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First light of Saturn

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11 replies to this topic

#1
Albenn

Albenn

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I received my new Vixen NPL ep's a few days ago to replace my standard SW ep's that came with the scope and was dying to try them out. I was also very keen to see Saturn for the first time in my scope and last nights clear, cold weather provided the perfect opportunity to do both. I checked with Stellarium as to where Saturn would be and as luck would have it, she was going to be above the moon about 12'ish and coming round from the South so I would be able to see her as she cleared the line of houses that block my view to the South east from my garden.

I took my scope & ep's out about 10'ish to cool down and went back inside for a cuppa. Suitably refreshed, I went back out and checked the collimation and had a bit of a look around with my 10x50's while waiting for Saturn to swing into view.

Unfortunately the moon was full last night and tended to wash out a lot of stars and I was concerned that with me having to look in the vicinity of the moon that it would also wash out my view of Saturn.

Anyway, as it turned out, I needn't have worried about that. So, I put in the 30mm ep, did a quick star test and was ready to go. I lined up the RDF on the bright object above the moon and once focused could make out the object I was looking at had ears! so I safely assumed it was Saturn. Very small but very sharp and clearly defined. I could also make out a couple of pinpricks of light and assumed these to be some of the moons. So far, so good - I was now getting a little excited. I then switched to the 15mm ep, refocussed and was rewarded with an even better view of this beautiful planet. There was now 4 clearly defined moon visible and I just stood there amazed at this wonderful sight, but I wanted more.

On to the 8mm ep. Wow! What can I say? I have to admit here and now that I feel a little embarrassed to mention this but it really was an emotional moment as I just hadn't anticipated just how beautiful she was. I just stood there in awe of this spectacular sight.

I did not expect to see her as clearly and as sharply defined as I did. I could make out a few darker bands on the planet itself with the rings giving a subtle hint of banding although this detail came and went. There were definitely 4 maybe 5 moons there and I wondered just how much more detail would be visible if it wasn't for the light of the moon.

Now my wife is one of those who expects to see a hubble image in a scope and does not enthuse about astronomy, but in my enthusiasm called her out anyway to have a look. She looked into the ep and I was expecting the usual 'yes dear, very nice' platitude but instead heard her say 'Wow! that's amazing'

I then suddenly remembered I had the TAL 2x Barlow! So on that went with the 8mm. The image was a lot bigger but not quite as sharp as the 8mm on it's own I think partly due to the magnified effect of atmospheric shimmer but it was still detailed enough to see the planets banding as before.

I then spent the next hour viewing this marvellous planet with the Barlowed 8mm. I had read and been told that this planet would blow my socks off but I never expected just how much it did.

My new eyepieces? That's for another post - but I suppose that they must be up to the job as I didn't even notice them!

Hope it stays clear tonight because I know what I'll be viewing! ;)
Clear Skies - Alan
Telescopes: Celestron 8SE GOTO, Skywatcher Heritage 130P Flex Mini Dob Eyepieces: Vixen NPL 4, 8, 12, 15 & 30mm. TAL 2x Barlow. BST ED 8, 12, 18 & 25mm. Binoculars: Nikon AE 10x50, Celestron 25x70, Opticron Aspheric 8x40. Camera: Canon 600D.
Tripods: Horizon 8115 and Benro A297-EX. Other Bits: Meade Variable Polarising Moon Filter, Wixey Digital Angle Gauge, Deluxe Cheshire Collimation Tube
Planets: Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, Mars Messiers: 5, 11, 13, 31, 39, 42, 45, 52, 57, 59, 81, 82, 92

#2
jflowers

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Excellent report, does not matter how many amazing photos you look at of Saturn, there is just no comparison to seeing it through your own scope, I could stare at it for hours, actually, I do ;)
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#3
Matthew

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Nice report Alan,Saturn truly is one of the wonders of our solar system and i never tire if viewing it.Saturn was the first object i observed with a scope and im always amazed by its majesty.Im hoping its clear too ;)

Mat

 

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"We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special."

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#4
Philip.

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I had my first sight of Saturn tonight and despite the best efforts of the mega/super Moon to obliterate everything in the night sky, all I can say is incredible.

Even with my SW 10mm eyepiece ( which I keep getting told is rubbish;)) Saturn was crystal clear. I can only imagine what it would be like without the moonlight.

One of the most beautiful things I have seen in my life.........ever:)
Skywatcher Explorer 130

Vixen 10mm and 25mm eyepiece

Revelation Barlow 2.5x

#5
andrew63

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At least you managed to get out - which is something with all this poor weather around . And what a sight Saturn is...


andrew

102ED refractor on Vixen Porta Mount 
Opticron 10x50s   CZJ 8x30
Eyepieces 5mm to 26mm
Look at the stars! look, look up at the skies!  Gerard Manley Hopkins
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#6
Philip.

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At least you managed to get out - which is something with all this poor weather around . And what a sight Saturn is...


andrew

first proper clear night here in weeks so I wasn't going to waste it, so glad I went out for a couple of hours.
Skywatcher Explorer 130

Vixen 10mm and 25mm eyepiece

Revelation Barlow 2.5x

#7
Cjg

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Great report Alan, it's been so long since the skies have been clear in Norfolk.
Did you notice a big difference moving to the Vixen eyepieces?

#8
Albenn

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Thanks Cjg. Hard to say really as apart from a quick star test, the first light with these ep's was of Saturn. This was my first ever view of Saturn so I hadn't previously seen her with the SW ones. All I can say is what I saw through the Vixen's' had good contrast and was sharp and clear. I did not do an A-B comparison with the ep's as I was too pre-occupied drinking in the view of that beautiful planet.

I intend to do a comparison of the ep's as soon as we get another clear night. Whenever that may be!
Clear Skies - Alan
Telescopes: Celestron 8SE GOTO, Skywatcher Heritage 130P Flex Mini Dob Eyepieces: Vixen NPL 4, 8, 12, 15 & 30mm. TAL 2x Barlow. BST ED 8, 12, 18 & 25mm. Binoculars: Nikon AE 10x50, Celestron 25x70, Opticron Aspheric 8x40. Camera: Canon 600D.
Tripods: Horizon 8115 and Benro A297-EX. Other Bits: Meade Variable Polarising Moon Filter, Wixey Digital Angle Gauge, Deluxe Cheshire Collimation Tube
Planets: Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, Mars Messiers: 5, 11, 13, 31, 39, 42, 45, 52, 57, 59, 81, 82, 92

#9
Cozzy

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Great first light report Alan, and what a first light target, none finer IMO.

Tim
SW evostar 120mm (standard) refractor, SW Explorer 200P, SW st80mm, An old TASCO 114 reflector. Canon 1000d.
EQ5, SW RA & Dec motors, self modded hand controller. SPC880 (flashed to SPC900). Bits and Bobs.

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#10
Hitesh

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I finally got my npl eyepiece from FLO. It seems much better than the eyepieces the scope came with. Although I think I have two cracks in the eyepiece around the perimeter. To be honest sure if it's a crack or if it's a glue of some sort. Does yours have this?

Scopes: Skywatcher Evostar 80ED, Skywatcher Skymax 90mm

Guide Scope: Orion Mini guide scope

Mount: Skywatcher AZ EQ 6 GT

Cameras: Canon EOS 650d (unmodded), Lodestar

Software: EQMOD, Backyard EOS, DeepSky Stacker, Registax 6, PHD, Alignmaster, Astrotortilla, SharpCap, Bahtinov Grabber, Cartes du Ciel and Stellarium


#11
Albenn

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Hi Hitesh, No my ep's are fine. Is it a hair caught in there somewhere?
Clear Skies - Alan
Telescopes: Celestron 8SE GOTO, Skywatcher Heritage 130P Flex Mini Dob Eyepieces: Vixen NPL 4, 8, 12, 15 & 30mm. TAL 2x Barlow. BST ED 8, 12, 18 & 25mm. Binoculars: Nikon AE 10x50, Celestron 25x70, Opticron Aspheric 8x40. Camera: Canon 600D.
Tripods: Horizon 8115 and Benro A297-EX. Other Bits: Meade Variable Polarising Moon Filter, Wixey Digital Angle Gauge, Deluxe Cheshire Collimation Tube
Planets: Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, Mars Messiers: 5, 11, 13, 31, 39, 42, 45, 52, 57, 59, 81, 82, 92

#12
Hitesh

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No it's definitely no hair, especially since I don't have much of it, I'll try and take a picture of it

Scopes: Skywatcher Evostar 80ED, Skywatcher Skymax 90mm

Guide Scope: Orion Mini guide scope

Mount: Skywatcher AZ EQ 6 GT

Cameras: Canon EOS 650d (unmodded), Lodestar

Software: EQMOD, Backyard EOS, DeepSky Stacker, Registax 6, PHD, Alignmaster, Astrotortilla, SharpCap, Bahtinov Grabber, Cartes du Ciel and Stellarium





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