I'm hoping that some of you might be able to help a total novice with a few telescope questions. I have considered buying a good scope for years, but don't know much about them. I recently borrowed a friend's Celeston G5 w/ 25mm eyepiece, so that I would have a baseline understanding, when I would read "has 177% more light gathering power than a # inch scope".
With last month's issue of Sky and Telescope in hand I proceeded outside. In my first attempt on 25 May, I located Jupiter and early the next morning checked out Mars. However, I must admit that I was a little disappointed. The reason for this, was because both planets appeared less than the size of a pencil eraser (with little or no detail) through this scope. In fact, the only reason I knew it was Jupiter was due to its location and because I could just barely see several moons which appeared as bright pin dots in a straight line.
Now I must ask: Is this it? Is there nothing more? Surely, not every amateur has a C14 or a 18 inch dob. I'm not a rich man, but what do I need to get in order to view the planets or deep sky objects with a relative view of 3+ inches or at least filling half the viewing area? Also would someone please explain the relationship of the eyepiece and the size of the scope in layman terms?
Thank you in advance.
Bret "Novice" Raines