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Saturn - March 2006


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Observed around 1.00am Wed 2nd march.  Seeing and transparency both excellent.  Scope Nextar 8"

At x60 (32mm EP) the moons are easily visible along with the rings.  At this magnification I couldn't make out Cassini or any detail on the disc.  I need to swot up on the moons but 5 were visible.  2 close in to the left, one just above and to the right and another 2 further out on the right (as seen through a diagonal)  Moving up to a 15mm EP revealed a lot more detail.  Cassini very clear, shadow of the disc on the rings and 1 band clear on the disc. 

10mm EP x200 produced still more detail.  Still appearing bright, Cassini sharp and easily seen including as the rings pass in front of the disc.  With persistent observation and initially with averted vision the encke division was just visible.  No other bands could be clearly observed although it was possible to see a darkening of the disc towards the pole.

The best view was probably achieve using a 15mm EP with a x2 barlow.  close to x300.  Not much more seen than with the 10mm but now encke quite easy to observe. 

Tried a 6mm EP but it isn't good quality and the view was much poorer.  For some reason i didn't try the 10mm EP with the celestron ultima barlow.  It was such a good night the it might just have revealed a bit more.

I found that the longer I observed the more I was able to discern, which I guess is how it's supposed to be!


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