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2020 Saturn-Jupiter Conjunction Classic Observing Plans and Reports

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#201 ccwemyss

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Posted 10 January 2021 - 10:35 PM

As noted elsewhere, I fixed up the Edmund 4001 special OTA and got it on a mount last week, giving me an f5 OTA. I also picked up a Unitron 114 mount for the f7.7 Jaegers, that arrived this week. Although it was cloudy for much of the day, it cleared just before sunset, and I set up both scopes. The 4001 with a 41mm Panoptic, and the Jaegers with a 40mm Celestron Plossl. 

 

Jupiter was the first to become visible, and then I spotted Mercury in the Jaegers, which was easier to pan around with. Once I had it in relation to Jupiter, I was able to get the 4001 pointed in the right direction, and started sweeping back and forth with it. There were still thin clouds on the horizon, giving a rosy glow to the sky that made it hard to find Saturn, but eventually I got it. All three were very close to the edge of the field, so I had to use peripheral vision to see them all at once. In my R/L reversed view, Jupiter was near the top, Mercury on the lower right, and Saturn on the lower left. All were quite small, and I didn't see any moons. Mercury was a dazzlingly bright point in the scope. Jupiter was brighter overall, but more extended. Saturn was very small, with the elongation of the rings just visible. 

 

I tried a few cell phone shots, but it couldn't handle the wide field. Then I went back to the Jaegers, thinking I might be able to at least get Jupiter and Mercury together (Saturn wouldn't quite fit in the same field), but by the time I got the phone lined up, Mercury had set. I think it's time to say goodbye to Jupiter and Saturn for now. 

 

This conjunction has certainly offered quite a few wonderful observing experiences!

 

Chip W. 


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#202 39cross

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 10:55 AM

We also had good weather and a surprisingly clear horizon on the 10th, often there is a band of clouds to the west in the early evening.  I brought a pair of 7x50 binoculars to the local park that has the best view westward.  Like Chip's observations, I first spotted Jupiter via the binoculars; maybe 10 minutes later Mercury; then another 10 minutes or so spotted Saturn, which was much dimmer than Mercury.  The trio made a nice, loosely lopsided equilateral triangle, and were all visible together in the binocular field of vision.

 

Only Jupiter was definitely visible by eye without binoculars.  I think I may have caught a glimpse of Mercury, but it wasn't bright enough to outshine the twilight.  They all sank pretty fast.  Compared to even a couple days before, Jupiter seemed quite a bit lower inside the 'twilight zone' and a lot dimmer.

 

It looks like we are in for a few days of cloudy weather, so they'll all be gone by the time we have another clear evening.


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#203 Terra Nova

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Posted 11 January 2021 - 08:06 PM

****! We had a rare sunny day and clear night last night (but quite cold and the seemingly endless clouds got me out of practice) and I completely forgot about Mercury being in the conjunction, of course, it’s cloudy again tonight. 




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