Previously I have banged on a few times about the need to get the light of this planet (and Venus) to a level that does not wash out any very faint features that it may offer. So it was this a.m. that I began the apparition with a check as to how bright it looks in the mono (non binovu). Also now for N hemisphere observers it is getting ever higher each year and an easier naked eye object in decent conditions. This increase I have found to render it too bright even at x535 and that’s with the split light path of the bino! Using the mono view (x485) this morning I found it far too bright (near white at times) and kept it in view for some time with advancing twilight and passing cloud never losing it even when the apodizer was used – demonstrating that with perhaps beyond 250-300mm I would not class this as the faint object it’s sometimes described.
Hopefully the attachment summarises this long-winded preview!
It was also a chance to apply my long-unused excellent 14mm Zeiss-Wildey(!) Monocentric that I used for many years with Uranus on the D-K. The recently obtained 50mm X 80mm extension tube making it more parfocal with the Binos: saving wear and tear on the primary mirror focusing.
Seeing was not good enough justify drawing some fleeting impressions of banding tho’ limb shading was quite certain especially with dimming by the variable cloud and especially when the apodizer was attached. I regard limb-shading detection as just the starting point for seeking the usually more elusive banding or such.
Actually following it into a certain level of twilight may well be advantageous; much as we see the n/e moon detail stand out starkly. More difficult locating the planet in evening twilight but last apparition Dec/Jan I found it fairly easily with the 10x50 finder by sweeping from alpha Aqr: good knowledge of the 6 deg. field essential however.