Hopefully showing how fantastic planets can be with good close opposition. A pencil and paper will get you an immediate record of interesting views. You’ll find x120 a good starting point, work upwards until you meet the limit of our often turbulent atmosphere. Newtonians perform well on planets so long as the collimation is very accurate. We’re talking .25mm accuracy in mirror alignment. A collimated laser in a Barlow will take account of slight changes due to flex and temperature changes. Achromatic refractors give more contrast , with 4″ providing best views. Mars has been a particular delight , with the ice caps melting during the spring and areas of frost visible.
Clear skies ! Nick.