rainbow fringes around stars and planets - an invention that even eluded Isaac Newton (the guy who wrote the textbook on optics).
« Last Edit: 10/10/2016 11:06:59 by evan_au »
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Is this telescope useless except as a toy?
« Reply #4 on: 10/10/2016 11:10:05 »
A few other hints:
- Observe when the object is high in the sky, rather than close to the horizon (when it is low, it must pass through more atmosphere, and is more affected by atmospheric distortion and dust)
- Choose a clear night, with no mist or high cloud.

Galileo had one significant advantage over today's backyard astronomer: the electric light was not developed for centuries after he died. A dark sky is very hard to find, these days.
 

Offline annie123

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Re: Is this telescope useless except as a toy?
« Reply #5 on: 10/10/2016 21:08:56 »
Thanks for all the tips. Yes, I did focus - as I said I got good pictures in daytime of distant things. The tips about best moon views should help. I was getting hte effects described with the full moon - i thought full moon would be best but apparently not. The sky is pretty clear where I live so that's one good thing.


PS.

 Sorry it's not as good as Hubble - I guess one can't expect much for the price. I'm not  in the Kepler class either but I have a couple of years to gear up to JWebb. :)
 

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Re: Is this telescope useless except as a toy?
« Reply #5 on: 10/10/2016 21:08:56 »

 

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