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Hexagon, possible?

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#1 TG

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 07:20 PM

Now that the hexagon is showing up in images taken with scopes as small as 10", has anyone spotted it visually? Is it even possible?

Tanveer.

#2 azure1961p

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 09:54 PM

The only fringy glimpses that have come visually from responsible observers appears to show that its demanding of large aperture with no slam dunk about it. I'd have doubts with a ten inch but Im an optimist too.
Hope this helps.

Pete

#3 TG

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 05:14 PM

The only fringy glimpses that have come visually from responsible observers appears to show that its demanding of large aperture with no slam dunk about it. I'd have doubts with a ten inch but Im an optimist too.
Hope this helps.

Pete


I haven't actually heard anybody say they saw it. Perhaps I hang out with the wrong crowd. :grin:

It's going to be clear and steady tonight (knock on wood) and I'm going to see what I can do with my 7-incher.

Tanveer.

#4 David Gray

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 11:02 PM

This is part of my response to a query by idp/Ivano [13 04 21 03:06 PM] on the Sketching Forum:

“…….. and I fear I spent an inordinate, futile, amount of time chasing that NPC hexagon (smooth oval to me) i.e. beyond my detection!” (415mm D-K x270 & x365).

Its possible one of the hexagon’s flat faces was central at the time: I would reckon that a ‘corner’ would look like a south-edge projection/bulge when well onto the disk. So not deterred - yet!

The thread is here:
http://www.cloudynig...5810485/page...

#5 MikeBOKC

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 08:12 AM

Considering that the polar hexagon wasn't even discovered until the Voyager flyby, after many decades of professional observations and photographs of Saturn from earth by some pretty large telescopes, I would be doubtful that it is a visual possibility absent quite large aperture and a rare night of near perfect seeing. I'd certainly be thrilled to see it in my 14 incher, but I would suspect it would only be achievable in 20 inches and up.

#6 David Gray

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 08:51 AM

This was the first serious attempt at the hexagon; although I have been aware of it since Voyager days; and an active contributor to the BAA Saturn Section since 1968.

Used the 415mm D-K since 1978, and have had very many fine views, but have never seriously considered attempting it all this time! Of course when the NPC is well presented the planet is always pretty low from here – as its getting now.

If you don't look you don't see!

#7 azure1961p

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 08:40 AM

Visual astronomy is peculiar in the respect that true threshold details can literally be arc seconds away from where you are looking but unless they get their own due attention its a no show. The peripheral emergence if other details hat grab attention are the easier things. The true fringe of contrast-detail detection has these specific attention demands that's always been a little surprising to me. I've missed nearby things simply because I didn't pour myself at it. That's what Ive found anyway.

What's daunting is when a known threshold feature still doesn't budge no matter how hard I try!

Pete

#8 TG

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 01:52 PM

We've had a string of nights with good seeing so I've been observing Saturn. I've realized two things: (1) Saturn is going to be a wash from our latitude (47*), getting increasingly worse every year for the next several years, and (2) there's no hope of my seeing the hexagon from here as it probably needs super steady 9/10 seeing and at its low altitude that's just not going to happen. That said, I was able to notice a dark gray/bluish polar cap but I wonder if I would ever spot it if I didn't know it was there.

Powers used were 200-300x in a C11HD and banding on the disk, Cassini and the C ring were visible, Cassini being visible about 1/2 the way around. I also saw what looked like ring shadow on the disk but am not absolutely sure whether it was a band instead. Also thought I saw the shadow of the disk on the rings but I suspect this may be an illusion as it's still too close to opposition.



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#9 leviathan

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 11:11 PM

No, it's a ring shadow, you are right. Shadow of the planet on the rings is also visible already.

#10 azure1961p

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 06:24 AM

Well Id imagine some filtering of the Crepe is adding to this as well. I saw it repeatedly with my 70mm refractor in the better moments though the upper latitudes was a wash with no detail gradients tho seeing wasn't great.

Tanveer don't rule out low elevation observing in summer. Some of the best Saturns Ive ever seen were 30 degrees elevation in balmy hot muggy summer night air. Cool (wet out) your local observing g latch with a hose and it can make a big difference.

Pete

#11 TG

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 02:45 PM

Tanveer don't rule out low elevation observing in summer. Some of the best Saturns Ive ever seen were 30 degrees elevation in balmy hot muggy summer night air. Cool (wet out) your local observing g latch with a hose and it can make a big difference.

Pete


Last night we had very good seeing so I dragged out* Tiny to the end of the backyard so it had an expanse of dripping wet grass around it (I'm in the PNW and grass is always drippin wet at night) and Saturn was amazing. Multiple banding on the surface, Cassini visible most of the way around, the C ring, shadow of the rings, and a clearly visible blue-gray polar cap. I think I went up to 400x and there was some blue/red fringing from atmospheric dispersion so the best views were had at about 300x.

I tried both binoviewers and single eyepieces and it's amazing how good the Mark V + AP 2x barlow is. There was practically no difference between using this combination with 17mm plossls and a 7.5mm Ultrascopic directly though I could see the polar cap a hair clearer without the BV.

Tanveer.

(*) literally! it's on a ScopeBuggy :grin:

#12 TG

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 02:46 PM

No, it's a ring shadow, you are right. Shadow of the planet on the rings is also visible already.


Thanks for confirming. I could see it clearer last night but was still not sure if it was an optical illusion or not.

Tanveer.

#13 azure1961p

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 05:50 PM

You've hot a pair of Mark Vs????? Very nice!

Pete

#14 TG

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 12:19 AM

You've hot a pair of Mark Vs????? Very nice!

Pete


Yes, they're expensive but well worth the price. I had a pair of very good Sieberts but the Mark V is on a different level.

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#15 leviathan

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 02:25 AM

Yes, it's possible. I saw it few days ago on 600mm observatory telescope (not amateur aperture, isn't it ?) on 535x.

#16 dscarpa

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 11:28 AM

Saw it last night in my IM715 mak! Seeing was almost excellent and I was using a 10 XW for 290X and a 8 LVW for 360X. The hexagon was a small spot on the pole that was much darker than any other features. I couldn't tell that it was a hexagon however. Tonight my C9.25 gets a crack at it. David

#17 idp

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 06:13 PM

On May 28th the polar cap appeared rather "angular" to me in a 10" refractor at 430x... Definitely not a hexagon, but I would not have described it as a smooth ellipse either.

Of course I was aware of the hexagon thing etc., so I tried to convince myself what I was seeing was just a an ellipse. I remained unconvinced.

Ivano

#18 dscarpa

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 09:30 PM

It didn't look smooth to me either. Last night the clouds rolled in but tonight looks to be clear to midnight or so. My C9.25 is out on the patio with an excellent selection of high power eyepieces deployed on the counter by the door! David

#19 dweller25

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 12:45 PM

Agree with dscarpa, in a 7" the hexagon just looks like a darker area at the pole - even in excellent seeing.......

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#20 JasonBurry

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 01:13 PM

Nice sketch. Looks rather like what I saw last night with my 8" (specifically, the "hexagon" polar feature), though I found the cloud bands to be a touch more obvious in moments of good seeing.

J

#21 dscarpa

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 03:16 PM

I had very good seeing here last night and used the C9.25 with a 9mm Astro Hutech ortho for 300X and a 7XW for 370X. The hexagon as was the case with my mak was easy and looked a lot like your excellent drawing but the big cat was pulling in a quite a bit of fine belt detail of various colors. The rings and moons were quite the sight as well. David

#22 t.r.

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 09:26 AM

I'll try tonight with my C11XLT.

#23 dscarpa

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 09:44 AM

I'll give my WO ZS-110 a shot at it, was observing with it last week with not quite as good conditions and didn't see it. Then again on a night with the same seeing the mak didn't show it either. Had the C9.25 on it last night with only the 7 XW, love seeing Saturn like that! David

#24 Achernar

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 10:18 PM

I have seen it as a much darker area right at the pole, but the hexagon shape wasn't visible through the 10 and 15-inch Dobs I use. The seeing is often good during the warmer months, but not good enough at 400X and above for me to see the hexagon shape of this feature, if that is even possible from Earth with a 15-inch Dob. I have noticed white patches near the pole that seem to be clouds quite near it, as well as the remanants of that storm that occurred in 2010. As for the color of the polar region, it looks to me like a blend of olive drab and brown though my larger telescopes at 300 to 425X.

Taras

#25 dscarpa

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 10:26 AM

The ZS-110 showed it! It didn't stand out as much as it did when using the cats but it definitely was there at the higher powers. I was using my 5X Powermate with a 16 WO UWAN at 240X-270X and 13 Ethos for 300X. Conditions were once again very good. David






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