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Im a relative newbie to serious Astronomy so I was thrilled to get my first confirmed sighting of Saturn, yesterday from my back garden.

I describe here, how it unfolded.

I'd gone out early before work, at 6.30 am UK, just to see what stars were around because I don't normally view stars at this time. When I saw that the Plough / Big Dipper was directly overhead I thought it looked strange because I'd never seen it soo high.

It was then that I thought, now then, what if I follow the handle round to Arturus. Ok

Yes, there was Arcturus shining brightly. Then I thought what about Spica? Yes, Spica was there too, just above a house across the street.

It was when I saw Spica that I realised there was a chance to see Saturn, because I'd seen a feature about it on BBC Sky at Night earlier in the year.

I got out my 7x50 bins to get a closer look. I could tell through binos that what I was looking at was no star. I then quickly dragged my telescope out onto the patio to get an even closer look, braving strong winds.

I manually slewed to the object then looked throught the viewfinder.

What I saw blew me away, as well as the wind!

There was Saturn in all its glory. The rings clearly visible & tilted, also the shadow on them from the planet. It looked fantastic.

I could not believe what I was seeing, not least because I'd only stepped out just to look at a few stars.

I even managed to grab a snapshot with my compact camera by holding it against the eyepiece.I think it came out pretty well considering the circumstances, strong wind & clouds rolling across etc.

My most memorable sighting to date after Jupiter. I've no idea if Saturn is going to be better or worse for seeing over the next few months but I'd like to see it again for sure now that I know how to find it.

Saturn | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

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Saturn will continue to get higher in the morning sky through winter, and should make a wonderful object for evenings next summer.

Nice story - always great to hear about those "The first time I saw Saturn through a scope" stories. :)

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Thanks for the replies. I can't wait to get chance to see it again. As said, the amazing thing is that I didn't even go out look for it. I thought I could be months or so away from any kind of sighting.

Now that I have seen it I should be able to locate it again fairly easily.

It took me about 2 years from first hearing about the Andromeda Galaxy to my first sighting of it. Now I can locate it in seconds.

Now it has taken me 6 months to locate Saturn since I first started looking.

An improvement at least.

I hope the posters who have not seen it yet will be lucky soon.

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Thanks for the replies. I can't wait to get chance to see it again. As said, the amazing thing is that I didn't even go out look for it. I thought I could be months or so away from any kind of sighting.

Now that I have seen it I should be able to locate it again fairly easily.

It took me about 2 years from first hearing about the Andromeda Galaxy to my first sighting of it. Now I can locate it in seconds.

Now it has taken me 6 months to locate Saturn since I first started looking.

An improvement at least.

I hope the posters who have not seen it yet will be lucky soon.

starman, I make videos showing where to find the naked eye planets every week. I also try to include info about constellations and the occasional Messier objects when planets or the Moon are nearby:

Eyes On The Sky

Mostly it is all about timing, and I do try to always say when and where to look. Unless the planets are behind (or between Earth and) the Sun, it is about looking in the right part of sky at the right time of night or morning. Mars is still quite small, and will be even for this spring's opposition, but still worth trying I'd say. Saturn is rising pretty high before morning twilight, and of course Jupiter is a night evening sight.

Hope that helps anyone looking for the naked eye planets. :)

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It actually wasn't too long ago I saw saturn for the first time as well...I knew where it was on my way home from work and could see it as the sun slowly started creeping over the horizon. I thought I would give it a quick shot through the 3" altaz scope I have from my apartment complex...I so thought with the sun starting to come up and the LP from the apartment stairwell I wouldn't see anything, but boy was I wrong...I absolutely loved looking at saturn over looking at jupiter and can't wait to look at her for the years to come.

Nice story on your first view congrats on seeing such an amazing planet.

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6:30 in the morning? Well, if you look due south and maybe 35 degrees up, you should see a red bright wandering star - Mars! It's pretty tiny now, but if you look closely you can nevertheless see a polar cap.

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