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nephilim

Saturn first time at 5am

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Last night I checked the weather (for the 1001st time of the day) and saw that 3am-6am today was 'apparently' totally clear so decided it would be a perfect opportunity to see Saturn for the first time ( I'd seen it briefly in early december in my old 130mm scope but no rings were apparant as the sun was just coming up) I set my EQ5 up by the front door (Saturn rises there for us) & left the 200p in the freezing outhouse) Thte 4am alarm sounded & I promptly rolled over & went back to sleep, only to be woken 20mins later (thankfully) by my girlfriend informing me 'IT'S CLEAR!!. We quickly got dressed & I checked outside for encroaching clouds only to be met by the rare sight of a perfect albeit moonlit, clear sky with not a cloud in sight, 10mins, 1 cigarette (me),1 coffee later we went out.

I set up the scope, popped in a 25mm & there she was, I quickly swapped to the 9mm Meade HD-60 and all I can say is WOW!! Now I've seen the pictures & the sci-fi films but nothing can prepare you for actually seeing the ringed planet with your own eyes :shocked: , it looked so 'alien' (as if a sticker had been put on my EP :grin: , I gave the scope to my girlfriend (who I'v now shown how to manually track and focus herself, I was too excited to PA & mess on with the motor drive) and her response was very similar to mine (with added jumping up and down). I then put the 2xBarlow in and the cream colour was apparent as was the cassini division, I could also make out Titan, Rhea, Tethys & a faint Dione. At this point her 10yr old daughter wandered downstairs wondering what all the noise was about, she understood when she had a look herself & couldnt quite believe it was real :smiley: I atempted to image the planet but gave up after 10mins as my fingers were dropping off & my laptop is unresponsive to gloves :grin: I'll save that time till spring & a less ungodly time.

If all I ever saw through my scope was Saturn I wouldnt be disappointed as it's an image that will stay with me for the rest of my life. This hobby is highly frustrating what with the wind, rain,cloud & snow but when It works, it makes up for those countless rubbish weather reports tenfold. If there's anyone else here who has never seen this wonder I'd strongly advise you to make the effort (even though I nearly missed it :grin: ) its WELL worth it.

Steve

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Congratulations!

I've got a night shift tonight. Hope it stays clear. Sadly I won't have a scope with me.

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Glad you got a magical sight. As you say This hobby can be frustrating, But it proves that with Time, Patience and dedication it can be very rewarding.

Thanks for the inspiring description.

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Sounds like you had a great experience there. Saturn is an amazing sight. Make the most of it this year as its getting lower and lower in the sky each year. It'll be a good few years before its back again in its full glory

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It's always lovely to hear the "first" reports :grin:

Sounds like you got a great view as well, the seeing up this way was dreadful by 5am! Its no easy task getting the moons, Iapetus was hanging around near the neighboring stars but very faint.

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My scope is 4000 kilometers from me and you are making me miss it badly.

Good story..Thanks!

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD

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I'm really keen to see Saturn - I'm hoping that next time I am on a trip with an early start I can set the alarm a bit earlier and go out to see it!

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I bet everyone remembers their first view of Saturn, it really is an unreal sight......I'll wait till it's up at a more reasonable hour though......harhar.

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Thanks everyone, It really was a magical sight & very awe inspiring, I really didnt think the rings would be quite so apparent......I love this hobby of ours :grin:

Steve

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My scope is 4000 kilometers from me and you are making me miss it badly.

Good story..Thanks!

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD

Well i'm rather jealous of the crystal clear nights you must get up there :grin:

Steve

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Well done, viewing Saturn always gives me the 'wow' factor. I too am separated from my telescope, all being well we will be re-united on the 12th Feb.

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A great report.

Saturn never dissappoints and to see four moons at the same time is fantastic. I have seen Titan, Rhea, Tethys and Iapetus but not all on the same night. The planet often washes out moons when they are in close visual proximity to it.

Clear skies!

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Superb. Lovely to show Saturn, especially with the rings well placed. I found a notebook from 2011. At x400 on the 2/5/11 at x400 the Cassini,Encke and C ring could be seen,

Nick.

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That's such a great report and it's so good that you could also share the experience. Saturn is quite something and Mrs Wavesoarer also thought it looked almost cartoon-like through the eyepiece - almost too good to be true. Congratulations also for seeing the Cassini division as your scope must be nicely collimated. The view of the Cassinini division can be quite fleeting, depending on the conditions, but it's very sharp and abrupt on those moments of good seeing. I tried to find as many moons as I can (Stellarium helps with the identification) and this can be quite a challenge for the fainter ones. A very rewarding planet to observe. I'm looking forward to observing Saturn again but I'll wait until it's visible at a more reasonable time. I'll try to look for the Encke and C ring but I expect that Nick's observing abilities, and patience, will beat mine.

Dave

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A great report.

Saturn never dissappoints and to see four moons at the same time is fantastic. I have seen Titan, Rhea, Tethys and Iapetus but not all on the same night. The planet often washes out moons when they are in close visual proximity to it.

Clear skies!

I was quite suprised myself when I saw the 4 moons as I'd heard they were tricky,although I spent well over an hour viewing so things were 'coming & going' as the seeing changed, at first i thought that a couple of them may have just been stars but looking at Stellarium for that time the moons were indeed in that position so I was very happy, I'm intending as many early viewings as I can whilst she comes into opposition & altho I was amazed at the Cassinni division I'd love to make out more detail altho i'm unsure how much can be tweaked out with my 200p.

Steve

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I find that for me, it is best to have a cigarette and a cup of coffee after I've set up the scope so that at least the scope is equalising whilst I'm puffing away (and waking up) so I get an extra 10 minutes viewing.

I saw Saturn for the first time last year in the late evening on that one day of summer we had. The seeing happened to be the best I've ever known - so it was a double "wow" factor.

There's plenty of grunt in your scope, it's the atmospherics that limit things. I believe a Wratten #80 will bring out a bit more detail on the surface.

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I find that for me, it is best to have a cigarette and a cup of coffee after I've set up the scope so that at least the scope is equalising whilst I'm puffing away (and waking up) so I get an extra 10 minutes viewing.

I saw Saturn for the first time last year in the late evening on that one day of summer we had. The seeing happened to be the best I've ever known - so it was a double "wow" factor.

There's plenty of grunt in your scope, it's the atmospherics that limit things. I believe a Wratten #80 will bring out a bit more detail on the surface.

Thanks for the filter advice :smiley: normally, i would do the whole coffee/ciggy thing your way round but the night b4 i'd setup the tripod/mount/rings/weights so & it was just a case of moving it over the doorstep & plonking it down, I had the OTA in the outhouse which is the same temp as outside, so needed no cooling. I wanted to do as little as humanly possible at that time in the morning :grin: And yes, the 'wow' factor will stay with me for a long,long time :grin:

Steve

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I noticed that you kept it in the outhouse, but the temperature in my outhouse is normally colder than it is outside and the scope has been known to mist up a bit until it warms up. I can't win :embarrassed:

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I noticed that you kept it in the outhouse, but the temperature in my outhouse is normally colder than it is outside and the scope has been known to mist up a bit until it warms up. I can't win embarrassed.gif

I know what u mean, my outhouse has thick walls & in the middle of winter that can sometimes happen to mine, usually only when its really cold (-5+) I risked it that morning & was lucky it was ok. :smiley:

Steve

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This hobby is highly frustrating what with the wind, rain,cloud & snow but when It works, it makes up for those countless rubbish weather reports tenfold.

Actually if these things were easier to see then they wouldn't be half as exciting to admire, in my opinion. It's like those perfect sunrises/sunsets or moonrises/moonsets. Sunrises, sunsets, moonrises and moonsets happen very frequently ( :grin:) but everyone admires a beautiful one when they get the chance to be at the right place at the right time.

Tony

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