Vital Stats

• Optical design Plossl

• Supplier The Widescreen Centre

SATURN PROVIDES AN excellent test for the quality of a planetary eycpiecc. Not only are there delicate colours that the eyepiece needs to preserve, but also the faint surface features have a low contrast, which means the eyepiece must strike the balance between too little and too much power.

This Orion Epic ED-2 eyepiece preserved both colour and faint structure on Saturn perfectly. The eyepiece gave a magnification of 270x with our 8-inch reflector. This produced a decent disc size,


go a»;i and the wide angle gave a magnificent view of some of Saturn's moons. Particularly impressive was the way in which the eyepiece showed up the north equatorial belt and its light pastel blue colour; it's a feature that is rather difficult to spot.

The views of Mars and Jupiter were equally impressive. We glimpsed faint white clouds over the Martian deserts and the colour in Jupiter's Great Red Spot was impressive. Views of the Moon were quite spectacular, with well-defined shadows and central peaks in medium-sized lunar craters.

Making a drawing of the planet was easy as the eyepiece has a sensibly wide exit pupil, meaning we could quickly relocate the planet in the field of view. Moreover,

there was no sign of false colour in the view, while a magnification of 270x with our setup meant it could deliver good views even with less than average seeing conditions.

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