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Planets through an Astro-Tech 72mm scope

Started by paul.knight, 03/22/2014 05:41AM
Posted 03/22/2014 05:41AM Opening Post
I am wondering what kind of views AstroTech's AT72ED provides of the planets. With a maximum suggested 100x, would any features be substantially resolvable? I'm sure I would be able to distinguish Jupiter's two primary cloud belts and Saturn's rings, but I'm wondering if I could expect more beyond that. I have only observed through an 8" scope and was thinking of getting a smaller grab-and-go scope. Thanks!
Posted 03/22/2014 09:20AM #1
You'd pick up some of the brighter moons around Jupiter and Saturn, along with the belts and rings that you'd expect to see. You would see some color variation on Uranus compared to the background stars and perhaps similarly with Neptune and phases on Venus. Other than the red color on Mars, I doubt if you would see detail. It would be fun to sweep with it and take in star clusters under a dark sky.
Posted 03/22/2014 10:49AM | Edited 03/22/2014 10:50AM #2
Hi, Paul.

The biggest factor in seeing planetary detail through small apertures is practice/experience. In my own 60-75mm refractors, Mars *can* show some detail, including polar cap(s) and the larger, more-contrasty features (Syrtis Major, et.al, and even polar "melt lines"). I could re-hash my own experiences viewing Mars in a good 60mm achromat and a 75mm apochromat, but it'd be easier to simply direct you to three old posts of mine (ca. 2003). If you use the Search Forums feature and input "dan d dubal" and a date range of 7/6/2003 to 7/7/2003, you'll come across my three-part "Huygens Challenge" babble. Perhaps it'll help with some perspective.

-And, yes, I still have the Jason. smile

Best wishes and regards.
-Dan