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My name is John, I am new here and now that I am retired I decided to get myself my first ever telescope, why I never got one before I have no idea...probably too busy.

So I thought I would try and get some pics last night from a cloudy Ross on Wye, Herefordshire. England. UK. Using my mobile as mentioned in the manual.

I appreciate they are not like the amazing ones here but it is my first try. I take it the large black disc is probably a reflection of the mirror? If not can you please tell me what it is. Why does this happen?

I would like to get a different eyepiece other than the 10mm and 25mm I would like a zoom can anyone suggest a reasonable one?

Anyway here are my attempts. Thanks

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ You must find the focus first. Planetary imaging is "lucky imaging", alot of sites explain it. Consider shooting focal (not through an eyepiece) and trying something more rewarding like a star cluster, Andromeda galaxy or the moon. My first scope ended up as a guide scope (difficult with a Mak) ;-) imgur.com/q36ijOD $\endgroup$ – user34599 Aug 4 at 8:14
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    $\begingroup$ The first three images show a totally out-of-focus image. What you see is the aperture of your telescope and the central obstruction by the secondary mirror. The last one is most-likely Jupiter with some of its moons with a slight motion blur and Jupiter over-exposed $\endgroup$ – planetmaker Aug 4 at 8:28
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    $\begingroup$ Hi and welcome ! We try to make posts with a single question in them, to make sure that all the questions get answered. Here, you are asking two different questions (what the large black disc is, and what eyepiece to choose). $\endgroup$ – usernumber Aug 4 at 11:46
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Congratulations on your purchase. The first pictures dont' show anything much. Just a out-of-focus blur.

The last one shows Jupiter and three of its moons. I've overlaid the image onto a simulated image from stellarium (at about 10pm BST, the moons move pretty quick so you need an exact time!):

enter image description here

You can clearly see which moon is which, and why Europa is invisible (it's in line with Jupiter) Look back tonight and the moons will have moved. Ganymede will have crossed to the other side, Europa will be visible. Take a series of observations and you can rediscover Kepler's third law.

Jupiter itself is overexposed, which is why you can't see any detail. There is quite a trick to getting the exposure right. Astrophotography is a rabbit hole that goes very deep.

You don't want a "zoom". You've got a couple of eyepieces. You don't see any extra detail with a more powerful eyepiece, you just magnify the blur.

But well-done. You've imaged a solar system body with a telescope. Galileo would have been proud.

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    $\begingroup$ you so kind. I was proud I can say. Furthest thing I have ever snapped. I will work on my skills and I have to say it really has brought out the interest 10 fold. More time to do these rather than chasing criminals around the country now. $\endgroup$ – John Lumb Aug 4 at 8:48
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Any time an image from telescope or even a camera lens with a central obstruction is out of focus, it will show "astronomical donuts". That's just the nature of the beast. It's sometimes a challenge to convince a phone to focus on an image through a telescope.

One option is to use a camera application that runs on your phone and makes it work more like a camera, so that you can set it to a fixed focus. Once you have that fixed you can mount the phone a fixed distance from the eyepiece, and the slowly adjust the focus on the scope until the image shown on the camera is really in focus.

I think going hand-held is possible but it will take some time and skill to get it to work.


"Astronomical Donuts" either out-of-focus objects (bright donuts) or out-of-focus dust in the optical system (dark donuts):

"Astronomical Donuts" "Astronomical Donuts"

Above are from Help identify a bright and round object photographed through a telescope and its answers, below is from What cluster of stars is this with a "dark donut" to one side? and its answers, Click any image for larger.

unidentified dark donut in star cluster

"Astronomical Donuts"

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    $\begingroup$ Amazing thanks. I will be looking into putting my camera mounted on it properly (canon MK2n old but fab camera) $\endgroup$ – John Lumb Aug 4 at 8:45
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    $\begingroup$ @JohnLumb if your camera turns out to be too heavy for your Canon, you can also try your luck with a webcam, either one off the shelf where you can remove the lens (find recommended models in forums), or for a little bit more of money and convenience, one made specifically for astrophoto (basically, a webcam chip mounted on a tube of the right diameter). $\endgroup$ – Davidmh Aug 5 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, David, You may know the MK2N is a Heavy DSLR and large so this may actually be a problem, however, I inherited my dad's 40D Which I have lent to friends son for his school projects, must get that back. Any ideas on the lens for this? $\endgroup$ – John Lumb Aug 5 at 17:05

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