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Saturn Last Night

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#26 REC

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 08:26 AM

Wow 444x from your 8" ? You must have some night to resolve all that!

#27 bremms

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 10:24 PM

Yesterday the seeing got to about a 6/10 and Saturn showed Cassini 2/3 of the way around, Encke minimum at times, crepe ring and Four moons. I was using my D&G 5" F12 achro. My 6" Jaegers is in my scope room awaiting paint outgassing and a couple other odds and ends. It does show more detail than the D&G 5". Love the refractors right now, no real problems with tube currents.

#28 leviathan

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 05:10 AM

Wow 444x from your 8" ? You must have some night to resolve all that!

Yeah: good seeing, good optics of telescope, equatorial mount, decent eyepiece, dielectric diagonal, thermal equilibrium, perfect collimation and Saturn at 38 degrees. ;)

#29 Kraus

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 12:15 AM


Highest magnification 5/25/13 was 275 power. The relative humidity was at 90%.

I did spy the disk's shadow cast on the ring. A thin sliver. Wow.

So what might be the typical relative humidity in Azerbaijan. I figure your altitude is quite high.

#30 leviathan

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 12:35 PM

I live and observe mostly from Baku, altitude here is even lower that the level of the ocean (-27 m). :) Humidity is high, quite often 80-90% - makes me sweat in summer and my SCT's corrector plate almost half of observations. ;)

#31 azure1961p

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 09:00 AM

I won't drone on anymore about the bad seeing where I live but Ill add a few Saturn notes.

Seeing 4/10 Pickering
Transp: slight high altitude haze
Wind: calm

At 4/10 Seeing the image is quite simple but a few things stood out at times:

-My Televue Plossls definately lend Saturn a warmer tone than my Baader Classic Orthos though both a quite sharp.
- a yellow Wratten 15 did a very nice job with Cassinis while W80a reduced irradiation to a degree but clearly wasn't as beneficial as yellow.
- bi tone aspect of rings clear while the Crepe was difficult at best. Better seeing has it obvious.
- Cassinis only at the ansae - again the seeing.
-Shadow cast by rings was often invisible due to image softening of 4/10

The Baader Orthos are doing very well and Im pleased even if the sky was poor.

Pete

#32 REC

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 11:02 AM

Last night turned out to be pretty good. At first Saturn was just ok, but was a little jittery. I thought that maybe is was the drive motors causing it? I went and checked out M13 and it was resolving stars and not jumping. Check out a few more DSO's and went back to Saturn about 10 pm. It had calmed down better and was seeing CD at 160x. That is about all I can push it on most nights. Well I then inserted my 11mm ES and bang, there it was at 200x. The CD was fading in and out, but I still could see it. Also could make out some banding on the planet.

I must say, Saturn at 200x is really a nice size to observe with. Maybe some night I can use my 9mm EP for 240x which I have read is the sweet spot for this scope:)

Bob

#33 leviathan

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 11:21 AM

Yes, Saturn "likes" high magnification. I found myself watching disk of the planet on 140-200x and rings on as high as 444x.

#34 azure1961p

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 12:04 PM

Bob,

Yes it was jittery wasnt it. I could see how you might think it was a drive issue. Hopefully the great seeing you had down in NC will make it up here to night?

Pete

#35 azure1961p

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 11:46 PM

Much better Saturn tonight...

Transparency was lousy but seeing averaged to 6/10 though began at 4/10 and my threshold for at least a fair view is Pickering 6 so I had a good time. Ill be providing a finished sketch tomorrow, but Ill hit a few highlights...

1. The boundary layer fan yielded a tighter Titan than Id ever seen at this seeing level ever. It was still soft edged but it wasn't wildly flairing which was the non-fanned typical view. I've never seen it so clean for such blah seeing. Its these little micro orbs like Titan and the Galilean moons that show the effect best of boundary layer fan application.

2. Enceladus wavered in and out of view and in lesser transparency - not bad. I half heartedly looked for Mimas to no avail of course.

3. A night like this brings home how extraudinarily seeing Enckes would be.
I have doubts even in 9-10 seeing. That high res CCD images through CN 8" can't reveal Enckes Division either doesn't bode well for my future attempts.

4. My binoviewers were great but since *low power* is 350x I stuck with mono at 200x-250x. Wratten15 again was excellent on the rings.

Oddly the 6/10 seeing came about over the course of 15 minutes and then held until I called it quits. Not the best view of Satutn Ive ever had to be sure but it was rewarding and profitable.

Sketch posted tomorrow.

Pete

#36 george golitzin

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 12:13 AM

Yes, even semi-decent seeing is better than nothing--I'll spend up to an hour on Saturn in those conditions, hoping for that one brief moment that might or might not come, and taking in what I can in the meantime. I had a similar outing last night with my 8-inch f/6.

-geo

#37 azure1961p

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 06:37 AM

Hi Geo,

Six Pickering for me while not great and it doesn't allow really high mags does though allow an acceptable level of detail coming through. At 4/10 it would r been the most bland Saturn and Cassinis only at the far ansae. These are the good seeing months now do I shouldn't have posted my *garbage seeing* post but after a long winter of that with the jetstream - argh already.

Pete

#38 REC

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 08:13 AM

Had another great view of it last night! I even called my neighbor up to come see. Views at 160-200x were pretty steady. Even some of the globs I looked at were fun at this magnification.

Still can't see *BLEEP* of M51, just two blobs of light and it was straight up! Oh well, the moon cycle is over for now and maybe I'll get a 4/5 on transparency one night. In the mean time I'll just keep looking at Saturn. It is in a prime spot in my backyard after 9pm.

#39 Andrev

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 09:49 PM

Bob

You are very lucky to be ale to see 6 moons. From my red zone backyard I cannot. Hopefully I'll be able from a green zone in june.

Andre

#40 leviathan

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 12:10 AM

Bob

You are very lucky to be ale to see 6 moons. From my red zone backyard I cannot. Hopefully I'll be able from a green zone in june.

Andre

Me too. :( From heavily polluted city I can see only 4 moons in my 8".

#41 azure1961p

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 06:31 AM

Andre with your scope Id call six moons very possible in a green zone barring poor seeing. Enceladus truly ought to show though dimly.

Pete

#42 Schaden

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 12:38 PM

I live in a white zone too. Despite good seeing last night, I could only see 4 moons in my 8". Other nights I have seen what I thought were Iapetus and Enceladus. I assume they just weren't positioned optimally, maybe lost in the scatter.

But Saturn looked very nice. Cassini's was visible all the way around. 360x was clear and steady and for the first time since opposition, I could notice a feature in the B ring at the ansae. Just a slightly darker contrast along the inside edge next to the C ring.

The planet's shadow on the rings was really distinct, and I could see good detail all the way to the top pole. Normally the top just looks like a darker belt going straight across, but last night it was like a grey circle at the very top, and I could see the curve. That's why I called it a circle. And with a thin whiteish color surrounding the bottom of the grey spot on the pole.

At the time the seeing and transparency were predicted to be 4/5. Based on Antares diffraction rings, I estimate it was 8/10 Pickering. The wind was annoying, periodically bouncing the planet around. Wish I had a CPC 11". Or a heavy duty gem for my nexstar 8. Either way, I've come to find tracking indispensable for planetary work. The zhumell has been collecting cobwebs.

#43 REC

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 08:57 AM

If you where at 360x, the sky must have been extra good that night. I had a pretty good sky I thought for here, probably 3/5 but was able to have nice views of CD and 4 close by moons at 200x.

This is sure a great time to be observing Saturn, best I can remember and the placement from my backyard is great!

Bob

#44 azure1961p

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 10:39 AM

I agree Bob . The bummer is that its a little low in the ecliptic but some summer nights give you the best seeing regardless. Nothing beats a near zenith ecliptic but I've seen some of the best Saturns in my life at 30-35 degrees elevation.

Pete

#45 REC

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 12:38 PM

Pete, yeah as they say on SNL "what's up with that"? Why is it so low on the ecliptic this year? Jupiter was almost straight up earlier this year. I remember Saturn being much higher last year in Virgo, close by the double star Proxima.

Oh well, at least I'm at 35* here in NC and not 42* when I was up in Boston for a long time and have a pretty good view of it now, can't complain.

Oh and on a lighter note, here is one of my favorites catch phrase...."I'm not complaining, just explaining"

#46 Schaden

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 01:53 PM

If you where at 360x, the sky must have been extra good that night.


That was a very good night. I got a super clean split on Antares.

Last night they predicted 4/5 seeing from sunset on, I set up at 8pm, took a quick peek at 8:30 and as expected, Saturn looked great at 360x, sharp and detailed, just a little bit of "rolling" from the thermals, (it was still in the low 90s here in Phoenix) like the vsync on a CRT was slightly misadjusted. I left the scope set up, went to dinner, and when I came back an hour later, the view was much worse. 360x was blurry, and even at 180x, the Cassini division was wriggling like a little snake. I packed up.
Conditions seem to support 360x at least a few times I observe each month. But it's starting to get really hot. No fun sweating at the eyepiece.

Yeah, it's not that high in the sky but I've still had some excellent views this year. Of course Saturn is dimmer at 360x, but when it's steady enough, I can see a lot more detail when it's bigger.

#47 leviathan

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 03:25 PM

Seeing today wasn't that bad, I was able to split 35 Com double, which is about 1.0". I gave a first light to my new Pentax XO 5mm: Saturn was sharp and nice on 400x that it gave me, though 300x with another EP was better this night. I was able to observe Encke's minimum, several belts on the planet and different structure of the rings.

Clear skies to all.

#48 REC

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 08:42 AM

Another great night! Air was dead and the skeeters where out. Always a good sign for observing planets....lol Got out the Thermisol out for the first time this year.

Had crisp views of Saturn from 150-250x last night. That doesn't happen very often:)

#49 azure1961p

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 09:18 AM

Very nice ! I agree about the Mosquitos being indicative of good seeing lol.

Pete

#50 azure1961p

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 10:22 PM

A so so 6/10 evening for Saturn tonight with my 70mm. It got jounced around a bit but focus was fair with the EZ showing well if subtle in stiller moments but nothing like upper latitude belts or a polar cap. Cassinis was slurred a but between A and B.

Not bad but not great. Best overall magnification was 115x.

Pete






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