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Posted by Bob Sal on July 13, 2001 13:26:43 UTC

Hi Mark;
Higher magnification will alway give you a less sharp and duller image. Also the atmosphere will degrade the image. The planets look best when they are real high in the sky and not looking through so much atmosphere. You have to sit and wait for those "moments of clarity" when the atmosphere settles down for a few seconds here and there. That's when you get your best image. Be patiant, keep watching. Remember nothing will look like the pictures you see. You can see Open Star Clusters, Nebular, Galaxies and all sort of stuff with a 114MM scope. Did you get a beginner book. I recomend Skywatching by David Levy. He gives you maps of all 88 constillations with the best and brightest items pointed out and described for you. He notes what you can see with the naked eye, binoculars, small and large telescopes, very helpful. In a 114MM the entire Messier catalog of 110 items is visible. Those are the items that start with an "M" like the Ring nebula in Lyre M57, or the Andromeda Galay M31 and so on. Again nothing will look like the pictures. Open clusters will look great with lots of stars in a small area. Globular clusters will look kind of like a cotton ball, Galaxies will look like small fuzzy spots. You don't need high magnification for deep sky objects. Of course try the smaller eyepieces if you want, but you'll see, the best image will be with larger eyepieces. You have a pretty good beginner scope and should have lots of fun with it. You can buy some more expensive eyepieces, that will give you a little better quality image but the only real way to get a much better image is to get a much bigger telescope.
Clear Skies.
That's it;
BOB SAL

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