Super Plossl Telescope

Beginner Astronomer with a new telescope!?

Hi every1, i received a Donsonian Sykwatcher telescope for my birthday yesterday the 200mm/1200mm with 2 lenses both super plossl one is 25mm and the other 10mm I had my first look 2nite and i found the moon using the 25mm and looked great! but finding other things was very disappointing, are these lenses too weak to see anything more then the moon and distant stars??? BTW i am in South Australia, ive looked at a star map for the month in the southern hemisphere and i should be able to see Mercury, Venus and Mars. But should i buy different lenses and a barlow lens to enchance my veiwing???? Thanks 🙂

Congratulations Paulina on your new telescope. You will find that an 8-inch will show a lot, especially from a dark site. There are many nebulae, galaxies and star clusters that are easy objects for it, especially from a dark site.

The eyepieces that came with your telescope would work fine on the planets, but be aware Mercury, Venus and Mars are low in the western sky after sunset. Mercury is barely 40 percent larger than the Moon, and Mars is almost 200 million miles away from us on the opposite side of the Sun from us. The same is true for Venus. It's not your telescope, the planets are not in a favorable position to observe, and Mercury and Venus are almost but not quite featureless in amateur telescopes. Mercury is too far away and too low to the horizon at night for surface features to be visible, and the faint features that can be seen on Venus are merely weather systems in it's suffocating inferno that passes for an atmosphere. I would instead focus in Jupiter, using the 10mm eyepiece to start. After the telescope cools down to the ambient temperature, a 2X Barlow or a 7 or 6mm eyepiece will show a lot of detail in the planets turbulent atmosphere. Uranus and Neptune will always look like a greenish or bluish pea in the telescope, even in a very large one. Saturn is out of sight right now, but in a month or two, you can wake up early and catch it before dawn.

The main things you can look at right now are the hordes of star clusters and nebulae that are concentrated in and along the Milky Way. I suggest you try Omega Centauri, 47 Tucanae and the Eta Carine Nebula, in spite of the moon right now. Then look again when the moon is absent.

Now that you own a telescope, I would seek out a local club. There you can try all sorts of accessories before buying them. They will also help you find a dark site so you can observe fainter objects than you could from home, if that if you live in an urban or suburban area. At a club, you will also meet like minded folks who are beginners like yourself, or veterans sky watchers who can be of great help when you have a problem.

You will need a chair or stool, a star atlas, and a red filtered flashlight right now. A narrow band nebula filter and a case to store your accessories in is highly recommended. Light pollution is a real problem, and a narrow band nebula filter offers a partial solution. I would buy those first, then possibly a 2X or 2.5X Barlow in that order. Buy a good one, a cheap one will take a severe toll upon the view.

As for eyepieces, there are many, many good choices out there, but it comes down to how much you can afford and what your are most interested in. Some eyepieces are better for galaxies and nebulae, others are best for the Moon and planets. Some are downright good all-around performers. Wait a while on buying more until you get your bearings and get some observing under your belt. Then you can buy with confidence eyepieces that suit your interests and your budget. For drawings of deep sky objects click on the link below. Many of them can be seen from your location, and will make a fine sight when sky conditions are good.

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