Choosing the right telescope as an amateur astronomer is a hard task. There are a lot of options to choose from and lots of factors that vary.
The plethora of numbers and codes used in defining the telescopes turn out to be very confusing.
So, you might think, what can you see with a 114mm telescope?
A 114mm telescope is certainly a very good choice for a beginner. It can show you everything inside our solar system and beyond. You should expect to see clearly up to 10 million lightyears. A clear sky will let you see galaxies, star clusters, and lots of other structures in nearby galaxies.
You got your answer in brief. But you might be interested in the details as well.
Follow along with our article where we answered your questions and more!
What Does 114mm Actually Mean?
A lot of beginner astronomers struggle while choosing their first telescopes. There are lots of terms that define a telescope and it’s important to know what they mean.
And there are a lot of differences between astronomy and birdwatching instruments. So it is important to know the details of the instrument.
For your case, you are looking at a 144 mm telescope.
What this essentially says, is the diameter of the main piece of optics. And as it is a large radius, this is a reflective telescope.
The light-gathering power depends on how big the radius of the objective is. As for this case, 114mm is a pretty good choice for a telescope. You should expect to see a lot using this.
So, let’s head over and find out what we can actually see using a 114mm telescope.
What Can You Expect To See?
Reflector telescopes are mainly used to view very distant objects. And a 114mm telescope is a wise choice for beginners. Also, experienced astronomers can extract a lot of value from this telescope.
If you pair your 114mm telescope with decent quality eyepiece then you can expect to see just about anything from our solar system.
Outside the solar system, you can expect to see galaxies, nebulae, star clusters, and gas clouds up to 10 million lightyears.
On a moonless night, you can see the andromeda galaxy, Orion nebula, Pleiades constellation, and a lot more.
Considering the solar system, a 114mm telescope is more than capable of viewing all the planets clearly up to Saturn.
As for Uranus and Neptune, these two planets are pretty featureless. So even a bigger scope won’t be able to view them with much detail successfully.
But planets with traceable details, such as Jupiter and Saturn can be easily seen by the 114mm telescope.
If you can manage to set your telescope in the right place and the night is dark enough, you’ll be able to clearly view the bands on Jupiter and the 4 Galilean moons.
If you want to explore really deep with your telescope, bright quasars are your best bet.
Quasar CGRaBS J1459-1810 is a perfect quasar to test your telescope’s true capability.
This quasar is about 3 billion lightyears away. And has a magnitude of 13.14 and a redshift of 0.235.
This could possibly be the farthest object your telescopes can manage to see.
But the prerequisite is a very dark and clear sky. Without any clouds and very less atmospheric turbulence.
From all this, you can see that watching the distant skies isn’t as easy as it seems.
There are a few things you should keep an eye out for a good view. Your stargazing sessions can be much more fun and productive through them.
If you’re keen on buying a 114 mm telescope, we can suggest some. Here’s our recommendation for 114 mm telescopes out there.
|Image||Product Name||Key Feature||Price|
|Celestron - 114LCM Computerized Newtonian Telescope||1. Can locate 4000 celestial objects automatically 2. There’s a sky button that creates a list of available objects to see in the sky||Buy Now|
|114mm AZ Mount Astronomical Reflector Telescope||1. 500 mm focal length 2. Magnification upto 150x||Buy Now|
Let’s see what more you can do to use your 114mm telescope a little better.
How To Get The Best Possible Image?
Viewing celestial objects through your telescope is not a simple task in any way. It is totally not pointed and shoot and you can see.
A lot of work and many other factors go into seeing the perfect images.
A 114mm telescope is a great telescope for beginners. But to get the highest value out of it you need to follow some extra steps.
Other than that, a much better telescope will also suffer to show you clear images of the night sky.
Let’s see what we can do further to enhance the viewing experience.
Respect The Limits Of The Scope
Your telescope has a mirror with a specific power. That means it has a limit to the amount of light it can collect to form an image.
Using overly magnified eyepieces won’t help you in seeing things bigger or clearer.
If your main mirror forms a blurred image, the magnified eyepiece will only show you a magnified blur.
You have to find the perfect eyepieces for your telescope and study their usage.
That’s how you can efficiently use your telescope.
Here’s our recommendation for some multi-featured eyepieces out there.
Set-up At A Good Spot
Where you choose to put your telescope before viewing is also a factor in the perfect image formation.
First of all you need a good tripod to perfectly stabilize your telescope. It is a very heavy instrument. And even the slightest tilt can make you miss your target by a long shot.
If you’re confused about which tripod to choose from, here’s our recommendation on some of the best tripods out there.
- For both tilt and swivel motion, Amazon Basics Tripod offers adjustable length of 25-60 inches.
- Celestron Heavy-Duty Altazimuth Tripod offers a heavy duty mount head but with 45 inches of height.
Cooling is a big factor too. Moist professional telescopes will behave badly if they aren’t cooled enough. That is why most observatories are kept near refrigerating temperatures during the day.
So, if your telescope was kept under the sun, or somehow was warm, let it cool down before starting to use it.
You need to avoid places where it is heated too. Like near a campfire or on a roof. Because the radiating heat will also mess with the image.
It’s better to place the telescope in an open ground where it is nice and cool.
Align your Telescope
There are two mirrors that form the image in your telescope. And if they are not aligned perfectly you’ll always get a blurred image.
The alignment or collimation of the reflective telescope is an essential part. Before you start using it try to pinpoint a star using your telescope. If it isn’t showing a pinpoint then it isn’t aligned.
Also, you can check by focusing too. When you out-focus your telescope and point it to a pinpoint star.
Caution, don’t point it directly at the sun. There are solar telescopes for that.
It should show a round light with dark in the center. Much like a donut of light. If the dark spot in the middle isn’t in the middle, slightly swayed to the side then you know your telescope isn’t aligned.
Well, that’s all there was to know. Summing it up you can pretty much see anything with your 114mm telescope until you’re professional enough for an upgrade.
So overall it is a great choice for a beginner astronomer.
Can you see The Sun With Just a Reflector Telescope?
No, you can not see the sun with just a telescope. Without proper filters, just a glimpse of the sun could cause permanent blindness and massive damage. Both to your eyes and the optics of your telescope.
Is an Eyepiece Necessary for Viewing With a Telescope?
Yes, the eyepiece gives you a much wider and more precise image of what you are looking at. Your eyes are not that powerful even after using a telescope. A good eyepiece paired with your telescope will deliver stunning images of the celestial bodies.
Do You Need To Clean Telescope Mirrors?
Yes, you need to clean your mirrors. And you should do that often. As you continue to use your mirror it gathers dust and particles from the air. Which can distort the image you are trying to see. It is advisable to clean your mirrors every 2-3 years depending on how frequent and in what conditions you use them.
Hopefully, you won’t be wondering what can you see with a 114mm telescope anymore.
We tried to deliver you some pretty useful information through this article, and we hope these will aid you greatly while you engage in stargazing next time.
Until next time, best of luck!