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Observing planets for the next few years.


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I put some information together in this recently. It's not totally disastrous but it's still going to be 2020 before things get significantly better for Mars, and Saturn will take much longer.

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I was pondering this exact subject just last night, so thanks for the information. Makes me wish I'd held back on my recent planetary EP purchase! Still, I do enjoy the moon.

Unfortunatley, what this information does do, is induce aperture fever, as I now need a DSO scope :).....It's a good excuse anyway.

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Got to hang onto my Tak FC100DL for another few years then .... :icon_biggrin:

Uranus and Neptune can get interesting if you have some aperture - I managed to see Neptune's moon Triton and the Uranian moons Titania and Oberon with my 12" dob last year. They need high power to pick them out though.

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20 minutes ago, michael.h.f.wilkinson said:

I'll just take my scope on a summer holiday to southern France, or perhaps Italy: good food, warm nights, good wine, and planets 9-10 deg higher than back home. What's not to like ;)

Michael, I admire the sacrifices you are prepared to make in the pursuit of astronomy ?

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27 minutes ago, michael.h.f.wilkinson said:

I'll just take my scope on a summer holiday to southern France, or perhaps Italy: good food, warm nights, good wine, and planets 9-10 deg higher than back home. What's not to like ;)

Mine's along for the trip to France in August :)

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I guess we need to gently feed this information in to anyone coming new to the hobby, based around our latitude and intending to concentrate on the planets initially - ie: it's worth taking an interest in a wider range of astro targets to get the most from the hobby over the next 4 years :rolleyes2:

 

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1 hour ago, Stu said:

I put some information together in this recently. It's not totally disastrous but it's still going to be 2020 before things get significantly better for Mars, and Saturn will take much longer.

image.jpeg

roll on 2031 stu, saturn will be ace :happy11:

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1 hour ago, John said:

I guess we need to gently feed this information in to anyone coming new to the hobby, based around our latitude and intending to concentrate on the planets initially - ie: it's worth taking an interest in a wider range of astro targets to get the most from the hobby over the next 4 years :rolleyes2:

 

I think that's absolutely right John. Around when I started properly in 2000, Jupiter and Saturn were high in the sky and close together. Wonderful views in my 6" reflector, I naively thought they would always be together and always be that high!!

I remember seeing the Enke gap and the Cassini was usually pretty straightforward. I knew nothing back then, and probably missed loads of chances to see shadow and moon transits on Jupiter, but I did catch the GRS a few times. No such things as apps back then!

I also recall seeing the planetary alignment at a similar time of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter Saturn and the Moon, all strung out in a line, wonderful stuff!

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3 hours ago, michael.h.f.wilkinson said:

I'll just take my scope on a summer holiday to southern France, or perhaps Italy: good food, warm nights, good wine, and planets 9-10 deg higher than back home. What's not to like ;)

I'm glad I invested in an ST80 - trip to Marrakech last month gave me great views of Saturn and Mars high in the sky - and we usually go every year so I think I may be ok... ☀️☀️?????

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Oh well I can still use my new ZWO planetary camera for all sky :D  I shall still try to capture Mars, Jupiter and Saturn though when the weather lets me :)

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It's just depressing! The rings are open so wide, and Saturn's altitude is so low - no fair ?

Roll on 2020 for Mars though - gonna try to steal another look tonight with the binoveiwers :)

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I wouldnt mind even if i could see them so low down. I cant though. I did a guesstimate today of the trees at the end of my garden which block my southern view. They reach up to about 55 degrees. Cutting them down is not an option. Too expensive and i like the privacy they give me from the Uni behind my house. Not sure how far i'd have to travel outside of the garden to get a clear view south. Might have to join Michael on his trip to France or Italy.

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6 hours ago, chiltonstar said:

I'm just running my NHS Life Expectancy app to see if I can make any of these......

Chris

I live for the day!  

Right, what's out there tonight that I can see?  Damn, it's cloudy again.

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Interesting. I was using the 10" and a BCO 10mm giving x125 and a Nagler 7mm giving x180. Thought I'd try the ES 9mm 100* giving x140 and the difference is surprising. At  x140 with the ES I can see the polar cap on Mars and the Cassini Division on Saturn quite distinctly. 

I think it was John that stated the optics on the 100* EPs were better nowadays and I'd tend to agree, as the Nagler and BCO are no slouches. The ES beats them hands down. I'm pretty surprised here, but pleasantly impressed. 

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Hi Barry, I just had my 250px out with my binoviewer - let the scope cool for ~45mins and yep agreed - seeing pretty poor. Had a look at Saturn - Cassini not what I'd call clear; Mars - some shading visible, lighter polar region, but soft detail; Jupiter - not sharp.  I'm tired, so I packed it in for the night.

I went to Pilmore the night before last - it was just such a beautiful evening, and had really quite stable seeing amazingly. I had low hopes, but really nice views of Saturn and Mars - even for such low altitudes :)

I just see your post re the ES100° - very interesting result!! :thumbsup:

I was just in my back garden last night, using my ES20/100° as tipped off by your good self, and had bit of a globfest - love the fov ?.

This recent bout of clear weather has me wrecked from 3 nights in a row ?

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