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Tomjo59

On seeing Triton

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Located Neptune without too much trouble over the last three nights, though the seeing here in South Wiltshire was poor last night compared to the previous two; weather is definitely on the change.

A question I would like to ask though, is has anybody on here managed to glimpse Triton on anything smaller than a 10” reflector, or equivalent?  There seems to be a view that a 10” is the minimum required to achieve this, so am I wasting my time trying with an 8” Newt?

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I have a 12" F4 and have not detected it, but with a Newtonian things often conspire against.

So its probably wishful thinking that i can track it down in a 5.5" refractor.....

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1 hour ago, Tomjo59 said:

Located Neptune without too much trouble over the last three nights, though the seeing here in South Wiltshire was poor last night compared to the previous two; weather is definitely on the change.

A question I would like to ask though, is has anybody on here managed to glimpse Triton on anything smaller than a 10” reflector, or equivalent?  There seems to be a view that a 10” is the minimum required to achieve this, so am I wasting my time trying with an 8” Newt?

 

Difficult to say, so many variables :-  sky transparancy, level of light pollution, is the moon up, scope cooling and collimation plus optical quality, waiting for culmination of Neptune, experience of observer.   I’ve not observed Triton myself with my 10” Dob.   There’s all sorts of formulas  to try to give a theoretical answer, but it’s a best guess opinion.....

Ed.

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As above.

It's visibility varies though. A couple of nights ago Triton was clear with my 12 inch dob at 450x with direct vision. Last night I could not detect it at all with that scope under similar conditions :dontknow:

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I’ve seen Triton with a friend’s 8inch SCT.  It wasn’t firmly held but definitely detected. I remember saying ‘Hey, I can see something else, I wonder if it’sTriton?’ On checking charts the glimpsed object and its position relative to the primary were confirmed.  Checking magnitude , this would have been close to the limits of the scope. Can’t recall the magnification or eyepiece used.

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I'm guessing that like all the moons on theses distant planets, there are times when they are too close to their parent planets,

and there are times when their elongations are advantageous to allow us to spot them more easily.

Triton is on the bucket list with my new scope, any of Uranus' moons would be great also. And theres Trap E & F and maybe Sirius B as well if i'm lucky........

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Checking the normal calculator I use, shows that the beat case limiting magnitude for an 8" scope under my 19 SQM skies is mag 12.8, so no chance of Triton for me from here. Even with 14" it is listed as mag 13 to 14, and with atmospheric extinction I reckon that would make it pretty tough.

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1 hour ago, John said:

As above.

It's visibility varies though. A couple of nights ago Triton was clear with my 12 inch dob at 450x with direct vision. Last night I could not detect it at all with that scope under similar conditions :dontknow:

I actually find that quite reassuring. I spent over an hour trying to see it one night this week. Tried lots of different eyepieces plus some with the Baader VIP and no joy. Titan is becoming a nemesis for me. I’ll keep trying though!

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1 hour ago, Tubby Bear said:

I'm guessing that like all the moons on theses distant planets, there are times when they are too close to their parent planets,

and there are times when their elongations are advantageous to allow us to spot them more easily.

Triton is on the bucket list with my new scope, any of Uranus' moons would be great also. And theres Trap E & F and maybe Sirius B as well if i'm lucky........

You are quite right about the elongation from the host planet making, or breaking, the chances of spotting them.

I have managed to see 2 Uranian moons with my 12 inch dob - Titania and Oberon. In theory I might also be able to manage Ariel and Umbriel under good conditions. All 4 of these are fainter and harder to spot than Triton.

 

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I've caught it on a rare very good night in my 15" at 330x - I was surprised at how readily I could see it, but this was also a night where I saw 4 and maybe 5 moons around Uranus (spent a lot of time to tease them out), and sharply defined discs for both planets.

On another night i can recall with my 10" that I didn't pick up Triton, and Neptune and Uranus were fuzzy coloured 'stars' at ~220x in that scope: conditions need to be good.  I was quite lucky with the 15" - it was such a thrill to see the discs of the planets so sharply defined... no surface features visible to me though!

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I have got it a few times now with my 180 Mak. The seeing and transparency need to be excellent though and obviously the Moon can be an issue.

With Uranus, I usually get two moons easily, three sometimes and four on a few special occasions. These distant moons are a fun challenge though but well worth a try !

My garden (where I observe from) is about SQM 20.8, slightly better when the planets are higher and further S.

Chris

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I've seen Triton in my 8" Newtonian. It was mostly stellaring and only occasionally obvious. 

So keep trying, it can be done!

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I managed to see Triton last night with Neptune just a few degrees away from the nearly full moon.

I hadn't really set out to see it, I was mainly observing Jupiter and Saturn, but as they were disappearing behind the trees to the west Neptune was clearing the tree tops above my head so I thought I'd have a look.

I used the Baader zoom to centre Neptune in the EP and then put in my new TV 3-6mm zoom. First on 6mm (250x) with no sign of Triton I took it right up to 3mm (500x) and there it was!

Very, very faint, almost at the limit of my 12 inch SW Dob, but very definitely there just at 2o'clock to the grey/green planet and mostly with averted vision.

Amazing really, as there was considerable glare from the adjacent moon, I think in a dark sky I could aee it fairly easily on a good night.

Go away Moon! :)

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