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niallk

On My Knees for Saturn!

5 posts in this topic

I wanted to catch Saturn for the first time this year, and it has been a beautiful evening here, so I headed down to the coast to chance it.  I knew it was going to be low, so I tempered my hopes.  I had checked the jetstream forecast so I had a teeny bit of optimism, and warm temperatures meant observing in a T-shirt, and also no major temp differentials around my mirror. Got there as sunset slowly began - lovely calm night, with the birds on the marsh land calling, the waves lapping softly on the beach.

IMG_20170618_225900703.thumb.jpg.7a01cb36d9bd75c2c5dca080bbec0f9f.jpg

Saturn was at 14° altitude, right down in the haze near the horizon, so I was kneeling on the ground at the EP :) Put in a 10E, then an 8E for ~250x.  The view was crisp - some slowly varying seeing, but exceeding what I could have dared to hope for! The Cassini division was clearly visible, with a clear colour difference between the A and B rings.  I forgot to concentrate on trying to discern the C ring - but suffice to say it wasn't obvious!  From time to time I even thought that I might just be seeing the Encke minima. The was strong equatorial banding on the planet, along with some more banding hues towards the north pole - which was darker near the 'cap'. There was a hint of dark shadow either side of the pole on the rings - it appeared very minimal to me.  Dione, Titan, Tethys, Iapetus and Rhea were visible, Enceladus fleetingly with averted vision, and I later saw that Mimas was behind the disc on Sky Safari.

I was delighted with the views, well worth the lack of sleep and running on coffee in work today!

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The guns of Navarone :icon_biggrin:.

 

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Good result, great location.

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Super report and certainly a worth evening! :)

I was really impressed when I saw the marked colour of the equatorial belt. 

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Nice report, I wouldn't mind a bit of beach myself!

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