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16" Dob Magnification

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Posted by David Filipowski on June 15, 2003 01:38:19 UTC

Greetings,

I am writing to respond to your query regarding magnification limits for a 16 inch scope. The rule of thumb about usable mag. per inch of aperture is only a very rough guide. About 300X is the usual maximum that the turbulence in the atmosphere will allow, whether you have a 6 inch Newtonian or a 200 inch in a dome. Only very rarely will you find a night so clear and still that you can push the mag. upwards of 400-500X or more. Many times even going above 200X will result in image degradation.

A 16 inch Dobsonian reflector with a fast F ratio such as f4 or f5 is an excellent scope for finding the "faint fuzzies" out there. It would have ample power to provide very nice views of the planets and stray comet, but if super-sharp planetary views is what you want then a refractor is worth considering.

Enjoy!

Dave

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