Why does Saturn look like this through my Astromaster 114 EQ. Im viewing it from inside with open windows and I'm 100% sure it Saturn.enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ What does a star look like with the same settings? A star should look like a point if the seeing conditions are good. $\endgroup$
    – JohnHoltz
    Aug 11, 2023 at 23:57
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    $\begingroup$ You should explain how you're 100% sure it's Saturn. Viewing out an open window is not considered ideal viewing conditions, but the rings of Saturn would still be easy to make out. My bet is it's not Saturn, and it's out of focus. $\endgroup$ Aug 12, 2023 at 2:24
  • $\begingroup$ "im 100% sure it saturn." -> Prove it if it is Saturn. $\endgroup$ Aug 12, 2023 at 2:54
  • $\begingroup$ I concur with Greg Miller that it’s most likely out of focus and that viewing through an open window is not good (it creates air currents in front of and around the telescope, acting like a bunch of different lenses). I would also say your collimation is way off. First, try and get outside with your telescope, as far as possible from building, concrete, and asphalt. Then, fix your collimation. After that, you should get better-looking results. $\endgroup$ Aug 12, 2023 at 3:37
  • $\begingroup$ Agree with @PierrePaquette; if you must observe from inside, you're better off leaving the window closed, for a more stable atmosphere. $\endgroup$
    – pela
    Aug 12, 2023 at 21:11

1 Answer 1


There are two problems:

  1. Viewing through a window. As some commenters have pointed out, the turbulent interface between indoor and outdoor spaces can degrade the image. If possible, you may get better results by setting up your telescope in a grassy field and allowing half an hour for it to equilibrate.

  2. Telescope design. A true Newtonian telescope's focal length is similar to its tube length, but the AstroMaster 114EQ has a focal length 2.5× the tube length. There is probably a Barlow-like lens at the far end of the eyepiece tube. Such telescopes are difficult to collimate and may have some spherical aberration even if well collimated.


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