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starhopper13

First time seeing Saturn

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Astronomers often describe their first sight of Saturn as being unforgettable. Now I understand why.

Few days ago I saw Saturn with my celestron 130mm reflector. It looked so unnaturally beautiful and rather eerie against the starry background. 

I would really love to know your first experience of seeing Saturn and what impression it left on your mind. 

Also, it would be really great to know how I can see the divisions and gaps in Saturn's Rings. I only have two eyepieces for now, a 10mm and a 20mm. Should I switch to higher magnification or just look harder with the current eyepieces? Can I even see divisions with a small scope? 

Edited by starhopper13
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Hi Starhopper13, yes, my first view was stunning and I shall never forget.  When I looked it was high in the sky and very clear with the rings tilted towards their maximum.  Unfortunately, the planets are not on very good view at the moment as they are quite low and you are looking at them through the thicker atmosphere but it will get better later.  Depending on the atmospheric conditions you should be able to see the Cassini Division with your 10mm Eyepiece.  I use a 6mm eyepiece (150x magnification) for planets, but Saturn can take a bit more magnification, 200x to 250x.  Well done for getting your first view of this magnificent planet 'Lord of the Rings'.

Edited by rwilkey
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The first time I looked at it, I was unimpressed. I was 9 or 10 at the time. I was using a cheap department store refractor and eyepieces my parents had bought for me. I could only see an oblong spot. Using a barlow just made it more blurry, the scope was unable to reach focus and it jumped around all over the place because the mount was unstable and wasn't well built. The experience actually had a detrimental effect on me and my interest in astronomy. It wasn't until a few years ago when my own daughter had a passing interest in astronomy that I considered getting a telescope. We had been to a star party or two and seeing the DSO's they were showcasing (planets weren't up at the time) brought my own interest back and I knew that I was going to have to get a larger, higher quality telescope than the ones my parents had bought me if I wanted her to maintain her interest. Let's just say looking at Saturn or Jupiter through a 12" dob with quality eyepieces is quite a different experience than a cheap, plastic refractor. The first time I saw the division in the rings of Saturn and the bands and the storm on Jupiter, I was completely blown away. Now I get to share that with other people at our outreach events and blow their minds too.

It really depends on the scope and the person what the best magnification is. For me and my 12" dob, 150x works well enough to see the division in the rings of Saturn and the bands and spot on Jupiter. I might be able to push it to 200-250x, 300x is a little much with the atmospheric effects.

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My first view stuck in my mind forever. Just a cheap 3" reflector,  but I knew it was really the ringed planet I was looking at.

10 decades later when I got back in it, it was one of my first go to targets.

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My first time view of Saturn was through my 90mm frac, unbelievably stunning, 

It's a great big WOW, and still is, although the planets are low in the sky it still gives

me a thrill,  more so with my 200p fitted with the bino viewers, as Robin said, when

higher in the sky Saturn is superb, glad to hear you are enjoying yourself.

Clear Sky's.

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Saturn is the biggest normal size scope WOW in Astronomy. I still say wow when I get a clear view,

Paul

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Yeah, alway's remember when I was around 14 and had my first real telescope a 150mm newtononian and looked at Saturn, beautiful and still is stunning. Took my best image of Saturn back in 2003 with a 10inch meade SCT. 

PSX_20190510_142956.jpg

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Thanks for sharing your experiences and advice, everyone! I guess I'm lucky in this regard that from my place the planets go quite high up in the sky. It's been cloudy lately and I can't wait to go observing again. 

Clear and dark skies! 

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18 minutes ago, starhopper13 said:

Thanks for sharing your experiences and advice, everyone! I guess I'm lucky in this regard that from my place the planets go quite high up in the sky. It's been cloudy lately and I can't wait to go observing again. 

Clear and dark skies! 

Oh, for your latitude in Dhaka. 

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7 minutes ago, Nigella Bryant said:

Oh, for your latitude in Dhaka. 

Yep! It's great for observing planets. Not too high, nor too low. 

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My first view of Saturn was via a Tasco 4ETE (40mm refractor/40x magnification) during the late 1970's/early 1980's... I could just about separate the rings from the body when conditions allowed.

Edited by Philip R
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I do recollect my first view of Saturn in my 3" home made telescope. This is quite a few years back. But I still recollect it.

Over the years, as my equipment got upgraded, it is interesting to recollect the better and better views I have been getting.

Thanks for helping me recollect all these views due to your post.

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7 hours ago, Philip R said:

My first view of Saturn was via a Tasco 4ETE (40mm refractor/40x magnification) during the late 1970's/early 1980's... I could just about separate the rings from the body when conditions allowed.

With my equipment it's rather easy to separate the ring and the sphere, but I couldn't see anything more 😅 perhaps if I look a little harder..

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6 hours ago, antariksha said:

I do recollect my first view of Saturn in my 3" home made telescope. This is quite a few years back. But I still recollect it.

Over the years, as my equipment got upgraded, it is interesting to recollect the better and better views I have been getting.

Thanks for helping me recollect all these views due to your post.

Absolutely glad to have helped in bringing back so many pleasant memories, sir. Wish you many more better views in the future!

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For me was about 12 years ago, when got my 10" Dob

Joined a club

Since then out couple of times per month doing presentation schools/scout groups

Nothing like the verbal expressions from 7-9yo's, when show them Saturn

This morning when leaving home for work around 4-30am

Jupiter was setting western horizon, Saturn was trailing behind, and quarter moon as well almost over head

Have viewing cat of 4 where we are, and sky was clear, with CRUX, Scorpio overhead as well

John  

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I remember as a kid I had a Tasco 60mm refractor from my dad... I was reading the manual and in it it said "...and yes, you will be able to see the rings of Saturn through your telescope." I got very excited and couldn't wait... when the day came, I saw it.. first looked like a squished star but at 128X it was a tiny "Saturn" with it's rings clearly visible... Saturn was tiny but I loved it and kept on coming back for more.....

As far as seeing the Cassini division, I didn't actually see it until I got the 8" SCT... to date, still gave me the best view of Saturn.... I think you should be able to pick-out the Cassini division and perhaps a cloud band during the clearest, stillest nights.

 

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11 hours ago, MarsG76 said:

As far as seeing the Cassini division, I didn't actually see it until I got the 8" SCT... to date, still gave me the best view of Saturn.... I think you should be able to pick-out the Cassini division and perhaps a cloud band during the clearest, stillest nights.

 

Whoops! I might have to wait a long time then. But it's well worth the wait 😄 

And I actually showed saturn to my elder sister who is about 8 years older than me. Even her reaction was priceless. 

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4 hours ago, starhopper13 said:

Whoops! I might have to wait a long time then. But it's well worth the wait 😄 

And I actually showed saturn to my elder sister who is about 8 years older than me. Even her reaction was priceless. 

Saturn definitely makes an impression on everyone.

 

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2 hours ago, starhopper13 said:

Sure does!

Even still on me after the decades of seeing it.

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5 minutes ago, MarsG76 said:

Even still on me after the decades of seeing it.

I hope I will have decades ahead so that I can say the same. It's rather sad to realize how little time we have to observe this vast universe. 

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11 hours ago, starhopper13 said:

I hope I will have decades ahead so that I can say the same. It's rather sad to realize how little time we have to observe this vast universe. 

That is so true... So much space so little time....

 

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Well, my first proper (non binocular) view of Jupiter last week totally blew my mind and I'm counting the days till Saturn takes its place at that time of night at the end of the month.

Glad you had a great view mate. Awesome.

 

Cheers

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