Lawrence Loe said:
When I Aim my 12" scope at Jupiter? Even with 8mm EP I can barely make put the bands. I cannot see the red spot at all as I can just barely see the bands.
Would a properly collimated scope see better?
all I can guess is that collination is bad.
Jeff pretty much hit the nail on the head. To get a good view with a Newtonian, it takes good seeing, a scope that is properly collimated and a scope that has thermally equilibrated. It takes all three.
The seeing is the most important factor, that's the steadiness of the atmosphere, not much you can about it except be aware of it and try to gauge how good the seeing is. Make sure you are not looking over houses or trees if you can and try to wait until Jupiter is as high as possible, right now it is poorly positioned for those of us in the northern Hemisphere.
If the stars are twinkling, that is a sign the seeing is not stable.
Make sure you scope is cooled down, you can do something about this... Best is a smooth fan that is properly mounted so that it does not cause the scope to vibrate. Floyd Blue makes some nice custom fan assemblies. Then put the scope out at least an hour before you plan to observe and let it cool down with the fan running.
And finally collimation, I am not sure what tools you have but if you are using a laser, make sure the laser itself is collimated, most arrive out of collimation so first you need to collimate the collimator. Collimation requires good tools... If you are going the laser route, I suggest the Howie Glatter units, he makes them himself and they are accurately machined, arrive in alignment and stay aligned...
So, if the seeing is good, the scope is cooled and collimated, then you should have some enjoyable views. As far as the Great Red Spot goes, of course it's not there all the time (it might be around the back side of Jupiter) but it's really not a big red spot but rather an outline in the cloud bands...
Get that scope ready and one day, you will say, Ahh... So that's what it looks like when the seeing is top notch.