100mm Maksutov vs 127mm, twice as good?

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Re: 100mm Maksutov vs 127mm, twice as good?

Postby The Man with the Corrugated Iron Roof » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:09 pm

I have a Skywatcher 127Mak and love it! It can be used for deep sky and a 32mm eyepiece and focal reducer makes a huge difference. It's great for planets, the Moon and Sun. Ideally, I would like a motor drive, as I often do webcamming sessions.

As for the planets, Mars will be at opposition in July and Venus will creep into the evening sky sometime soon.
How can I be one with the universe when we don't know what 96% of it is.

My website: http://www.philippughastronomer.com/

My blog: http://sungazer127mak.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/november-2015.html
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Re: 100mm Maksutov vs 127mm, twice as good?

Postby Aratus » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:25 pm

All the outer planets will be there, but from the UK they will all make a dismal appearance.

Jupiter will enter the evening sky in April, but will get no higher than about 20 degrees.
Saturn makes an entry about a month later, but no higher than 15 degrees.
Mars will be a fine bright object in August. Through the telescope it will be a relatively big object, but at only 11 degrees above the horizon, I wouldn't expect to see much detail.

Neither Mercury or Venus have favourable solar angles this year, but they could be worse.

Mars will be much better placed in 2020. Jupiter will climb out the murk by 2022. We will have to wait until 2025 for Saturn's disc to show its usual fine detail. Unfortunately by then its rings will be edge on. (or 'fortunately' if that is something you are looking forward to see!)

All in all, 2018 isn't a great time for good planetary viewing.
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
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Re: 100mm Maksutov vs 127mm, twice as good?

Postby Gfamily2 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:55 am

With the OP in Germany, the planets may be slightly higher, but it it's true that planets at opposition during the summer are going to be low in the sky for us in N Europe.
However, for the OP, it's always the case that driving south 110km adds 1 degree to the altitude of these things, and the the 127 Mak is a very compact design of scope, so can easily be taken on holiday, by car at least.
Because of the orbital periods of the planets, although Jupiter's opposition advances by about a month each year; Saturn's and Mars's take much longer to change from 'bad' summer ones to 'good' winter ones.
Scopes: Meade 8" SCT, Skywatcher 127mm Mak
For imaging: Pentax K5, Asda webcam, Star Adventurer (new toy)
For companionship: Mid Cheshire Astronomical Group.
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Re: 100mm Maksutov vs 127mm, twice as good?

Postby Aratus » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:41 pm

I'd like to think that a degree or two would make a difference, but I can't say it would be sufficient to change my description of 'poor' to anything else. :)

Actually, it is always worth giving it a try even if the altitude is low. Just occasionally weird things happen in the atmosphere and the seeing can improve dramatically. A couple of years ago with Mars only 16 degrees above the horizon, I got the best view of it I've ever had - for about an hour! The rest of the apparition was hopeless. Here is a photo of Mars a few weeks apart but at the same altitude. You must take it from me that the one on the left was perfectly focused just as the one on the right was. The only difference was the seeing conditions.
Image

In the southern hemisphere, of course, the opposite is true, and they are going to have a brilliant year! Don't worry, our time will come! :D
I use an 11" Celestron SCT (CPC 1100) on an equatorial wedge, housed in a 2.2m Pulsar observatory. I use a ZWO ASI1600MC and Canon 500D for imaging.
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