Seeing: 6/10 Pickering
Transp:poor but not detractive
Site : central western CT, home.
The seeing initially was 4/10 and I grumbled about it as it would've been two nights in a row and I didn't want another fruitless observation. What's wild is when the seeing settled it didn it over the course of 15 minutes!!!!
Magnification wavered between 200x and 250x with 200x being the best overall magnification. I did have my binoviewers out tonight and while they proved fantastic - since the low power for these with my current oculars is 350x I had to pass. Still what a blast with the maxbrights.
It was interesting to note Cassinis in 4/10 then watch it grow in 6/10 seeing. It went from being limited to the outter ansae to nearly touching globes edge. Very impressive to see the still moments broaden its length through the apparent ellipse. The gap which is Cassinis was beautifully resolved as a generous space filled with background space making it appear blackish (Cassinis never appears ink black as we all know). The way it became slender as the ellipse thinned was striking.
The A ring was a nice flat even grey edge to edge. The minima is an illusion I always count myself lucky when its not there. The inside edge of the A ring normally has a bright edge where it borders Cassini but alas the seeing.
The B Ring was seen in three smeared graduated steps from darkest at the ansae inside edge to mid tone in the middle to pearly white at Cassinis edge. This edge facing Cassinis is always the brightest value Ive ever seen on this planet.
The C ring took a hit in Pickering 6 along with the poor transparency that even dimmed Titan still it was seen at the ansae. I omitted it from the drawing as I only have graphite handy and the ring shows best in a grey pastel.
The single most difficult feature is that temperate latitude light albedo zone.
It took the best moments of 6/10 to pop it up along with neighboring darker belts bordering it. There's no two ways about it - in 6/10 seeing this is a difficult feature!!!
The Hexagon, here to referred as the cap, was subtle as well but not like the temp zone. Indeed better seeing moments yield a lighter toned surrounding the cap along its preceding and following edges. It was a toughy too but one look at it through 6Pickering and its clear 8/10 would show this off wonderfully. I doubt the hex facets would ever show ( though a c8 can image them along with Enckes Gap) but it'd be reward enough to see this tight ellipse of a pole really crispens with definition!
The EZ in better seeing shows that thin belt that bisects it at the equator but my best efforts tonight showed it wonderfully blank and a nice pale off white/cream shade.
1. Enceladus repeatedly popped though with long bouts of invisibility . An extra terrific trophy given the transparency! I'm phat with pride on this call.
2. The boundary layer fan REALLY tightened up Titan. With no fans at all it took months to see this orb be orb like as the internal thermals would have Titan flare without mercy. This isn't to say at 6/10 I resolved it disk - it was SOFT but it was cohesive. Those stabbing flares and spikes were nixed. This view alone justified the primary rear blowing fan and the boundary fan.
In the past it took sometimes months to catch a night where the thermals in the tube by serendipity were equal to night air temp. What a difference to go from no fan thermals free for all to this thermal-less view. I'm only bothered I waited so long to install. And its only 6 Pickering - amazing.
3. Binoviewers are wonderful and they were worth every cent but my monos are no slouch. I regretted not have 200x for my binos but I hardly swore using mono.
Hope you guys like.
An artistic note: this was done on copier paper which I found atrocious . I'm getting some nice plate finish illustration board and save the copier paper for outside preliminary sketches.
My apologies for the patchiness. I finally gave up and decided to post it anyway.