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End of Summer Magic

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#1 Jeff B

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 01:24 PM

Well, last night here in SW Ohio, the air mass was very dry and very calm (for around here anyway) with extended moments of sub-arc second seeing for 4-5 hours.   There was a mild haze from the fires out west though.  The air was a little chilly and a most welcome change. 

 

Jupiter and Saturn were spectacular in my TEC 200ED, with my Zeiss "Sharpest APO" binos, Baader BBHS Silver T2 diagonal and Baader 1.7x GPC (more like 1.6x though).  Eyepiece pairs used were my good old 9mm UO orthos, 10mm, 12mm, 16mm, 20mm Claves and 22mm Celestron Silvertop Plossls. 

 

I caught out a moon transit early on at dusk which was followed later by its shadow transit and then exit from the planet's face.  For me, Jupiter's moons, especially when they are close to each other and to the planet, really enhances the bino-viewer 3D experience. last night was no exception.  Jupiter itself was awash in subtle inter-belt detailing with a wide low contrast color palette. The moons were obvious disks of differing size and color, however, being so low in the sky, the ADC around its disk kept me from seeing smudges on Ganymede, which I know from past experiences, were within the range of the seeing conditions and upper range of the magnifications used (290-320x).   Now Io was very interesting and visually it reminds me of Mars and Titan as being able to take high magnification well because it's more mono-chromatic, basically orange, and is not perturbed by ADC nearly as much as the other moons.  Io's disk, while dim, was sharp.

 

Ditto Titan, which was an obvious, maybe 1 arc second (+/-) pale orange colored disk during the really calm moments but still obviously non-stellar during the less calm moments.  Saturn itself was "etched" at times with several bands easy on the planet, and hints of more, looking rather like a hard boiled egg yolk.  The planet's shadow against the rings was stark and added to the stunning 3D effect bino-viewers are noted for.  Speaking of hints, from time to time and sometimes for several seconds , there was perhaps, maybe, Enke's division in the tip of the A ring. Maybe.  But there was something popping in and out there. The B ring was beautiful displaying a wonderful range of color and brightness from the inner "crotch" close to the planet out to the division (which was sharp all the way around).  The crepe was easy against the planet's disk.

 

Mars was splendid.  And BIG. And BRIGHT.  And soaked up the magnification.  The polar cap was elongated and a bit "ragged" around the edges with a black boarder, a portion of the edge of the planet was a thin blue ring too.  The detailing on the surface was sublime and intricate.  Wow!

 

Bagged and tagged the scope and mount at about midnight, very tired but also excited...and very grateful for what I had just witnessed. 

 

What a wonderful late summer evening.

 

Jeff

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#2 EverlastingSky

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 02:14 PM

Good report. Indeed, the shadow of Saturn upon the rings is very pronounced now and adds mightily to the 3D effect. Such superb Binoviewers have increased the available dynamic range considerably.


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#3 petert913

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 02:31 PM

TEC 200ED with Zeiss binos.   My brain exploded and that’s all I remember.  laugh.gif



#4 denis0007dl

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 03:11 PM

Jeff, one more time excellent report waytogo.gif

Its very visible that you enjoying in your equipment, and astronomy, same like I do, but I have to admitt, I am bit too lazy to write all kind of tests, enjoyments etc.....so really thanxs for your writeups, as always!

 

I also using my Carl Zeiss Sharpest APO binoviewers really almost every day, even on daytime obsevations, and testings of all of a kind.........

 

Kind regards

CS
Denis, binoviewers expert


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#5 payner

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 03:59 PM

Jeff: Enjoyed you fine report. Do you think what you saw near the edge of the A-ring was the Encke minima? I have yet to see the actual gap in excellent 5/5 seeing through a well acclimated and collimated 250-mm D-K, for example.


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#6 Jeff B

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 04:59 PM

Jeff: Enjoyed you fine report. Do you think what you saw near the edge of the A-ring was the Encke minima? I have yet to see the actual gap in excellent 5/5 seeing through a well acclimated and collimated 250-mm D-K, for example.

And that's possible.  I do know there was "something" out there at the ring tip, something very fine, linear and black, and fleeting.  And those glimpses looked familiar.

 

I don't recall seeing it before with this scope but I have seen it directly twice before (once with an observing buddy who also caught it out), with the big D&G 11" F12 (full aperture and stopped down to 9.5"), a 1.3x Denk OCS system, Denk II viewer and, importantly, a Chromacor O1 (full aperture) or N1 (stopped to 9.5") properly placed and spaced in front of the AP star diagonal. All were nights to remember.  The first time was about 4 -5 - 6 years ago, with the aperture stopped to 9.5".  Again Saturn was etched, the globe full of belt structure, and the rings were extra ordinary with fine gradations in structure and texture, an almost phonograph record impression.  I was not looking for it that night (actually, I did not know it existed), but I noticed a hard, sharp, black, line out towards the end of the A ring in extended moments of extreme calm.  I mentioned this to my friend and he had a look.  At first he didn't see it, then...BAM, he saw it.  We both continued to see it for a while until the seeing degraded.  It was the next day when we figured out it was Enke's division as it looked exactly like, and was placed right where it is in some of the photos of the planet.  That was pretty cool as we both were not prompted by any remembered prior knowledge really.

 

Now with the TEC 200ED, I have also seen smudges on Ganymede as well as obvious polar brightening on Uranus and the rille in the lunar Apline Valley among other stuff.  All with bino-viewers too.

 

I just wish I had my 11" F7 Parallax/Zambuto Newt on line last night.  But that will be back in action later this month.

 

Jeff


Edited by Jeff B, 16 September 2020 - 05:01 PM.


#7 payner

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Posted 16 September 2020 - 07:15 PM

If it was a thin-as-a-hair at the edge of the A-ring, seems y'all probably saw it. The minima, as you know, is a small, but wider and inward from the edge a bit, a dark "smudge" by comparison. I will say once I thought I may have seen the Encke gap (10" D-K), but than recalibrated my eye to the region and finally was only willing to conclude it was again the Encke minima. Quite the feat and congrats.




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