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Saturn with 10x50


Stevo
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Bit of a novice question here.

I was outside last night looking at Saturn with my 'Starter Pack' Meade 10x50 Bins. Went out at 10:30, but wasn't fully dark, and stayed out until 11:20 (nice and dark). The problem is I'm not sure what I should be seeing with this basic equipment. I think I can tell its not round, and sometimes think I can just make out the rings (or its 'ears') at the 10 and 4 o'clock position, but I'm not sure.

Should I be able to see better then this, or am I expecting too much?

Thanks

Stevo

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Bit of a novice question here.

I was outside last night looking at Saturn with my 'Starter Pack' Meade 10x50 Bins. Went out at 10:30, but wasn't fully dark, and stayed out until 11:20 (nice and dark). The problem is I'm not sure what I should be seeing with this basic equipment. I think I can tell its not round, and sometimes think I can just make out the rings (or its 'ears') at the 10 and 4 o'clock position, but I'm not sure.

Should I be able to see better then this, or am I expecting too much?

Thanks

Stevo

Sounds about right. At 10x it's an elongated shape...

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I think you are expecting a bit to much. With 48x magnification i can see Saturn, small and with rings around it.

But with 48x magnification Saturn is still relatively small in the eyepiece. I reckon you would need about 40x magnification to see the rings for sure.

I dont know if i am right though. Just what i think.

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I think it should just be visible, although I think you may require having seen it before in a scope to get that instinct knowledge that it is indeed Saturn. I have a pair of 20x50 binos, and I have seen the ring most certainly (Although it is a very small image, I recommend reading some of the TUTs on observation, they helped me loads!), it is a great time of year to view it as it is higher in the sky than earlier in the year, when the house next door blocked it until about 11pm. To think though, an object as far as Saturn to be distinctively recognised to all even at much lower magnifications, its just wonderful ;)

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I find that, in a 10x50 (and 10x42) binocular, Saturn is definitely non-stellar; if the binocular is mounted, I can tell that the planet is a distinctly odd shape. A 10x50 binocular isn't really a planetary instrument (but you ought to be able to see Titan when it is at a good elongation) -- use it to find open clusters, which are probably the most enjoyable species of binocular object.

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I can definately see that it's no star with 8x and 10x binoculars.

I tried briefly with a 18x65 birding scope and got no more detail than you got. Just a hint of "ears".

You'll love Jupiter when you see it though. I was flabbergasted to see a planets moons with just 8x binos!!

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Thanks for all the comments.

I'm a total novice and didn't know what to expect, or what I should be seeing.

The idea was to learn the sky with bins, then buy a scope when I've got some idea of what I'm doing. I don't want to be someone who spends money on a scope and then have it gather dust because I don't know what to do or look at.

And the whole 'go-to' thing seems to easy and a bit like cheating. (IMHO)

Cheers

Stevo

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  • 2 weeks later...

Swing your bins north to Coma Berenices - lots of nice Messier objects there, including Mel-111, which should be spectacular in your 10x50's.

Scorpius, as it rises in the south east is also another rich target, and as the summer moves on, Sagittarius will also offer many rewards for the binocular observer.

Dan

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Held against a wall, I can see the rings clearly on Saturn and Titan.

Maybe a good trick, if you donot alredy, is to turn a soft brush on its head. Use the shaft as a mono pod and rest your arms,elbows on the bristles. This works a treat against the "wobbles".

ON very good steady nights I can pick out the gap between the planet and the rings.

Neptune and Uranus are also easy binocular objects. They look like blue stars.

Eddie

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I don't think you will see much more than you see with the naked eye. I think it still looks like a bright star, you will need giant telescopes or a telescope to see rings or any other detail.

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you will need giant telescopes or a telescope to see rings or any other detail.

"Giant" is probably overstating it. I have a 6" TAL Newt at the moment and I can clearly see the rings in that. :)

Edited by Hobbes
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