What's the smallest 'scope that will show Jupiter's moons?

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What's the smallest 'scope that will show Jupiter's moons?

Postby Supercooper » Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:15 am

One of my guides concerns the startling revelation by some companies that their telescopes will allow you to see Jupiter's moons.

To a beginner this sounds astounding and they might clamour to buy such a mighty telescope. The truth is, as we all know, Jupiter's moons were the second thing discovered after the craters of the Moon. The simplest of telescopes uncovered these little worlds on the first viewing! Galileo's second telescope had a main objective lens diameter of only 20mm and magnified something like six times.


I have to tell you that in certain conditions, when the moons are as far from the planet disc as they can get, and by using a distant building to block off the bright glare of Jupiter, you can see the Galilean moons without a telescope with the unaided eye - Tricky, but can be done!

Now, I ask you, where's the wonder of seeing Jupiter's moons in a 100mm Newtonian?

This thought got me thinking about what the smallest and cheapest telescope I could buy that would still allow me to observe the Galilean moons. So I searched the internet, and found a company in China, selling 10x25mm Achromatic Refractor Telescopes for 1p (+postage £2.73). And I bought one... (See pic).

It arrived today, Feb 23, 2016, and despite the proximity of the full Moon to Jupiter, I spotted three of its moons no problem at 22:50 - My first look through my one penny telescope!

So, please forgive me if I don't stand in awe of some company that produces 120mm spherical mirror Newtonians in which you can see Jupiter's moons! :O)

For my full Guide on this subject:
Google "What size telescope will I need to see Jupiter's Moons? Supercooper"
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Re: What's the smallest 'scope that will show Jupiter's moon

Postby Aratus » Sun Mar 06, 2016 10:45 pm

I guess the manufactureres of telescopes have to sell them by explaining what can be done with them. I do admit that 'seeing the moons of Jupiter' is a bit of a weak claim though. :)

I had to search for this one, but it is a good laugh.

Image
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: What's the smallest 'scope that will show Jupiter's moon

Postby Supercooper » Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:56 am

I like the 'See 100 Billion Miles!' claim... That's not as far as the nearest star (Ex Sun).

I wonder what the reflective lenses are all about! ???

And the description of the focuser as 'Full focusing rotary control of both primary and secondary body cylinders'... I always advise people, if it sounds like waffle...Walk away!

Great fun - Except for those who were gulled by this drivel, I suppose!

Cheers, Barry
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Using fab Helios f8 150mm Achromatic Refractor on SkyWatcher EQ5 - enjoing the views!
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Re: What's the smallest 'scope that will show Jupiter's moon

Postby Aratus » Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:53 pm

It's all waffle of course, which is what makes it so amusing - on one level anyway.

I'd love to see someone follow any 'flaming meteors' through any telescope. :D I've yet to see a 'comet streaking through the heavens'! Even the quickest comet is rather sedentary and poses no difficulty for anyone keeping up with it :lol: As for the 'colliding asteroids', where did they get that from? :? An episode of a 1960s TV space opera perhaps. :D

Of course, as we all know, we want lenses which don't reflect light. The reflective lens would be a disadvantage rather than a feature to boast about.

It rather makes the claim of 'seeing Jupiters moons' seem almost sensible in comparison! ;)
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: What's the smallest 'scope that will show Jupiter's moon

Postby The Man with the Corrugated Iron Roof » Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:57 pm

A young neighbour spotted Ganymede with the unaided eye. I've seen all 4 in 50mm bins, first time from Japan. I often catch them with a 300mm lens and DSLR.
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Re: What's the smallest 'scope that will show Jupiter's moon

Postby david48 » Mon Oct 10, 2016 10:12 pm

I've seen them in a pair of Russian 6X24 glasses. From Brighton, in East Sussex, England.
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