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2020 Saturn-Jupiter Conjunction Classic Observing Plans and Reports

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#1 ccwemyss

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Posted 12 December 2020 - 03:28 PM

Starting from a comment that Barry made in the observing thread, I thought it would be fun to see if people have any special plans for observing the conjunction with their classics (and perhaps to follow up with reports too). Maybe having people share these will give additional ideas and inspiration to others.

 

Assuming that I can dig the observatory out after the snowstorm forecast for Wednesday night, I'll be using the AP 6" f9 with UO Koenigs, 32, 24, 16, and 12, to see how tight I can go. If that's not feasible, I'll be using the Pentax 85 with its native eyepieces. 

 

I'm not an astrophoto type, but this may move me to try to get my DSLR to work on the back end of one of these to get a few photos to share with my students. 

 

Chip W. 


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#2 Couder

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Posted 12 December 2020 - 03:56 PM

I plan to try both Clark refractors, the 6" Fecker refractor, and the 12" Fecker classical cassegrain. We live in a deep valley and even during droughts there is a layer of moisture than hangs in the air - so unless it is a very good night I get blurry images. I have been observing with the 4" Clark and the Fecker already, hoping conditions will improve! I have these two scopes up by the house, which is several feet higher on a hill than the observatory so it helps a tiny bit.


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#3 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 12 December 2020 - 04:49 PM

Good idea for a thread..….

You guys do get more than your fair share of snow up there...Hope you get to the big scopes...

 

For classics   I am using the Vixen 80mm fluorite

A  Televue Petzval design will have wide  flat fields

 

As a happy  newcomer to Dobs  I wonder how an 8 inch Dob or Newt might frame Jupiter and Saturn?

Finally,   I am interested in what eyepieces folks will be trying out?

I have older TV wide field  32. 26. 19 eyepieces      a Panoptic 27  but  I have grown fond of the Nagler Type 6's   11, 9, 7   82 degrees  as well as a Meade 4000 UWA 8.8

 

Interesting to see what folks recommend


Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 12 December 2020 - 07:18 PM.

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#4 Couder

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Posted 12 December 2020 - 05:29 PM

You don't have to wait to try your eyepieces out, both planets are visible now. I've been trying different combinations to see what works best.


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#5 John Higbee

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Posted 12 December 2020 - 05:43 PM

I'll be heading over to the Naval Academy late this week /over the weekend to observe with the 1857 Clark 7.75" refractor. 

 

The USNA Astronomy Club just got a new imager (a ZWO ASI) and we're going to try it out on the "Great Conjunction"

 

John 


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#6 DAVIDG

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Posted 12 December 2020 - 09:35 PM

 I have been observing them with my  homemade 6" f/4 Newtonian  that I built for 28mm Pretoria eyepiece that was designed to coma correct a 6" f/4 parabola.

   Here is  a picture I took with my cellphone two evenings ago held up  to the eyepiece. Both planets fit in the field of view.  One thing you once is the difference in  size and brightness when you can view them at once.

 

                     Happy Holidays !

                        - Dave 

jupiter saturn.jpg


Edited by DAVIDG, 13 December 2020 - 09:16 AM.

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#7 davidmcgo

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Posted 13 December 2020 - 10:24 AM

This coming Wednesday the 16th the crescent Moon will be skimming below Jupiter and Saturn by 4 degrees or so.  Clear skies willing, it should be lovely in my Nikon 10x70 Wide Field and 6x42 SARD binoculars.

 

Dave


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#8 Bomber Bob

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Posted 13 December 2020 - 10:41 AM

I'll have to play it by ear as DEC 21 approaches -- We've started Wet Winter at The Swamp.

 

I'll observe it as I can.  Would be cool to use the antique CZJ wide-field eyepiece in my Mogey 3, and try to snap some casual shots with my new phone.


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#9 Terra Nova

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Posted 13 December 2020 - 10:41 AM

We have another extended period of clouds and gloom forecast here, but I’m hoping to get a break now and then. After several nice nights, clouds rolled back into the picture Friday night and again last night. This morning it’s completely overcast. Looking at the long range, Thursday night, the 17th and Monday night the 21st look best right now at 34% and 45% predicted overcast. So no big plans. If the possibility presents, I will be ready, most likely with my 80mm F5 RFT and my trusty Mayflower 60mm x 700mm. It’s very important to me that I get a look at it through the Mayflower as it was my first real scope and I’ve looked at almost every significant astronomical event with it since I got it in 1965. My eyepieces of choice will be my 28mm Edmund red-band RKE, an old 20mm WF binocular eyepiece adapted to 1.25 that I have, a 20mm circle T Erfle, an old 26mm Questar Koenig adapted to 1.25”, a 1947 32mm Brandon, and my 18mm and 13.8mm Meade Series 4000 SWAs. And a 2x triplet Celestron Ultima shorty barlow if I want to pump it up! Those are my favorite 1.25” wide-field classic eyepieces. This is the toolkit that I’ve been using for the past couple of weeks. It’s all lightweight and quick to get out and in, so well suited for the task. I tend to ‘travel light’ in winter, telescope-wise, tho I won’t be traveling beyond my southwest-facing front porch.

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Edited by Terra Nova, 13 December 2020 - 10:48 AM.

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#10 steve t

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Posted 13 December 2020 - 11:16 AM

We have another extended period of clouds and gloom forecast here, but I’m hoping to get a break now and then. After several nice nights, clouds rolled back into the picture Friday night and again last night. This morning it’s completely overcast. Looking at the long range, Thursday night, the 17th and Monday night the 21st look best right now at 34% and 45% predicted overcast. So no big plans. If the possibility presents, I will be ready, most likely with my 80mm F5 RFT and my trusty Mayflower 60mm x 700mm. It’s very important to me that I get a look at it through the Mayflower as it was my first real scope and I’ve looked at almost every significant astronomical event with it since I got it in 1965. My eyepieces of choice will be my 28mm Edmund red-band RKE, an old 20mm WF binocular eyepiece adapted to 1.25 that I have, a 20mm circle T Erfle, an old 26mm Questar Koenig adapted to 1.25”, a 1947 32mm Brandon, and my 18mm and 13.8mm Meade Series 4000 SWAs. And a 2x triplet Celestron Ultima shorty barlow if I want to pump it up! Those are my favorite 1.25” wide-field classic eyepieces. This is the toolkit that I’ve been using for the past couple of weeks. It’s all lightweight and quick to get out and in, so well suited for the task. I tend to ‘travel light’ in winter, telescope-wise, tho I won’t be traveling beyond my southwest-facing front porch.

Sorry Terra, you can blame me for the clouds. I bought a new Barlow to use with the 4" Newt. and it's been cloudy, on my side of the river, ever since. frown.gif flowerred.gif


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#11 The_Vagabond

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Posted 13 December 2020 - 11:35 AM

Since I prefer to use classics anyway, I will probably use either my AstroScan or modified Harmonic Reed shoulder telescope (65mm, sort of like a poor person's TAL-65... a very poor person's...). Maybe my Selsi 40mm zoom spotter scope as well (I use it for a lot of lunar work, believe it or not). 


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#12 Terra Nova

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Posted 13 December 2020 - 12:08 PM

Seeing that I like to keep it light and simple this time of year given the iffyness of the weather, I might give my Questar a go on it’s alt-az mount rather than the much larger and heavier wedge.

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#13 CltFlyboy

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Posted 13 December 2020 - 12:44 PM

My best view happens to be on the sidewalk in front of the house - I can see to about 5 degrees above the horizon in a slot made by the street. That means I might get drive-bys. I'm all for doing outreach, especially with this event as it is truly once in a lifetime, but I'm worried about people coming up to me this year. And I want to image them of course. So I might setup the 10" SCT for imaging and put the 80mm EXT out for anyone who wants to see them - at least 6 feet away with instructions no to touch anything. Were we in a different place this year I would absolutely being doing huge outreach to my 'hood.


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#14 rcwolpert

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Posted 13 December 2020 - 04:26 PM

It will be this setup for me.  Now that the skies are getting good once again here in southern Florida and all the biting things are now gone, I'm hopeful. smile.gif

 

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#15 Terra Nova

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Posted 13 December 2020 - 10:35 PM

Our forecast has changed. It’s supposed to be clear here tomorrow night!


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#16 Russell Smith

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Posted 13 December 2020 - 11:14 PM

Hopefully we will have clear nights for this event. 

I was able to observe both planets earlier in the fall from my backyard but both are in the trees now.

Fortunately I can set up just up the street .

Will take the firstscope 80 that I put on a Polaris mount so I guess it's now a C-80 wannabe.

Meade 20mm,15.5mm,10.5mm,and 7mm RG eyepieces. 

 

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#17 Eric P

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Posted 14 December 2020 - 09:16 AM

Hopefully the weather cooperates.  Planning on meeting up with some local amateurs and will probably bring the FC-76


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#18 starman876

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Posted 14 December 2020 - 09:42 AM

hmmm, should I get the 12" portaball  out.   Would be a great view with its wide field.   I have to carry it out of the lower level of the house.  it was banned from the dining room.   Seems to get heavier each yeargramps.gif


Edited by starman876, 14 December 2020 - 09:43 AM.

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#19 mfoose

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Posted 14 December 2020 - 11:24 AM

I plan on using my Vixen 102mm f/9.8 with some Circle-T orthos, 9mm, 12.5mm, 18mm. I may use my 10" f/6 Dob, but I won't have time to wait for cool down and I don't want to be fighting thermals for a good view. Especially with this big Nor'easter coming. While the 10" outpaces the 102mm on planets, the 102mm is my steady eddy. No fuss and excellent views. Maybe I will bring out both...

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#20 oldmanastro

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Posted 14 December 2020 - 01:23 PM

Weather permitting I will be out observing that conjunction with two telescopes, from top to bottom the first one and last one in this 1964-66 Sears group. I'll try imaging that conjunction too with the Sears 6336 mounted on the Astroview. The 60mm altazimuth gets the honor for its 55 years of service. 

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#21 Paul Sweeney

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Posted 14 December 2020 - 04:21 PM

Were supposed to have clear weather on Wednesday and Friday nights. I will be surprised if it comes true, but if it does, I will be out with my trusty Vixen 80L. It is a top performer when the sky is unsteady.
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#22 Terra Nova

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 11:29 AM

It was supposed to finally clear out here yesterday afternoon. It never did and was very dark and grey all day and completely overcast when I went to bed. This morning I awoke to muted, diffuse sunlight and that has continued but clouds are forecast to move back in by evening. It’s not looking good here.



#23 Senex Bibax

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 12:39 PM

Sorry Terra, you can blame me for the clouds. I bought a new Barlow to use with the 4" Newt. and it's been cloudy, on my side of the river, ever since. frown.gif flowerred.gif

Same here, I bought a Celestron 1.25" Barlow last week to use with my Sears 6339A (adapted for 1.25"). As of this morning, we are supposed to have clear but cold weather through Friday, then cloud over for several days, just in time for the conjunction. And by cold, I mean daytime high of -13 C tomorrow. So, I can check out the planets while freezing my extremities off, or enjoy a milder view of overcast skies.



#24 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 01:06 PM

Clear today

 But we have a Nor'easter for Wen into Thursday    6 to 12 inches  NYC and Southern Connecticut

 So    have to plow   and then make a path to my spot that presents the window of opportunity for this grouping.  If the weather is clear on Sunday and Monday I'm driving north to the higher and  level darker skies  of the Candee farm / school complex in Easton...I am  bringing the Vixen 80mm FL   and the C-102 for outreach  and the NP-101  (for me)  ww2 binoculars   maybe a camera... a table    a pack of masks and hand sanitizers in case the civilians want to take a peak

 

Eyepieces   What are you anticipating that you might use?

 

I'll guess  I will  be using my AT Paradigm outreach set

 

 I'll have the Silvertop 26mm   the Nagler T'6's with me  7, 9, 11  and the 16mmT5

The sweet and special  Delite 18.2  and the more pedestrian Delite 9mm and the new to me Meade 8.8mm   uwa…….

 

What are we    looking for?  the best  wide field with the most power that still plants both planets in the field of view and not on the edges?  See both planets and their moons

 

Having no experience with this type of conjunction   might it really be like the media says  a double planet?        Of course one article referred to this event as a planetary collision


Edited by Defenderslideguitar, 15 December 2020 - 01:24 PM.

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#25 Defenderslideguitar

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Posted 15 December 2020 - 01:10 PM

Weather permitting I will be out observing that conjunction with two telescopes, from top to bottom the first one and last one in this 1964-66 Sears group. I'll try imaging that conjunction too with the Sears 6336 mounted on the Astroview. The 60mm altazimuth gets the honor for its 55 years of service. 

Speaking of conjunctions and groupings     who doesn't love Guido's  grouping of Sears refractors in post 20 ?    I know I do


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