Question about Meade LX200GPS Telescope

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Poor viewing I have a 10" lx200 gps, and I can't see things like detail on mars or jupiter, I can see the rings on saturn, but not the cassini division, When I do the collimation test as described in the manual I see the dark black circle (secondary mirror) and a wide bright bigger circle caused by the star, this light is solid and is the same distance in each direction, not the lines that they show in the manual. any ideas John

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Re: poor viewing

You don't state if the collimation is a plain view through the back plate at the sky, or with an evepiece. The description that you gave suggests that that is a view through the telescope back without an eyepiece. The images in the Meade manual are at high power (200x) on either side of focus. What you want to see is circular rings around a star on either side of the best focus point. If the rings are not concentric, then the collimation is off. Other factors can affect the clairity of the image, such as dirt on the optics (need to be really bad to affect the image), or you may be using a poor quality eyepiece.

Posted on May 22, 2008

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What planets did galileo discover

Galileo's accomplishments did not include any planet discoveries but were significant nonetheless. The 6 planets known in his time had been known since antiquity. With the help of the newly invented telescope however, Galileo discovered the 4 largest moons of Jupiter. That discovery alone was quite extraordinary but it was its ramification that created more problems.

Back in the 17th century, is was essentially Church doctrine that the Earth is at the center of the universe and that everything else - everything - revolved around it. What Galileo found was not only do these moons exist, they revolve around Jupiter, not the Earth. This what ultimately got him exiled in his later life.

One other discovery Galileo had using the telescope was that Saturn had "ears" on each side. Later, as telescopes became larger and could resolve more detail, it was found that the "ears" was actually a ring around the planet.

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Oct 07, 2013 | Cambridge University Press Planets To...

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Cant see anything through the view finder

1. During the day, use the 17mm eyepiece on a object outside (telephone pole, water tower, etc) then align the finder to what you see in the scope.
2. Put in the 7.5mm eyepiece and fine align the red dot finder.
3. At night, point the finder at the moon (less than half moon or the image is too bright without a moon filter) Use the 17mm eyepiece.
4. Once you see the moon, switch to the 7.5mm lens and enjoy.
5. Download Stellarium or any free astronomy software and see what is in your sky tonight. Your scope should be able to see Jupiter and its moons easily.(Saturn, Mars and Venus when the time is right) Open clusters like Pleiades will be nice is this fast scope.
5. If stars are not sharp, you may need to collimate the scope. Look online for general instructions.

Nov 14, 2011 | Telescopes

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I am thinking of buying a Tasco Telescope Model 46-11437 second-hand and am wondering what the original purchase price may have been and what problems I should know about before I buy.

Originally around $150 new. This is a wide field, low power scope. Good for the moon fair to good for planets and fair for deep sky objects (Orion Nebula and some clusters will be fine) Expect to see Jupiter and its moons but unless it is a perfect night, no detail of Jupiter's clouds. Should see the rings of Saturn also.
The scope comes with Tasco eyepieces, which are close to junk but at least they are in 1.25 in format. You can buy better eyepieces and they will work with any upgraded scopes, if you catch the astronomy bug.
The optics are fair, Tasco is not known for good optics. I would study up on collimating your scope, I guarantee you will have to adjust it.

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I have a Meade EXT90. A black dot appears in the middle of every object I view (Jupiter, Mars, etc) with the exception of the moon. Any ideas on waht that might be? Thank you.

The black dot means you are way out of focus.

In an ETX90 Mars will always be a TINY disk, except under extreme magnification.

Jupiter is also a small disk but a little bit bigger.

Next time you try for Jupiter focus on the MOONS until they are tiny points of light like little stars.

Also certain eyepieces have this as an unwanted trait. Try another eyepiece -- start with the one with the largest number written on it which will be your LOWEST magnification.

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I"ve been an amateur astronomer for "over" forty years, started when i was eight. Stars aren't that impressive, most look the same....i spend my telescope time with a cheap $200 21/2 inch "Refractor" and have seen all planets except pluto, i had to use a 41/2 inch refractor just to be able to view Neptune and just barely saw it and yes it was Blue!! Refractors are best for planet viewing. Dont waste your time with viewing Mercury or Venus...not impresive! The best looking (but not in the next few years because of ring alignment) is Saturn...hurry up and you might still get a chance to see the rings a little before they go into what i call hibernation mode, they'll make a straight inclination though the planet which makes for not so impressive most impressive and one i view the most is Jupiter and its for moons Calisto, Ganymede Io, and will always see these in different orbits. But i just use a pair or Celestron Binoculars 15 x 70s..i use them to look at the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Comets, overhead comunication Satilites passing bye..and the most awsome of them all the "Orion nebula" colors are outstanding, and if your real good at knowing your constellations you can locate the Andromeda Galaxy. It'll look like a buffy cotton ball with binoculars..dont view the sky ever with a full makes for poor viewing,but this is where the Reflectors like a 4"Newtonion or lot bigger like at least an eight inch Cassigrain..these telescope are made to view whats called "faint fuzzies", Nebulas, Galaxies, star clusters etc. 40 years ago i cold look up in my local skys and not have to worry about light i go out to the deserts with just my binoculars...they are so convienient. Start to learn the sky with"ll be well worth it! The one Great thing about binocs is that everything you view is right side up as opposed to telecopes upsidedown. To locate planets they will track within 10 degrees in the path that the sun takes. If you look and see some really bright stars that dont twinkle, chances are that it will be Jupiter, Saturn or Venus..but you will only see Venus in the early mornings or late evenings..Mars is a little trickier, sometimes its small and red and every few years it can be as bright as Jupiter when its at it closest to the earth!
type in this link i think above i think you enjoy! later.

Apr 02, 2010 | Galileo (G118DX) Telescope

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What level magnification do I use to see jupiter or saturn in a telescope?

Your 3.5 inch telescope has a maximum magnification of about 170 power.

This is under perfect sky conditions and a perfectly collimated telescope. Galileo used 30 power magnification to see Saturn's rings and the moons of Jupiter!

Put the eyepiece with the largest number written on it into the focuser do not use the 2x barlow if you have one.

Point it at Saturn. You will see the rings. However they are almost slanted directly toward Earth right now. You will only see a thin line going across the planet.

By the end of 2010 they should open up again enough to make out the "ring" shape.

You only need about 50-70 power to view Jupiter or Saturn, or Venus. Mars is smaller and about 100 power to 120 power should permit you to see the disk of the planet (but it's still very small in the eyepiece).

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2 Answers

Not seeing

The city lights will not hamper planetary viewing. Excessive power is a common mis-conception. Use 80x or so for best viewing. That would be about a 4mm eyepiece. Start with lower powers and work upwards in easy steps. The greater the power, the narrower the field of view, and it becomes very hard to find anything at all.

Apr 18, 2009 | Celestron NexStar 130 SLT (306 x 130mm)...

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Not seeing a larger, more detailed image w/ Bushnell 78-8850.

Currently the rings of Saturn are nearly edge on so you won't see any details in them. Shortly the rings will appear edge on and the ring will disappear completely for a few months. Gradually, they will return and angle more towards Earth at which time you will be able to see some of the ring details.

There are many factors that can reduce your ability to see planetary detail. I had my Celestron 200mm out the other night looking at Saturn but saw no details because the atmosphere was too unstable. There are also limits to what a telescope can realistically view.

There is a general rule of thumb that states you can expect to view 50x per inch of aperture. Your telescope has roughly 5" of aperture. 5 times 50 equals a maximum of 250x. However, this is a guideline. On bad nights like I had you'll never reach that 250x since objects will appear blurry or unstable. On good nights, you can exceed this.

You can calculate your telescope power by dividing your telescope focal length by the focal length of the eyepiece ( that 4,9,20mm number).

An excellent object to look at when it comes back in view is Jupiter. It's always interesting and you can see four of it's moons.

Good luck and clear skies.


Mar 30, 2009 | Bushnell North Star 78-8850 Telescope

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Help with my Zhumell filters

These are used to see more details when viewing the planets. Each color will help see a different feature on Jupiter or Saturn for example.

I have an entire set but never use them as they do not do much for the view.

Dec 16, 2007 | Telescopes

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