Realistic Telescope Expectations?

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cyberwoolf

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Hi all!<br /><br />I just recieved an Orion Spaceprobe 3 EQ for free (woo hoo!). It came with a 25mm and a 10mm lens. Now, according to the telescope.com site, this is what I can expect to see...<br />-----<br />The 3"-diameter primary mirror gathers enough light to reveal the faint glows of many star clusters and nebulas, as well as Saturn's rings, Jupiter's moons, and the stark, cratered terrain of the Moon.<br /><br />The aluminum Newtonian optical tube features a 1.25" rack-and-pinion focuser and two Explorer II eyepieces - a 25mm (28x) and a 10mm (70x). The included EZ Finder II finder scope helps you locate objects with ease.<br />----<br /><br />I am very skeptical that I will be able to see something like a nebula or saturns rings. <br /><br />What should I really expect to see? And what kind of detail? I pretty much expect just to see star clusters and different colored round blobs! :-D<br /><br />I used to be into astronomy about 10 years ago and now I feel all new and rusty!<br /><br />And how much would it cost to build a decent but nice telescope? <br /><br />Thank you so much for being patient!
 
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steviep187

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You will be able to see Saturn and it's rings, but they will look like a one-piece solid white disc. The hard part is making sure you are looking in the right part of the sky. If you know you are locked on to the right coordinates then you can relax your eye and let the light fall on different parts of your eye. For instance if you kind of look off to side looking out of the corner of your eye, the light will reflect off your cornia better, reveling more detail and color. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="6" color="#0000ff"><strong><em><br /><img id="7841257c-c435-495d-9b40-a4a2ae809e40" src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/8/11/7841257c-c435-495d-9b40-a4a2ae809e40.Large.jpg" alt="blog post photo" /><br /></em></strong></font></p> </div>
 
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CalliArcale

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I have an Orion Spaceprobe 130ST. A big bigger than yours, but not much. You will definitely be able to see Jupiter's four largest moons; these are actually visible in binoculars. Some nebulae will definitely be visible -- heck, the most prominent one for Northern Hemisphere viewers (the Orion Nebula) is visible to the naked eye even in moderately light-polluted skies. It looks better through a telescope. Your 'scope will be useful for large targets such as the Andromeda Galaxy, although you can see things like that best using astrophotography techniques (i.e. long exposure times). You will see the disk of Jupiter, but not its banded cloud decks. You will see Saturn's rings, but they'll be very tiny and you'll have to look carefully. Remember, Galileo observed the rings, and his telescope was definitely inferior to yours. But the best target will be the Moon. It will look stunning in your telescope. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> Make a point of observing the Moon when it is half or less; the closer you look to its night-day terminator, the more contrast you'll see. If you feel inclined to make a significant investment, you can get a solar filter for the end of your telescope to look at the sun. If you want a target with a lot of light, that's it. However, you may be disappointed at the lack of detail. Serious solar observing pretty much requires a significant filter investment, and of course the size of your telescope will limit the resolution you can acheive when observing sunspots. I find my 130mm 'scope to be just about tolerable, so I'd advise holding off on that investment until you get a bigger 'scope. (Most filters can be exchanged between telescopes, but the solar filter, which goes over the apeture and not the eyepiece, has to be made for the particular diameter of the telescope.) You should be able to split a few double stars as well, but I'm not sure which ones. I can just about split Albireo with my largest eyepiece (the 25mm), s <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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