Top 5 tips for improving planetary views with your telescope

In this video Robert gives you our top five tips to coax the best possible views of planets regardless of the cost or quality of your telescope.

It doesn’t matter if your telescope costs tens, or thousands : it always makes sense to try to get the best views you possibly can when observing planets. And sometimes improving the view involves no more than selecting the best site available to you to set up the telescope or using the telescope within its ideal power range — this video will give you the information you need to consistently get the best views of planets with your telescope.

Presented by Robert J Dalby FRAS

Produced by DB Video Services for Astronomy and Nature TV


imafraidofclowns740 says:

Great channel…Thank you.

pizza steve says:

Really good video, however all I can think of is how much this guy sounds like jeremy clarkson

Nick Maclean says:

I’m really enjoying this channel. Makes me feel a bit at home too as I lived in Norwich for a couple of years! Thanks a lot, will keep on following.

Fattious Maximus says:

I have the same exact telescope he has lol

Tim Cheng says:

great great advice towards the end, some I had not thought of

John S says:

Excellent video, one of the best I’ve seen, understandable, concise and hits the main points for planetary viewing. 

Xsauce says:

I hate clouds

ariah gear says:

Very good!  will subscribe!

gurds says:

Great video – I’m an amateur and bought a cheap telescope. Your video has explained a bunch of stuff I had no idea about 🙂

Threedog1963 says:

I tune my scope in collimation nearly every time I use it. Question is, how does it get so far out of whack so quickly? All I do after using it is, put it in it’s case, carefully, and put it in a closet. I rarely travel with it. I spend nearly as much time collimating it as I do looking through it.

Robert Bowen says:

I really appreciate your videos as I am 67 years old and decided to try to do a little photography again many anvances in the hobby

Four Owls says:

Can’t quite catch what filter he is talking about at the 10minute mark,,is he saying “ATA”? or “8TA”? Actually from research I think it is “80A (#)” which is a blue filter and so therefore unless I am wrong ignore me!!

Gonthor1000 says:

5:26, what, wait what

Robert Bowen says:

I really appreciate your videos as I am 67years olg

a01011900z says:

Excellent info in a short, to the point, video. I am looking at getting into the scene and this video has answered a lot of questions! cheers

johnsteven deasis says:

What my problem is.. that i dont have any telescope

Kashif Almani says:


Tony Armstrong says:

thanx for not making it simple , to get started. going to do this now!!

usernamemykel says:


Milan Karakas says:

Great video. Many people are not aware that one arc second is about 1 mm at 200 meters distance.

Barry Gibson says:

Very good   Thank you.

Dev Patel says:

What is colimation

Dave Chapman says:

For any telescope, if you use an eyepiece with a focal length (in mm) equal to the f/ratio, the magnification is equal to the aperture (in mm). For example, your 80 mm refractor with 900 mm focal length is f/11 (close enough), so an 11 mm eyepiece gives you 80X. Add a 2X Barlow and you’re at the maximum magnification for that telescope. It’s just another way of reckoning that I like.

Robert England says:

My worst two eyepieces are the ones I spent $$ on. My best are the (coated) ones I got for $22, sometimes you get lucky! (Gosky isn’t bad!)

Sam Sen says:

Good point elaborated.

Joseph Imbesi says:

Great tips Mr Dalby.
Especially the one on elevation of object above the horizons effect on image quality, and poor diagonals degrading the image


Helpful TY

pluckyfella7 {Andrew F} says:

Helpful info. If I might add some interesting advice: The Roth Formula is also useful for lunar-planetary observing: Get the telescope’s aperture in inches, then find its square root, then multiply by 140. For example: for an 8″ scope: 8√ (square root of 8 is 2.828), 2.828 multiplied by 140 is 395.98 or 396 power, the best magnification through an 8″ for observing the Moon and planets which translates as observing with a 3-4mm eyepiece with long eye-relief. My long-focus 5″ refractor that cools down very quickly with a motor drive which keeps the Moon or planet centred is so much better for lunar-planetary/ high-power observing than my 8″ Skywatcher Dobsonian with its hot slow-cooling mirror that blurs and the constant, annoying, nudging to keep centring the object (though you can convert the tube onto a EQ-5 equatorial mount). The unobstructed aperture of the refractor is much sharper. Clear skies! Andrew

ILoveGodsWord413 says:

Wonderful! Thank you!

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