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Saturn Last Night
      #5861663 - 05/15/13 08:46 AM

Anyone out looking at Saturn in the SE last night. Had some of my best views yet of the planet around 10pm. Nice and high in the South and looks like for me in my backyard is going to be 10-12pm for a while. Riding high and not over any houses to mess up the air.

At 100-130x I could see 6 of it's moons including the two very close and dim ones. Cassini was fading in and out, so still looking for that magic nite where it is razor sharp.

Oh and as a bonus, while viewing, I had a pretty bright satellite go though the FOV....cool.

Looking forward to another clear night and maybe less or no wind tonight....may it will be the night:)

Bob


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cnahm
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: REC]
      #5861863 - 05/15/13 10:56 AM

For me I've had two nights in a row of quite turbulent seeing, so not so good. But on Sunday night it was nice and steady, and I had some great views. Clean Cassini almost all the way around, good color distinction between rings and planet disc, some banding, and the polar region darker. I enjoyed it for a good while that evening.

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leviathan
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: cnahm]
      #5863633 - 05/16/13 01:03 AM

For me last night seeing was really bad. I also saw bright satellite (about 8-9m) about a week ago crossing field of view of my EP looking at Saturn. It passed above Saturn and then Titan from East to West and I traced it for several minutes.

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Schaden
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: leviathan]
      #5864452 - 05/16/13 12:49 PM

I was out last night in the SW. Seeing was predicted to be a IV.

Put the nexstar outside at 8:40, observed from about 10:30 to midnight.

Looked really nice at 180x, and I went back and forth with 360x.

The fat tan eq band just above the rings really stood out, and I had subtle glimpses of 3-4 other bands and the dark pole. Cassinis was visible all around but had a bit of squigglyness at 360x. The A ring had the typical darker shade than B, with what I best can describe as a "textured" quality, while the B was a brighter seemingly "smooth" looking surface. Titan was nice and Brown. Overall a good night aside from some wind occasionally bouncing Saturn around in the ep.


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ericj
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: REC]
      #5864500 - 05/16/13 01:03 PM

Hi Bob,

Enjoyed reading your report and glad you got some nice views of Saturn.

Best,

Eric Jamison


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george golitzin
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: ericj]
      #5866252 - 05/17/13 12:46 AM

I think I must have seen the same satellite last night as you, Bob.

Saturn has been wonderful despite its low altitude--the occasional break in the seeing has allowed for magnifications up around 300X in my 12.5. I don't recall seeing the banding quite so well before; the color of the bright equatorial zone strikes me as a very pretty lemon yellow. Following the broad, kind of brownish temperate belt(s), there is another light zone about latitude 45 north, and yet another light zone circling the very dark north polar region.

I agree with Schaden: the A ring has a textured quality, which in good seeing resolves into the Encke minima. Meanwhile, the B ring is very bright white, but not featureless: it shows a minimum near the inner boundary with the crepe ring. The crepe ring shows very nicely across the orb, while requiring stiller air to see well at the ansae. Anyway, it's been a lot of fun, and I think it's great that Saturn has shown up this year just as Jupiter has set. Kind of maximizing our planetary pleasure.

-geo


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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: george golitzin]
      #5866619 - 05/17/13 08:32 AM

Yeah, pretty nice this last two months for Planetary viewing. Early in the evening I have one scope in the front yard to see Jupiter as it is sinking in the west and later on I go to my backyard to observe Saturn:)

Just have to keep the clouds away as summer storm season is just starting.

BOB


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stmguy
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: REC]
      #5866769 - 05/17/13 10:15 AM

I did get a look at Saturn last night, looked pretty good but fairly low for me

Norm


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David Knisely
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: REC]
      #5868637 - 05/18/13 01:54 AM

I had Saturn tonight (May 17th just before midnight CDT) in my 14 inch f/4.6 Newtonian. It was simply gorgeous!! I was able to use up to 554x, although the best views came at between 384x and 471x. For the first time since the rings had last been more nearly edge-on, I managed to see eight moons at the same time. Iapetus was well on the preceding side away from the planet and easy to see even at low power, while Enceladus (preceding north) and Mimas (off the following ansa of the rings) hugged the rings. Rhea, Dione, and Tethys formed a nice almost north-south trio to the following side of the rings, followed by bright orangish Titan and a little farther on the following side, the very faint dot of Hyperion. When seeing settled down, the rings were simply stunning. The A-ring easily showed the Encke minimum feature at moderate power, sometimes looking like one or two fuzzy divisions in the middle of the ring. At 471x, I could occasionally detect the fine Encke division next to the very outermost edge of the A-ring, but even when it was visible it was only seen for about two to four seconds at a time and still wasn't exactly easy. The B-ring showed a banded "record" like structure with some brightness variations across its width, and the old adage, "You could have driven a truck through the Cassini Division" held true. The bands on the planet were also very clear with a little faint hints of mottling. The polar region showed its greyish polar cap-like feature, and I thought there was another faint narrow belt between it and the more equatorial belts. In fact, the lighter zone to the north of the main belts appeared unusually bright tonight. All in all, it was one of the better views I have had of the planet. Clear skies to you.

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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: David Knisely]
      #5868963 - 05/18/13 08:41 AM

Oh that sound like you had a delightful evening:)

I would love to look at Saturn though a scope that size some time. I need to go to a star pary soon and look through some bigger scopes. Most nights I'm stuck at 150-200 range in my 8" SCT which is not bad, but hope to have an excellent seeing night sometime and get it up to 250x range in my BV. I wouldn't mind seeing a Volkswagen Beetle drive through Cassini......

Bob


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DG Aucoin
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: REC]
      #5870620 - 05/19/13 01:09 AM

I observed Saturn last night, 5/18-5/19 and it was very good seeing. I could see the disc of Saturn's shadow on the rings, the shadow of the rings on the disc of Saturn. I could see 5 moons. I also could see the north Polar hood at the top of Saturn. The Cassini gap was dark and clear and I thought I observed the Encke gap as well. There were intermittent clouds and the rest of the sky was partly to mostly cloudy, but Saturn remained observable for about 90 minutes.

I was using my Round Table EQ platform to keep Saturn in the field of view. It gave me about 50 minutes of observing time at each reset.


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azure1961p
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: DG Aucoin]
      #5870798 - 05/19/13 06:00 AM

This is all terrific folks. Dave Im glad you had a nice view with that fine mirror. I just checked my weather - rain for an entire week - with thunder showers included - all because I had my mirrors recoated.

Pete


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DG Aucoin
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5871555 - 05/19/13 01:59 PM

Doesn't that always seem to be the case? I was amazed when I finished my degree circles and put them on my scope. I had two great nights of observing with my new gadgets. Now for the next few days/nights, we will be getting intermittent rain and showers.

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Schaden
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: george golitzin]
      #5872257 - 05/19/13 07:22 PM

Quote:



I agree with Schaden: the A ring has a textured quality, which in good seeing resolves into the Encke minima. Meanwhile, the B ring is very bright white, but not featureless: it shows a minimum near the inner boundary with the crepe ring. The crepe ring shows very nicely across the orb, while requiring stiller air to see well at the ansae. Anyway, it's been a lot of fun, and I think it's great that Saturn has shown up this year just as Jupiter has set. Kind of maximizing our planetary pleasure.

-geo




Regarding the Encke minima, it appears as a darker contrast area within the A ring ? This sketch by Encke of the rings is almost exactly what I saw a few weeks ago during opposition. http://ejamison.net/encke.html

I saw those shaded areas out on the ansae of the A ring. Although the contrast with the rest of the A ring was more subtle than the sketch. But I say almost because I saw another gap, like Cassinis only much thinner out on the ansae of the A ring between the minima and the edge. That sounds like Enckes division doesn't it ?

I think I had glimpses of the minima the other night. It's kind of funny how once you've seen something before, you know where to look for it. But it was very subtle, like I thought I saw it for a split second a half dozen times in an hour of viewing. But the opposition night the minima was very obvious and the gap was steady with a much harder contrast than the minima. It was a black line, like cassinis only thinner and not as sharp. That is also the only night I've seen any feature within the B ring. It was a minima similar to Enckes, like a shaded area dividing the inside. So the whole effect was like seeing 4 rings, 2 in both the A and B.

I can see the Crepe ring on most every "above average" night. But when its visible, I notice it within the edge of the B along the ansae. It appears as just a brighter dark part of space that curves along the inside of the B. In contrast, the same part of space closer to the planet is deep black. I dont believe I've seen the C ring where it crosses in front of the planet. That sounds challenging. I can imagine a 12" brings in a lot of color on a great night. In just my 8", it was amazing how more vivid the bands looked on that exceptional night. Each had its own distinct color. Brown, orange, tan, gray etc. Usually only the fat band above the rings has any obvious color and the rest are just subtle contrast features on the disc.


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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: Schaden]
      #5873553 - 05/20/13 11:44 AM

So this observing report was using the C8, must have been great seeing.

Just curious, how do the two scopes compare at similar power, say 150-200x?

I have always been curious about a 10" DOB as so many members have one.

Bob


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george golitzin
Carpal Tunnel
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: Schaden]
      #5874896 - 05/20/13 10:51 PM

Quote:

Quote:



I agree with Schaden: the A ring has a textured quality, which in good seeing resolves into the Encke minima. Meanwhile, the B ring is very bright white, but not featureless: it shows a minimum near the inner boundary with the crepe ring. The crepe ring shows very nicely across the orb, while requiring stiller air to see well at the ansae. Anyway, it's been a lot of fun, and I think it's great that Saturn has shown up this year just as Jupiter has set. Kind of maximizing our planetary pleasure.

-geo




Regarding the Encke minima, it appears as a darker contrast area within the A ring ? This sketch by Encke of the rings is almost exactly what I saw a few weeks ago during opposition. http://ejamison.net/encke.html

..........

I saw those shaded areas out on the ansae of the A ring. Although the contrast with the rest of the A ring was more subtle than the sketch. But I say almost because I saw another gap, like Cassinis only much thinner out on the ansae of the A ring between the minima and the edge. That sounds like Enckes division doesn't it ?






yes exactly to the first question, and wow! to the second. very tough to see the Encke division--congratulations to you and David, who seems to have had a superb night. What aperture are you using?

-geo


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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: george golitzin]
      #5875322 - 05/21/13 08:35 AM

Ok, finally had steady skies last night and although there was a lot of humidity in the air and glare from the moon. I first checked out Saturn about 10 pm after the scope was out for a while and imeditely saw a very steady image of Saturn. Three close moons surrounded it and they where steady, not blinking in and out. Then, there it was, the Cassini division! This is the first time in years that I can say I clearly seen it. The planet looked awesome just hanging out in space...better then a picture:) I was using 100-165x mostly.

Bob


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leviathan
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: REC]
      #5875894 - 05/21/13 01:16 PM

Bob, which telescope did you use ? And how many times have you observed Saturn ?

The reason I'm asking because in my case I can clearly see Cassini division every time I observe Saturn in my 4" and 8", no matter how bad seeing is.


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Schaden
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: REC]
      #5876549 - 05/21/13 06:06 PM

Quote:

So this observing report was using the C8, must have been great seeing.

Just curious, how do the two scopes compare at similar power, say 150-200x?

I have always been curious about a 10" DOB as so many members have one.

Bob




Seeing on that night was predicted at 4/5 early evening until 1am when it was 5/5 until dawn. Based on the forecast, I setup at 11 and began observing at 1. As soon as I saw Saturn, it immediately looked better than ever. Even compared to the Zhumell. But I'm sure it would have had its best night if I had it out. I haven't used it much after getting the C8. I don't have a car and can't get to dark skies often, so I do a lot of planetary observing from my south facing 17th floor balcony. When Jupiter was out later, I'd go all the way up to the roof, since it was too high to see, almost directly overhead. But the sct on a tripod with tracking has been so convenient to use. The C8 is noticeabley dimmer and I don't see as much green color on M42, but I haven't had a chance for a side by side planetary comparison.

Seeing really is the largest variable, more important than scope. I read in the new Astronomy magazine, they had an article talking about the rings, and the author commented he had been able to see encke's minima in a 4" reflector with good seeing. I've only had a perfect view like that once, out of hundreds of hours of observation with bigger instruments. But this past 6 months, I have become a lot pickier about it. I always check the forecast now, before I'd just observe when I felt like it, but that night of 10/10 seeing was possible because I knew ahead of time.

That night in late April had to be a 10/10. 360x actually brought out more detail on the lunar surface. New tiny craters, invisible at 180x popped into view. The rings were so sharp.

Last night (Monday) the prediction was for 2/5 at sunset, followed by 3/5 until 10pm when it was supposed to be 4/5 until 4am when it became 5/5. I setup at 8:30 and observed from around 10 to midnight. It looked good at 180x but 360x was very soft, so I remained at 180x the rest of the night. Didn't notice a strong difference in contrast between A and B. And usually Cassinis appeared sharp and steady, other times it was like a fog obscured it. I think it was 7/10 at best, with much worse fluctuations. I paid particular attention to where the rings cross the planet and for sure saw a black line along the inside edge of the B. I think I've seen it before and assumed it was a shadow. Don't know if that was the C. Couldn't see it that well inside the space of the ring ansae and planet. Bands looked distinct, each alternated been a yellowish tan and a darker brown. But I could only discern two hues among 5-6 bands. I counted 6 moons.


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Achernar
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: REC]
      #5877014 - 05/21/13 09:53 PM

The seeing's pretty good tonight here in Mobile, and not only did I see Titan clearly as a tiny orange disk, and five more moons. The Cassini and Encke divisions were also visible. I noticed several faint belts and the dark polar region. However, I am sure small white clouds have appeared near the boundary of the dark polar region, they are small but bright. I was looking at Saturn with the 15-inch at 300X, if the seeing steadies up some more I will try higher magnifications. I think either a storm is blowing up near the pole, or something is upwelling from the interior and turning into white clouds. You all might want to look at Saturn tonight and for the following several nights, this might be something real that would be of interest.

Taras


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azure1961p
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: Achernar]
      #5877149 - 05/21/13 11:22 PM

Some of you guys are getting terrific seeing!! Glad to read these reports.

Pete


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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: leviathan]
      #5877494 - 05/22/13 08:02 AM

I was using my 8" SCT. I have this one for 2 yrs. Last year when the rings were closed up more I could not make it out. Also I think my scope was a tad out of collimation too.

I have been observing Saturn on and off for 30 yrs. Mostly my sky is not that great and seeing is only good once in a while. I just got through obeserving Jupiter the last 6 mos. and was always trying to see the Red spot.

Going forward I'm going to tweak the scope as best I can and take it out at least an hour before I start. I'm looking forward to many more good nights on Saturn. My neighbors really get a kick out of seeing it.

Clear skies,

Bob


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leviathan
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: REC]
      #5877512 - 05/22/13 08:19 AM

So were you able to see GRS on Jupiter with that scope ? Have you checked collimation on a star ?

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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: leviathan]
      #5878129 - 05/22/13 02:04 PM

Just once in awhile. I was able to see some of those bars in some of the belts when they were available. Yes I have collimated it on a star and I'd say it's about 90% on. I get really sharp views on the moon and can resolve M13 on a good night...I think a lot of it is because of my location and not having very steady skies. My Clear Sky Chart rarely is better than 4/5 and most nights is 3/5. Thank goodness I do get 4/5 on transparency a lot.

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leviathan
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: REC]
      #5879422 - 05/23/13 12:45 AM

I had a nice seeing about 9/10 yesterday. With my 8" I was able to resolve 2 and 3 km craters inside of Gassendi crater on Moon, which was close to Saturn on sky, and easily Nu Scorpii double, which is 1,3" if I'm not wrong. As a result Saturn was very sharp even on 444x. Encke's minimum was obvious from a first look on 307x, 4 moons were visible, shadow of rings on planet and of planet on rings, several color belts and dark polar cap on disk.

Not my best "Saturn night" this season, but definitely 2'nd or 3'rd. As a result in the morning Caspian Sea was looking like a lake finally, which in fact it is - not even a single wave.


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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: leviathan]
      #5879824 - 05/23/13 09:26 AM

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

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bremms
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: REC]
      #5881344 - 05/23/13 11:24 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.

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leviathan
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: REC]
      #5881654 - 05/24/13 06:10 AM

Quote:

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.


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Kraus
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: leviathan]
      #5884986 - 05/26/13 01:15 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.


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leviathan
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: Kraus]
      #5885630 - 05/26/13 01:35 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.

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azure1961p
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: leviathan]
      #5886751 - 05/27/13 10:00 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

Edited by azure1961p (05/27/13 10:01 AM)


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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5886973 - 05/27/13 12:02 PM

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


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leviathan
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: REC]
      #5887000 - 05/27/13 12:21 PM

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

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azure1961p
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: leviathan]
      #5887078 - 05/27/13 01:04 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


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azure1961p
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5888222 - 05/28/13 12:46 AM

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

Edited by azure1961p (05/28/13 12:47 AM)


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george golitzin
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5888243 - 05/28/13 01:13 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


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azure1961p
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: george golitzin]
      #5888448 - 05/28/13 07:37 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


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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5888543 - 05/28/13 09:13 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.


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Andrev
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: REC]
      #5889927 - 05/28/13 10:49 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


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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: Andrev]
      #5890105 - 05/29/13 01:10 AM

Quote:

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".


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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: leviathan]
      #5890286 - 05/29/13 07:31 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


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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: leviathan]
      #5894321 - 05/31/13 01:38 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.


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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: Schaden]
      #5895725 - 06/01/13 09:57 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


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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: REC]
      #5895876 - 06/01/13 11:39 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


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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5896069 - 06/01/13 01:38 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"


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Schaden
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: REC]
      #5896190 - 06/01/13 02:53 PM

Quote:

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.


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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: Schaden]
      #5896375 - 06/01/13 04:25 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.


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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: leviathan]
      #5897484 - 06/02/13 09:42 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:)


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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: REC]
      #5897540 - 06/02/13 10:18 AM

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

Pete


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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5930323 - 06/19/13 11:22 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

Edited by azure1961p (06/19/13 11:22 PM)


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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: azure1961p]
      #5930351 - 06/19/13 11:37 PM

I just came in from outside and had a great 45 minutes or so of viewing. Great night all around for Saturn and I. I only have the capability of 142x on a 4.5" f/4 reflector but was able to see two moons very well and a couple more that may have just been what I hoped were moons. It was spectacular either way. Crystal clear other than extra light from the moon.

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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: BenRuss]
      #5930810 - 06/20/13 08:46 AM

I had a nice Saturn session last night too.

Unusually warm, about 18C at 11pm, with a light intermittant breeze. When the breeze blew for a good few minutes at a stretch, the seeing was spectacularly crisp, with Cassini stretching fully 'round the planet, sharp planet's shadow on the rings and ring shadow providing a contrasting edge to the ring's passage in front of the gas giant. The crepe ring ghosted in and out of site in these moments, and the Encke Minimum could occasionally be glimpsed.

I was observing at 200x in my 8" dob.

But that was probably only 25% of the time. the rest of the time, it was a blurred, dancing mess. Sometimes the rings couldn't be resolved at all, LOL. Must have been eddies of different temp air masses rolling off the land north of me.

I also spent some time hunting moons. Ultimately, I was able to find and then confirm the location of 6 of the moons, with reference to my laptop. Enceladus and Mimas remain ellusive for me. I may have glimpsed Enceladus, but only a fleeting suspicion in averted vision.

I tried to spot the polar "Hexagon". The face of the planet was well lined with its usual subtle banding, with a bright cloud band bordering a relatively darker polar region, again, fleeting, a suspicion.

Was nice to get the scope out under cloudless night skies for a change. It's been fairly dismal the last couple months.

J


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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: JasonBurry]
      #5931042 - 06/20/13 10:43 AM

I had a decent session last night.I went back and forth between my 9mm ortho and 6mm plossl. 101 mag and 144 mag with my 80mm Firstscope 11.4 refractor.I viewed with and without. my lumicon mv filter.I can see Titan all the time.but for the first time with the 6.3 plossl and the filter.I seen two more moons well and maybe a third.I hardly use the 6.3 plossl most of the time it,s to much. but last night with the filter it was almost as sharp as my 9mm ortho my favorite eyepiece.I don,t know if it was the subtle reduction of false color or the slight light loss but.I like the lumicon mv filter.and there,s hardly any tint change

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JMW
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: sg80]
      #5938164 - 06/24/13 02:42 PM

I was doing public outreach astronomy on Friday and was showing Saturn at 365x on a Webster with a f/4.3 14.5 inch Zambuto mirror. All of the public could see the dark shadow of the ring division and the ring shadow on the planet. The wind was intermittently gusting to 10 mph so we would have to wait for the moments of calm for the image to show the best sharpness and contrast. The ServoCAT was great for keeping the planet in the field of view at this high of power.

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aatt
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: JMW]
      #5939623 - 06/25/13 12:07 PM

Not last night but the night before, I was able to get to 405x on Saturn using the ES 4.7 or the ES 6.7mm (284x).The 4.7 and the 6.7 are great planetary e.p's.Great FOV, color and clarity. There were windows of clarity in the seeing, although brief, that revealed Enke,Cassini and the appearance of higher level atmospheric haze. Wonderful color and definition in the belts. Hands down the best I have ever seen of Saturn. I noticed the moons, but I was ignoring them while I was watching the disc for those pops in the seeing-definitely worth the wait when it happened.

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leviathan
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: aatt]
      #5939774 - 06/25/13 01:15 PM

aatt, which telescope did you used ?

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aatt
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: leviathan]
      #5940282 - 06/25/13 06:51 PM

A 15" Discovery Split-tube.

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azure1961p
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: aatt]
      #5940628 - 06/25/13 10:52 PM

Aatt ,

The seeings been pretty good finally. Nothing like summer steadiness. Ill bet Saturn was all that.

Pete


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auriga
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: leviathan]
      #5948864 - 06/30/13 11:13 PM

Hi,
Very nice web site, great photos. Does any translation exist into English or French or German or Italian? I would love to read what you have to say but I don't see a translation button on the web site.
It is great that this is an international forum so don't take my question as a complaint,
Clear skies,
Bill Meyers


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Kraus
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Re: Saturn Last Night new [Re: leviathan]
      #5975188 - 07/16/13 10:51 PM


After four weeks and few days, finally the sky cleared. Saturn was plain glorious. That shadow sure is the show stopper.

Still couldn't get past 275 power. That darned 90% humidity is wet at any temperature.

Hurry up and get her Mr. Fall.


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