Yesterday evening I was planning my observing session for that night, focusing on some double stars that I have been working through in the Astronomical League’s Double Star program. A couple of the doubles I had picked were in Aquarius. Opening up my beloved Sky and Telescope’s Pocket Sky Atlas, I was drawn to some of my previous notes on the page that showed Neptune’s position in previous years since 2014. Each of these dates, I remember what telescope I was using and where I was, fond memories of hunting each night for this distant, icy planet. I have tried to visit Neptune at least once a year, but in ‘17 and ‘18 I moved from rural Southeast Arkansas to Northeast Florida from work and shortly after moving here I picked up a couple more hobbies, saltwater fishing and scuba diving. My eyepiece time definitely took a hit those two years while I got used to my new life here and developed in to a scuba nut 😂 One of the wonderful things about the hobby of astronomy is that when other things in life get in the way, the stars will always be there waiting for your return.
Now, I’m back in the saddle and lately have been enjoying my first refractor, a Skywatcher 100ED. With a little work last night using the 100ED, I found Neptune at 128X clearly non-stellar greyish-white with a hint of blue. The planet was quite tiny, about the size of a period in a sentence! It will be more difficult, but also more rewarding, but my next visit to Neptune will be with my 12” Dob to attempt to observe its’ moon Triton.
Have you observed Neptune? I would enjoy hearing about your experiences with our outermost planet (poor Pluto).
Edited by Orion92, 13 October 2020 - 06:55 PM.