In January of 2016, I received my first telescope, through Astronomers Without Borders. It was and is my first telescope: an AWB 130 Newtonian tabletop telescope with a 650mm focal length and a 130mm aperture. I am completely new to telescopes and have no experience whatsoever with astrophotography.
Please try to forgive my unprofessional description!
After some attempts, my telescope fell into disuse, and now, finally, I am getting back to it. The telescope came with a 10mm and 25mm eyepiece. The moon's diameter is .52 degrees as viewed from Earth, and a 10mm eyepiece. Supposedly, I should be able to frame the entire face of the moon with little room to spare using the 10mm eyepiece. However, I often found that the moon appeared rather small in the 10mm; if I changed the focus to try to zoom in and get more detail, the image became too blurry. The 25mm seems to make things sharper, but its wider field of view means less magnification and consequently, less detail.
Two days ago on Thanksgiving, my family and I were exiting the movie theater (we had gone to see King Richard at 3:15 in the afternoon) around six pm. I noticed a very bright star, and another relatively bright one close to it. I went home and quickly used two astronomy apps to identify them--and I realized that they were Jupiter and Saturn. Most of the planets were above the horizon that night, but with my telescope, I didn't expect to see anything much brighter than Jupiter. So, I pulled out my telescope, went out onto my porch, and pointed my telescope at Jupiter.
And all I saw was a bright, white dot with three or four other dots forming a line across it.
The best I've observed in terms of celestial detail is the moon, and I previously hadn't gotten much detail out of Earth's closest satellite. When I pointed my telescope at something other than the moon, the best I usually got was an unidentifiable dot. So, I was almost pleasantly surprised that I was seeing this much "detail." I presumed I was looking at Jupiter and four of its moons in orbit. Again, I tried to zoom in, but I only saw a large, circular patch of light with a smaller ring inside it. The ring was probably from a ring on the primary mirror inside the telescope.
If I was looking at Jupiter, shouldn't I have at least gotten a look at its color?
In an attempt to problem solve, I collimated my telescope yesterday, and I'm planning on taking it outside once again tonight. I also visited numerous websites and saw that with a telescope like mine, I should be able to observe Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn in detail, as well as some of their moons.
Do I need more powerful eyepieces? Am I doing something wrong? Please help me out!
*Update: Last night, I took my telescope out onto the porch again, and using JohnHoltz's suggestion, I located a bright object close to the horizon. To my surprise, I saw something that looked like the moon, but was much smaller. I used an astronomy app to confirm that I had indeed seen Venus in one of its phases! That was perhaps the most success I had had in seeing a celestial object other than the moon. I had to leave the telescope for a moment, and then I couldn't find it again, but I believe I've made progress.
However, I pointed my telescope at Jupiter a few minutes later, and all I could see was something that looked like a bright star. Perhaps I couldn't attain higher magnification because there might have been a slight haze in the sky.