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How many bands on Saturn can you see in your 3" and 4" apochromat.

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#51 Asbytec

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 07:50 PM

Thanks for the lengthy elaborate post. I will study it.

I tried to discuss potential detail from the equator to the pole and from the inner ring circumference to the edge. I hope it helps keep all those belt and zone acronyms straight. 



#52 Asbytec

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 08:13 PM

The two attached sketches of Saturn are my most recent. Saturn from the UK has been very low so visually detail is hindered by the thick, turbulent atmosphere. I'd no intention of ever showing these half hearted outlines, but I'm sure you'll forgive any imperfections.

 

I'm looking forward to seeing Saturn high in the sky again, when the ring detail can be breathtaking!

 

attachicon.gif IMG_0699.jpgattachicon.gif IMG_0698.JPG

What I find interesting in your image is the apparent splitting of the NEB, same as Thomas and Alexander (Sasa) showed above. Some recent well processed images seem to show a well developed north temperate belt (NTB) and a prominent darkening of the southern edge of the north equatorial belt (NEB south). This may give rise to the apparent split of the equatorial belt. Or it may be the visual appearance and sensitivity of the observer can actually see some very low contrast brightening within the NEB as David shows. I have no idea. But, if so, then the contrast in the image must be very good. There is another belt at the northern edge, the NEBn, and sometimes it can be seen. Years ago it seemed to be not visible unless I just lacked the skill to see it. 

 

As are your sketches and notes are nice, too. You noted the brighter ring near Cassini and the apparent darkening of the B ring toward the inner ansae. When you say Enke, I strongly suspect you saw the Enke minimum and not the extremely thin Enke division itself. But to see that also requires good contrast, it's one of the many features presented in the rings. http://ejamison.net/encke.html


Edited by Asbytec, 20 May 2019 - 09:02 PM.

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#53 starman876

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Posted 20 May 2019 - 08:34 PM

Saturn is fascinating to see.  Never lets me down.   In a large scope a lot of moons start to stand out and it looks like it is in a starfield.  


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#54 David Gray

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 02:06 AM

Interesting David was at 154x and 3.3mm exit pupil with his technique of beating the seeing, I operate closer to 0.5mm exit pupil and twice the magnification without any specialized technique. No glare up that high, but Saturn was in much better tropical seeing near the zenith years ago. Some color was still available with a descent image scale. 

 

 

No Norme that's not my approach.....ever........but my opinion on the OP's Linked observation..........

 

As I went on to say...............

 

"But to say that my preferred 270x-385x: with binovu and apodizer gives me just the right level of a glare-free Saturn on the 415mm D-K in decent transparency.  Lower, no Apodizer & Binovu and it becomes white-out for me..........If the seeing does not stand those powers then I’m unlikely getting what I’m after with lower on planets – finding the contrasty-gain, as also with stopping down, unproductive/spurious (e.g. where is that sought fine belt/zone structure etc. – still unseen/seeing-smeared that’s where – if it’s there at all that is)  Better I find grabbing the moments (patience, patience) with higher; or Plan B with something else!"



#55 Asbytec

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 03:20 AM

"...but my opinion on the OP's Linked observation.........."

My apologies. I misunderstood, mis read, or just glanced back at what you wrote when composing my comment.

I was thinking the apodizer might be helping you that low magnification possibly being limited by seeing at low alt in order to produce a sketch. Was wondering how all that worked so well, apparently. My bad.

I agree with your opinion on large exit pupils. Saturn can take magnification beyond any limit due to the seeing. It helps to have sufficient image scale to see it well.
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#56 David Gray

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 04:03 AM

Thanks Norme......

 

Actually the apodizer, also + binovu, would/does indeed counter that glare; but such low powers would not allow realizing the full potential of the 16.3" aperture in the best moments – be they ever so brief!

 

Years ago some BAA ‘eminent’ put out a paper expounding low power planet-viewing on the basis of the difficulty of the seeing on average not allowing much better than 1”(true enough) so c.150x was his recommendation regardless of aperture.  No understanding/acknowledging that critical observers use the better moments to catch fine sub-arc detail.........seasoned observers slammed this and it faded away – but perhaps not entirely it seems........!

 

Actually I have recently been looking at  (16.3" D-K) very close bright doubles – some unequal – and sub 0.3”/0.2" (even ~0.12”): stelledoppie-checked – and the apodizer has allowed lower powers (300-365x) than might be needed to get sharper views of the companion-adjacency (merge/contact) with the central disk due to the suppressed 1st ring.......... report pending – Sketching Forum........

 

Speaking of 0.5mm exit pupil, a fine view of Jupiter this a.m. (3” refractor 160x - the old 3-Incher - no apodizing!) I might post on Sketching later today.....depending on routine diversions etc............”

 

Cheers,
Dave.


Edited by David Gray, 21 May 2019 - 04:16 AM.


#57 Roragi

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 04:57 AM

This is an example of an old observation, this is what I saw in my refractor 4". The used barlow is not 2x if not 2.6 x use the 40mm extender on the Zeiss abbe.

 

Saturno plantilla3.jpg

 

 

Roberto.


Edited by Roragi, 21 May 2019 - 05:00 AM.

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#58 David Gray

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 05:08 AM

Thanks for showing -  I always appreciate an actual illustration over verbal descriptions.........


Edited by David Gray, 21 May 2019 - 10:44 AM.


#59 AllanDystrup

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 08:20 AM

.

Saturn observation at opposition 2016

    

    

     I’ve not been observing Saturn much the past couple of years, but here is an observation of the planet using my 3” Vixen FL-80S refractor from the Copenhagen area at 56°N. Saturn was just below -20° in S Ophiuchus, at opposition to the Earth.  The tilt of the rings was ~26 degrees up N as seen from Earth (about as wide as they can be).

 

 

Obs. Report

Time: 2016-06-04, 22:30 – 23:00 UT,Loc.:56N 12E Denmark, Alleroed,
Setup: 3.5x FFC + 1.7x GPC + CZJ O-16 / 200x magnification,
Transp.: 5/7, Seeing: 6/10, Bortle: , Red (Suburban Trans.), NELM 4.7 (SQM17.3) Nautical twilight

    

     It’s an hour past midnight local time, and Saturn is at 13° altitude in southern Ophiuchus, 1 day after the 2016 opposition (on June 03.). The early morning is clear and balmy (13°C), typical for our temperate, high pressure summer weather. Both seeing and transparency are around medium, which -- combined with the northern nautical twilight and my suburban observation site (SQM 17,3 / NELM 4.7) -- results in somewhat soft images in my small 80mm Vixen FL-80S refractor.
    
     I have both my Baader FFC @ 3.5x plus a 1.7x GPX in front of my CZJ Zeiss Amici turret, and I now click up the magnification from 80x (ATC K-40) to 128x (CZJ O-25) and finally 200x (CZJ O-16). The last one is overkill for the current observation conditions, -- it does not add any details -, but I like the larger image frame, so I stay at that magnification for my drawing.
    

     The Saturn globe is seen as a mottled ball, where NPR and NEB can be glimpsed as darker areas, while EZN and NTrZ are seen as lighter bands across the marble. The dark outer A-ring and bright inner B-ring are both beautifully outlined, although I cannot clearly identify the dark Cassini division between them. The innermost C (Crepe) ring can be discerned in glimpses out in the ansae, along the inner line of the B ring.
    

     Saturn’s largest moon Titan (8.5m) is easily seen, and I suspect I can also spot Dione (10.6m), -- both moons visible to the W of the planet.

       

     Saturn 2016 OP.png

      

     -- Allan


Edited by AllanDystrup, 21 May 2019 - 08:26 AM.

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#60 Asbytec

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 08:40 AM

Yea, David, I agree. Long exposure seeing may be 1" arc, sure enough, but that does not mean many better moments (short exposures) are not possible and detail below one arc second not visible. They are. Really, I guess folks use the "seeing limit" to regulate their magnification. I understand that, I like a steady (seemingly) high contrast image as much as the next guy. But, I do not use that technique. Limiting magnification, to my mind, acts counter to seeing much of anything. It counter acts what a telescope does by magnifying both objects and seeing. So, if you're not gonna see much because of some concern over seeing, then you're certainly not going to see much with a small bright image that looks steady and appears high contrast with good hue saturation.

 

It looks pretty, but I think one is missing much. It's too small and too bright and both are problems as much as seeing, except now compounded with the seeing. Poor seeing is still affecting the detail you don't see down that low, anyway. It's not like you're "cutting through" the seeing by using less magnification, the image is still affected by the seeing conditions just like it is a higher magnification. Lower magnification is at a scale where we may not actually notice seeing...nor notice the potential detail that does come through. I prefer to magnify the image, anyway, and wait...or move on to another target (Plan B, I guess) if the image is really unworkable. 

 

There may be some optimal magnification where seeing is not so disturbing and the image is large enough, but I do not think it's at 3mm give or take. Maybe around 1mm, give or take. I don't know where that optimum might be, I live in the tropics and have normally good seeing and not infrequently those excellent "once in a lifetime" calm nights. But, we also get terrible seeing periodically. If seeing is good, hey, it's crank it to the maximum exit pupil time. Normally around 0.6mm to 0.5mm exit pupil. If seeing is excellent, that's a bonus. If Saturn or Jove are unworkable, it's plan B. We get kind of spoiled. But, I think there is nothing about 1" arc seeing that warrants a large exit pupil with the sum of all cumulative affects hampering the view for the sake of perceived image clarity. Unless you're just sight seeing, then that's fine. 

 

I do not use a seeing limited magnification. I magnify it and decide whether or not the image is worth observing. 


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#61 David Gray

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 09:12 AM

Right-on Norme..........

 

One thing that comes up on seeing discussions is someone coming along telling us how our ~1" seeing is

no good to professional observatories (as though that is all we get).  Of course not: they want consistent long

periods of sub-arc seeing for their work.  No good them, as we have to do, waiting-for/catching those briefer

better spells.  A different ball-game entirely........

 

Dave.


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#62 Asbytec

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 09:44 AM

I can only imagine 1" arc seeing in the abstract. I think I know what it is. Pickering or Antoniadi make more sense to me. At around Pickering 5 or 6, the moon is blurry with frequent sharp moments. Still not the best detail the aperture is capable of, but some finer detail none the less.

Being the Airy discs of my 6 and 8" apertures are sub arc second, the seeing FWHM with blurry rings is probably about 1" arc during the worst moments of Pickering 6/10 or a tad more. So, yea, it's what we have to work with, but finer detail is certainly visible even if not diffraction limited. Same way with planets.

Heck, even in the best seeing detail rolls in and out of view at the diffraction limit, too. But here, at times, we're seeing what the scope is capable of resolving and imaging. This is when the softest planetary detail is visible...like belts on Saturn.
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#63 Magnetic Field

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 11:22 AM

Thanks Norme......

 

Actually the apodizer, also + binovu, would/does indeed counter that glare; but such low powers would not allow realizing the full potential of the 16.3" aperture in the best moments – be they ever so brief!

 

Years ago some BAA ‘eminent’ put out a paper expounding low power planet-viewing on the basis of the difficulty of the seeing on average not allowing much better than 1”(true enough) so c.150x was his recommendation regardless of aperture.  No understanding/acknowledging that critical observers use the better moments to catch fine sub-arc detail.........seasoned observers slammed this and it faded away – but perhaps not entirely it seems........!

 

Actually I have recently been looking at  (16.3" D-K) very close bright doubles – some unequal – and sub 0.3”/0.2" (even ~0.12”): stelledoppie-checked – and the apodizer has allowed lower powers (300-365x) than might be needed to get sharper views of the companion-adjacency (merge/contact) with the central disk due to the suppressed 1st ring.......... report pending – Sketching Forum........

 

Speaking of 0.5mm exit pupil, a fine view of Jupiter this a.m. (3” refractor 160x - the old 3-Incher - no apodizing!) I might post on Sketching later today.....depending on routine diversions etc............”

 

Cheers,
Dave.

Sidgwick (Amateur Astronomer's Handbook) gives the rule of thumb: minimum useful magnification = aperture in mm.

 

To stay on topic: this means approx 100x for a 4" refractor.

 

I wonder if this Sidgwick criteria somehow falters for large apertures and only applies to smaller instruments < 8"? I mean this would mean your minimum useful magnification for planets is 400x on your Dall-Kirkham.

 

 

If you use very low magnifcations on larger apertures (e.g. 150x on a 50cm reflector) and the image gets too bright why not screw in a neutral filter?


Edited by Magnetic Field, 21 May 2019 - 11:24 AM.


#64 Magnetic Field

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 11:27 AM

.

Saturn observation at opposition 2016

    

    

     I’ve not been observing Saturn much the past couple of years, but here is an observation of the planet using my 3” Vixen FL-80S refractor from the Copenhagen area at 56°N. Saturn was just below -20° in S Ophiuchus, at opposition to the Earth.  The tilt of the rings was ~26 degrees up N as seen from Earth (about as wide as they can be).

 

 

Obs. Report

Time: 2016-06-04, 22:30 – 23:00 UT,Loc.:56N 12E Denmark, Alleroed,
Setup: 3.5x FFC + 1.7x GPC + CZJ O-16 / 200x magnification,
Transp.: 5/7, Seeing: 6/10, Bortle: , Red (Suburban Trans.), NELM 4.7 (SQM17.3) Nautical twilight

    

     It’s an hour past midnight local time, and Saturn is at 13° altitude in southern Ophiuchus, 1 day after the 2016 opposition (on June 03.). The early morning is clear and balmy (13°C), typical for our temperate, high pressure summer weather. Both seeing and transparency are around medium, which -- combined with the northern nautical twilight and my suburban observation site (SQM 17,3 / NELM 4.7) -- results in somewhat soft images in my small 80mm Vixen FL-80S refractor.
    
     I have both my Baader FFC @ 3.5x plus a 1.7x GPX in front of my CZJ Zeiss Amici turret, and I now click up the magnification from 80x (ATC K-40) to 128x (CZJ O-25) and finally 200x (CZJ O-16). The last one is overkill for the current observation conditions, -- it does not add any details -, but I like the larger image frame, so I stay at that magnification for my drawing.
    

     The Saturn globe is seen as a mottled ball, where NPR and NEB can be glimpsed as darker areas, while EZN and NTrZ are seen as lighter bands across the marble. The dark outer A-ring and bright inner B-ring are both beautifully outlined, although I cannot clearly identify the dark Cassini division between them. The innermost C (Crepe) ring can be discerned in glimpses out in the ansae, along the inner line of the B ring.
    

     Saturn’s largest moon Titan (8.5m) is easily seen, and I suspect I can also spot Dione (10.6m), -- both moons visible to the W of the planet.

       

     attachicon.gif Saturn 2016 OP.png

      

     -- Allan

Thanks for posting this. Very cool.

 

I know it the Europeans can do it.



#65 csrlice12

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 11:29 AM

No bands, just some guy in a space suit driving a Tesla....



#66 mikeDnight

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 11:32 AM

What I find interesting in your image is the apparent splitting of the NEB, same as Thomas and Alexander (Sasa) showed above. Some recent well processed images seem to show a well developed north temperate belt (NTB) and a prominent darkening of the southern edge of the north equatorial belt (NEB south). This may give rise to the apparent split of the equatorial belt. Or it may be the visual appearance and sensitivity of the observer can actually see some very low contrast brightening within the NEB as David shows. I have no idea. But, if so, then the contrast in the image must be very good. There is another belt at the northern edge, the NEBn, and sometimes it can be seen. Years ago it seemed to be not visible unless I just lacked the skill to see it. 

 

As are your sketches and notes are nice, too. You noted the brighter ring near Cassini and the apparent darkening of the B ring toward the inner ansae. When you say Enke, I strongly suspect you saw the Enke minimum and not the extremely thin Enke division itself. But to see that also requires good contrast, it's one of the many features presented in the rings. http://ejamison.net/encke.html

That's an interesting attachment Norme. The Enke division has often raised eyebrows, especially in a small aperture scope, in which it is arguably impossible to resolve width wise. However, linearly its  feature I regularly see, just inside the outer edge of the A ring. Often it is lost if the atmosphere is turbulent or the scope is warm, and only rarely do I see it in both anse though I do have some sketches showing it in both. The minima tends to be more central to the A ring and more of a shadowy feature to my eye. The attachment makes an interesting comment about sketching and seeing the Enke division, and also about the importance of good optics in the last paragraph. I know it might seem counter intuitive, but I feel smaller aperture scopes with sharp optics can really work to advantage in less than perfect conditions, as they seem to see through the seeing with relative ease. And using a binoviewer makes things much easier to discern too! ☺

 

Thanks for your interesting post and the attached article too!

 

Mike


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#67 Jeff B

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 11:32 AM

Good topic.

 

Refreshing in that people are reporting what they actually see in the eyepiece(s).  waytogo.gif

 

Jeff



#68 Magnetic Field

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 11:53 AM

Good topic.

 

Refreshing in that people are reporting what they actually see in the eyepiece(s).  waytogo.gif

 

Jeff

In my case: mostly eye floaters. I hate those rowdies



#69 Astrojensen

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 02:00 PM

In my case: mostly eye floaters. I hate those rowdies

A binoviewer can help with that. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


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#70 Magnetic Field

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 02:12 PM

A binoviewer can help with that. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark

Not in my case because I am impaired with my left eye.

 

Larger aperture would help (> 6").



#71 David Gray

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 02:33 PM

Sidgwick (Amateur Astronomer's Handbook) gives the rule of thumb: minimum useful magnification = aperture in mm.

 

To stay on topic: this means approx 100x for a 4" refractor.

 

I wonder if this Sidgwick criteria somehow falters for large apertures and only applies to smaller instruments < 8"? I mean this would mean your minimum useful magnification for planets is 400x on your Dall-Kirkham.

 

 

If you use very low magnifcations on larger apertures (e.g. 150x on a 50cm reflector) and the image gets too bright why not screw in a neutral filter?

I believe Sidgwick goes on to consider the departure from that 1mm exit pupil c.>12” aperture; and without even consciously applying it I sort of fell into that......My 10” (254mm) Newt 250x favoured for planets, the 16.3" (415mm) has leveled out 365-385x – even my having an excellent 16mm Zeiss Ortho (415x)...

 

Even so that and the Zeiss 10mm (665x) have given fine views over the years: the latter one morning gave me a view of Copernicus (filling much of the field!) so sharp that fine detail just seemed to  reach finer and finer - sunrise came so no chance at available Saturn.  In spite of the relaxed f/16 focus-accommodation the (very) fine-focus knob with even about 1/10th of a turn was enough to lose the ultra-sharpness (seeming to show there is an absolute critical sweet spot regardless), and often enough to know it was not the air doing it.......only about 8-10 such views (inc. planets) since 1965 so can’t hang my observing hopes on that. 

 

That aside: no matching Zeiss pairs for binoviewing.

 

Sidgwick’s Handbook I have loved/lived-in for years as its dishevel bears witness – and the companion volume likewise.

 

Filtering down a 3mm+ Exit pupil is the way I’d go – in my case the apodizer + binovu goes a good way toward that – but I want finely resolved detail and image-scale for discrete hues.


Edited by David Gray, 21 May 2019 - 02:43 PM.


#72 starman876

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 02:50 PM

Will be fun when Saturn returns to view in my area.  I will make a real effort to report on what I can see with some of my scopes.   I am sure there are many who have followed this thread that will be doing the same.



#73 Astrojensen

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 03:12 PM

Not in my case because I am impaired with my left eye.

 

Larger aperture would help (> 6").

Sorry to hear that. In your case, aperture is the way to go. 

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark



#74 Astrojensen

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 03:14 PM

Will be fun when Saturn returns to view in my area.  I will make a real effort to report on what I can see with some of my scopes.   I am sure there are many who have followed this thread that will be doing the same.

Yes, but sadly, Saturn (and Jupiter) are REALLY low in my sky for the next years -  or next five or so years in Saturn's case. I can only hope to get a few mediocre views this year. A really sharp view is unlikely.

 

 

Clear skies!
Thomas, Denmark


Edited by Astrojensen, 21 May 2019 - 03:16 PM.


#75 Magnetic Field

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Posted 21 May 2019 - 03:23 PM

Will be fun when Saturn returns to view in my area.  I will make a real effort to report on what I can see with some of my scopes.   I am sure there are many who have followed this thread that will be doing the same.

And no porkie pies please. Even if ones 4" Takahashi apochromat only shows 2 bands (sorry to hear that for such an expensive instrument).

 

Everyone has to report truthfully how many bands they see (if you see Elvis report it as well).

 

Edit: People also should report if they see "colour". I can remember I once owned a ETX-90 and it never showed colour (Saturn was only grey scale and white). But my Vixen VMC 110L shows a more colourful Saturn and Jupiter (brownish hues). I think my Vixen achromat 4" f/10 long time (25 years) ago showed also a good colourful Saturn (although with a blue false colour fringe).


Edited by Magnetic Field, 21 May 2019 - 03:31 PM.



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