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First Decent Planet Views

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#1 Lucky 777

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Posted 01 June 2020 - 11:48 PM

I know this is a major yawn for those of you who have done this a thousand times.  Sunday morning the conditions were good here and I got my first real views of Saturn and Jupiter.  I could actually see the bands on Jupiter as well as 4 moons!  Saturn was less detailed but I could clearly make out space between the rings and the planet.  At 59 years old it was my first time seeing these planets live and for real!  Work doesn't permit me the luxury of another awake all night viewing but I can't wait for another clear weekend night!


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#2 KTAZ

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Posted 01 June 2020 - 11:53 PM

Congrats Lucky. Now you know the same exhilaration so many of us have had by seeing those same sights. Truly inspiring, and humbling, when you find your place in these cosmos.

Welcome to your new frontier!

Edited by KTAZ, 01 June 2020 - 11:53 PM.

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#3 Sleep Deprived

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 12:13 AM

Doesn't matter whether your first planet view is when you are 9 or 59 - everyone should do it at least once.  For most people it's probably neat to look through the telescope and go to work the next day and 'brag' over the water-cooler.  There are a few people, though, that find this activity to be life-altering.  It's those people that end up here at CN again and again!  Then it's time to look at nebulae, double-stars, galaxies, globular clusters, etc, etc.  It is a big Universe out there.  So few of us really take the time to explore it.

 

Congrats on your view!!


Edited by Sleep Deprived, 02 June 2020 - 01:24 PM.

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#4 StarHugger

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 12:45 AM

I've watched Jupiter and Saturn go by every year since I was very young and am 3 years your younger, It's still a very magical experience for me and I still love to run an get my wife or call the children over for a look see. Its at opposition when I really get excited though, a chance to view them at their closest and their best is never wasted and is a visual treasure tenfold. Welcome to the club, Welcome indeed...
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#5 Tony Flanders

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 04:15 AM

I know this is a major yawn for those of you who have done this a thousand times.  Sunday morning the conditions were good here and I got my first real views of Saturn and Jupiter.


No, it's not a yawn for any of us. I get a thrill from Jupiter and Saturn each and every time I look at them.


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#6 zipzipskins

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 05:18 PM

I still remember going with my parents to a star party when I was a kid on the University of Arizona campus in the 90s- Flandrau Planetarium hosted an evening that we attended and I got to look through several telescopes at the planets. I'll never forget seeing Jupiter and Saturn (though my favorite as a kid was always Neptune, which I also got to see that night!) 

 

When my new XT8 came in, one of the first things I did was wake up early to catch these planets in the wee hours of the morning, and I couldn't stop saying "wow" as I looked at them through the eyepiece. 

 

I can't imagine it ever growing old.

 

Nate


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#7 Lucky 777

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 08:43 PM

Thanks all for the kind words, it was indeed a thrill.  I was actually seeing REAL planets!  I took some videos and tried running them through Registax but I have a lot to learn. I think the planets will be there a while and present more opportunities to take a better look.


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#8 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 03 June 2020 - 11:49 PM

Here are the sections on the morning planets from the June 2020 Celestial Calendar.

https://www.cloudyni...stial-calendar/

During June, Mars brightens from magnitude 0.0 to magnitude -0.5 and grows in apparent size from 9.3 to 11.4 arc seconds.  Its altitude increases from 28 degrees on June 1st to 39 degrees on June 30th for mid-northern hemisphere observers.  By month’s end, it rises not long after 12:30 a.m. DST.  Mars and Saturn are at heliocentric conjunction on June 1st.  Mars is at western quadrature on June 6th.  As a result, the planet is illuminated only 84% and appears distinctly gibbous.  On June 10th, Mars subtends 10 arc seconds, a bit less than one half of its maximum angular size at opposition on October 6th.  The Last Quarter Moon passes 2.5 degrees southeast of Mars on June 13th.  On June 24th, the Red Planet departs Aquarius and enters southern Pisces.  Syrtis Major, a dark triangular region on the surface of Mars, will be visible by late June.  An article on observing Mars appears on pages 48 and 49 of the June issue of Sky & Telescope.  Consult the Mars Profiler at https://skyandtelesc...ide-is-visible/ to identify Martian surface features.

 

Jupiter rises before midnight local DST.  It brightens marginally to magnitude -2.7 and gains 2.5 arc seconds in angular size during June.  Saturn lies 4.8 degrees east of Jupiter on June 1st.  The two retrograding gas giants are in quasi-conjunction throughout June.  The gap between Saturn and Jupiter increases to six degrees by the end of the month.  The nearly Full Moon passes two degrees southeast of Jupiter on June 8th.  As Io's shadow begins to transit Jupiter on June 14th, Callisto is eclipsed by the planet's shadow beginning at 5:17 UT.  On June 15th, Ganymede goes into eclipse at 0:40 UT, as Io and its shadow are transiting Jupiter.  Browse http://www.skyandtel...watching-tools/ or http://www.projectpl...om/jeve_grs.htm in order to determine transit times of Jupiter’s central meridian by the Great Red Spot.  GRS transit times are also available on pages 50 and 51 of the June 2020 issue of Sky & Telescope.  Javascript Jupiter at http://www.shallowsky.com/jupiter/ shows Galilean satellite events.  Data on the Galilean satellite events can also be found on page 51 of the June 2020 issue of Sky & Telescope and at https://www.projectp.../jevent.htm#jun and http://www.skyandtel...watching-tools/

 

This month Saturn increases in brightness from magnitude +0.4 to magnitude +0.2 and in apparent size from 17.8 arc seconds to 18.3 arc seconds, while its rings span 41 arc seconds and are inclined more than 20 degrees.  It rises about 15 minutes after Jupiter rises.  Saturn and Mars are at heliocentric conjunction on June 1st.  The waxing crescent Moon passes south of Saturn on June 9th.  Eighth-magnitude Titan passes due north of Saturn on June 14th and June 30th and due south of the planet on June 6th and June 22nd. Iapetus shines at magnitude 10.9 when it is 10.2 arc minutes due west of the planet.  This peculiar satellite is located 54 arc minutes north of Saturn when it reaches superior conjunction on June 20th.  For information on Saturn’s satellites, browse http://www.skyandtel...watching-tools/


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#9 CeeKay

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 06:44 AM

I'm with the others here - I get a thrill every time that I have a chance to see Jupiter and Saturn!  A couple of years ago I was able to see Neptune for the first time and that was a rush!

 

Just hoping that I get some good opportunities to see Mars during the summer



#10 rhetfield

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 07:15 AM

Congratulations.  You have good timing.  Jupiter and Saturn are at their closest (and largest) for the year right now.  The only bad part is that after a month or so, they will start to appear smaller and farther away and you will have to wait to get the same view again.  This morning, two of Jupiter's moons were right on top of each other - so close I had to look good to split them.  Sadly, I had some clouds and turbulence to look through, then got dew.

 

Mars is a bit to the southeast of the other two planets in the morning.  It will be at its closest in October.  

 

Right now, the best time to see all of these planets is just before sunrise.  I only have to get up 1/2 hour early to see them before work.


Edited by rhetfield, 04 June 2020 - 09:19 AM.


#11 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 12:24 PM

Mars achieves opposition on October 6th. The Red Planet spans 22.6 arc seconds, shines at magnitude -2.6, and is positioned 5.5 degrees north of the celestial equator at opposition.

Jupiter is at opposition on July 15th.  On that date, it is located 22 degrees south of the celestial equator, subtends 47.6 arc seconds, and shines at magnitude -2.8.

 

Saturn reaches opposition five days later, when it shines at magnitude +0.1, spans 18.5 arc seconds, and lies 21 degrees south of the celestial equator.



#12 sunnyday

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Posted 04 June 2020 - 12:47 PM

I know this is a major yawn for those of you who have done this a thousand times.  Sunday morning the conditions were good here and I got my first real views of Saturn and Jupiter.  I could actually see the bands on Jupiter as well as 4 moons!  Saturn was less detailed but I could clearly make out space between the rings and the planet.  At 59 years old it was my first time seeing these planets live and for real!  Work doesn't permit me the luxury of another awake all night viewing but I can't wait for another clear weekend night!

if one day it gets boring, change your hobby.
thank you for your report.


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