I am a 9th class student so I'm a beginner at using a telescope, hence please help me.

  1. How many bodies can I see using a 90x telescope?
  2. How will I know when and where I should point a telescope to see planets?
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What do you mean by "bodies"? The magnitude limit of your telescope does not depend on magnification, it depends on the aperture (light-gathering power) of the telescope. $\endgroup$
    – ProfRob
    Aug 23, 2015 at 15:37
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, magnification means almost nothing. It would be much more useful to know what's the aperture of the telescope, and perhaps the type of instrument. Basically, what's the "make and model" of that instrument? Example: "it's an Orion SkyQuest XT8". $\endgroup$ Aug 26, 2015 at 22:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ On spring break, quite a few. $\endgroup$
    – Eubie Drew
    Oct 26, 2015 at 0:59
  • $\begingroup$ to locate the planets.. use Google's Sky map app for Android phone .. $\endgroup$
    – madan
    Aug 2, 2017 at 4:53
  • $\begingroup$ Or just look for bright things along the ecliptic and have a peek at 90DX. $\endgroup$ Sep 23, 2018 at 19:53

2 Answers 2


The key issue for a telescope is not magnification but light gathering capability - which is (crudely) the size of the main aperture. Thus a 90x magification on a very large (wide) telescope would let you see a very large number of things (if you are in an area where the sky is dark), but 90x on a small telescope would let you see a number of interesting things (the Moon, planets, some nebulae and star clusters) but not relatively faint objects.

Small, cheaper, telescopes are still worth buying if you want to dabble, seeing the Moon through a telescope is always amazing and a small telescope can show lots, for instance.

Also, for a small telescope don't go for big magnifications - 90x would be fine for a low cost 50mm refractor for instance.

As for where the planets are - Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn are generally easy to spot if you look up their positions online and know your way round the constellations. Because the planets are not, as stars effectively are, points at infinite distance, but small disks they (on most nights) do not twinkle as the stars do.

  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, 90x is actually pretty close to the limit for a 50mm refractor; if it's low-cost it's quite possible it wouldn't work very well much above 50...60x or so, depending on a number of factors. $\endgroup$ Oct 26, 2015 at 19:16
  • $\begingroup$ Wouldn't location also play a large part of what bodies can be seen? I can't imagine using any kind of telescope on the Strip in Vegas would be very useful compared to that same telescope on a high mountain in the remote Nevada desert. $\endgroup$
    – iMerchant
    Jun 12, 2017 at 4:47

https://in-the-sky.org will help you spot what planets are visible from your location with direction and time. I could see Jupiter, Saturn using the naked eyes as bright spots.

90x magnification should be just fine for Jupiter and Saturn - you'd see the disc of Jupiter clearly with the four Galilean satellites and Saturn's rings

  • $\begingroup$ 90x magnification should be just fine for Jupiter and Saturn - you'd see the disc of Jupiter clearly with the four Galilean satellites and Saturn's rings. $\endgroup$
    – MartinV
    Aug 5, 2017 at 4:37

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