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watersblue

Is it possible to see Mimas?

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This morning when viewing Saturn, I could easily see a few of the larger moons. I also saw a white dot moving slowly across the view, very faint and slow, which I presume was a satellite. I was positive I could see a tiny speck close to Saturn when I averted my vision. I just checked in Stellarium and found this:

Screenshot2013-02-19at231611_zps95693db1.png

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Yes you can see Mimas as an amateur astronomer, it's quite small and faint but when the conditions allow it does pop into view, it sits close to rings and can often get lost in the glare from the planet. It's not 'always' viewable and depends on the orientation of saturn (it gets harder to spot as the rings widen). It's a hard target but within the grasp of an 10" and I've read some have seen it with an 8". It really relies on steady skies and good magnification. Enceladeus is also a good faint one to go for too.

Edited by EntropyStar

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I've seen Enceladus with a 10" scope but, so far, Mimas has eluded me. I have a 12" now so may be able to remedy that soon :smiley:

If you saw an object visibly moving through the field of view though I'd suspect a satellite rather than a moon. The latter do move of course but it takes longer to notice the changes.

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Reading the OP again I get the impression that the moving object and the speck of light were two different things. Mimas is certainly a difficult object to see due to its closeness to Saturn. :smiley:

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Reading the OP again I get the impression that the moving object and the speck of light were two different things. Mimas is certainly a difficult object to see due to its closeness to Saturn. :smiley:

Ah, yes - you are right Peter, the OP says "...... I also saw a white dot moving slowly.....". I must read posts more thoroughly !

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I'm pretty sure I have seen Mimas in my 12" and 16" scopes, usually with full aperture and low power. this seems to make the moons a little more obvious at the right times. as suggested above, the moons are easier to see when Saturn's ring system is less inclined toward us - but then you don't get the rings! I'll try next time I am out with the 6" but I doubt it's do-able with that.

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It must be a coincidence that I thought I could see a tiny speck there and it appeared on Stellarium. These SW 130s are good, but maybe not that good.

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SW130s may be good but ye canna change the Laws of Physics Jim. The larger your aperture the better the resolution of your scope.

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