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2 hours ago, Barry-W-Fenner said:

Hi Stu,

Only just noticed your post, Sorry. What is Sat24? I am not familiar with this.

Thank you

Barry

This is it, very handy. You can select different views including rain radar which is great for knowing when there is a shower coming across.

https://en.sat24.com/en/gb/visual

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17 minutes ago, Stu said:

This is it, very handy. You can select different views including rain radar which is great for knowing when there is a shower coming across.

https://en.sat24.com/en/gb/visual

Pukka! Thanks Stu, That will come in very handy!

Regards

 

Baz

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The way that I observe for moons around Neptune and Uranus is:

- To use high magnifications, eg: 300x or more.

- To examine carefully the area of sky that surrounds the planetary disk, noting any possible point sources of light, their position relative to the planetary disk and an approximation of distance away from the planetary disk in terms of disk diameters (Neptune is approx 2.2-2.4 arc seconds, Uranus 3.4-3.7 arc seconds.

- Triton at Neptune is easier to see than any of the Uranian moons but even then hardly a "piece of cake".

- For faint point sources of light I find that a kind of averted vision helps them to pop out. This technique involves defocussing my eye so I'm sort of staring past the planet. I guess "1000 mile stare" is another description of this !

- Make a sketch of the above "suspects" - rough is fine but orientation is important.

- I then use Cartes de Ciel to check to see if there is a moon at or close to the place where I've seen the faint point source. Cartes du Ciel is easy to flip to replicate the image that the scope sees.

Checking the software source last is important I feel because I don't want to take the risk of seeing something that I expect to be there, if you see what I mean :smiley:

Hope that helps.

 

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Evening all. 

Thanks for the comprehensive list of advice John. I have just managed about 20mins viewing of uranus at 150 mag and a x2 barlow. So I assume that means I'm achieving 300 mag?  I was trying to use some of your techniques but the sky is no where near as clear tonight and uranus travels through the focuser at quite a speed at this mag which is really testing my amateur skills.  Now the cloud has rolled in and consumed all... I'm going to hold out and not pack up yet as out the front of my house is clear and Orion looks great. It's always the back that clouds over! 

I am going to have a cuppa and read over your wise words again john.

 

Regards

 

Baz

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Oh no, all stars out front officially swallowed up by cloud, Orion is no more...  Looks like it's packing up time.

On a more positive note, I'm so pleased I found uranus again, I feel like I have made some progress. I have read that some members are underwhelmed by it when they find it but I am overjoyed. It's up there with the 1at time I found jupiter! Great stuff.

Baz

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Spotting the moons of Uranus is that much harder than seeing Neptune's moon Triton. They are around 1 magnitude fainter and Triton is pretty dim to start with.

Keep at it though :smiley:

 

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15 hours ago, John said:

The way that I observe for moons around Neptune and Uranus is:

- To use high magnifications, eg: 300x or more.

- To examine carefully the area of sky that surrounds the planetary disk, noting any possible point sources of light, their position relative to the planetary disk and an approximation of distance away from the planetary disk in terms of disk diameters (Neptune is approx 2.2-2.4 arc seconds, Uranus 3.4-3.7 arc seconds.

- Triton at Neptune is easier to see than any of the Uranian moons but even then hardly a "piece of cake".

- For faint point sources of light I find that a kind of averted vision helps them to pop out. This technique involves defocussing my eye so I'm sort of staring past the planet. I guess "1000 mile stare" is another description of this !

- Make a sketch of the above "suspects" - rough is fine but orientation is important.

- I then use Cartes de Ciel to check to see if there is a moon at or close to the place where I've seen the faint point source. Cartes du Ciel is easy to flip to replicate the image that the scope sees.

Checking the software source last is important I feel because I don't want to take the risk of seeing something that I expect to be there, if you see what I mean :smiley:

Hope that helps.

 

Morning all,

I have just had time to digest this information a bit better. little nippers running around your feet certainly mess with your concentration 🙂

Using what I assume to be 300 mag (150 doubled with x2 barlow) gives me a decent view of Uranus. a clean disc with some colour. When I use my 5.5 BST 218 mag with x 2 Barlow things start to get a bit more blurry. Am I getting to the point where I am exceeding my magnification limit? When i get the opportunity to view Neptune I am trying to get an idea of what power to use to get a decent image.

I will also practice the above "1000 mile stare" 🙂  technique to see if this helps distinguish any other points of light around these planets, Its really nice pushing my little dob to see how much can be seen clearly!

What is Cartes de Ciel chaps?? Sounds interesting. 

I understand what you are saying regarding checking software last. If you see something on the software you kind of et an expectation of what you should see in the eye piece. If only that was true in reality! The sky doesn't seem to want to play!

Regards

Baz

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Cartes du Ciel is a PC planetarium that many people like. I've not used it myself, I'm a Skysafari fan and use it on my phone all the time. Stellarium is another good free program and app.

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Don't worry too much about the optimal magnficiation for disks or Uranus and Neptune - it's the moons that you are trying to pull out of the darkness around them. Using very high magnifications helps pull faint point sources out. I've used these techniques for supernovae and quasar spotting as well.

Here is a link to Cartes du Ciel. It's quite not as pretty as Stellarium or Sky Safari but it is free and seems to be pretty accurate for planetary, comet, asteroid etc positions:

https://www.ap-i.net/skychart/en/start

 

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Thanks Again for your help gents, Greatly appreciated. I will certainly have a look at Cartes du Ciel going forward. I will also continue to view Uranus through High mag and try Johns tried and tested technique to hopefully spot the Moons! 

I am really looking forward to having a crack at Neptune aswell now. Finding Uranus has given me a good idea of what to look out for when hunting Neptune, but on a smaller scale!  The problem I have with Neptune is the sky is to bright when it is high enough, and  Neptune is below the horizon when its dark! 

baz

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Stu - A little off topic but as I can't comment on your celestial events I thought I would post here. Thank you for creating them, They are a Great help, Hopefully I can use the 28th Crescent Moon, Venus and Neptune conjunction as an opportunity to view Neptune. The only snag is it is still quite low! 

I will also have a go at looking for the comet between the double cluster!

Everything crossed for a clear sky over the weekend and next week!!

 

Cheers again, These event logs are very helpful for an amateur like me! 🙂

 

Baz

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42 minutes ago, Barry-W-Fenner said:

Stu - A little off topic but as I can't comment on your celestial events I thought I would post here. Thank you for creating them, They are a Great help, Hopefully I can use the 28th Crescent Moon, Venus and Neptune conjunction as an opportunity to view Neptune. The only snag is it is still quite low! 

I will also have a go at looking for the comet between the double cluster!

Everything crossed for a clear sky over the weekend and next week!!

 

Cheers again, These event logs are very helpful for an amateur like me! 🙂

 

Baz

Thanks Baz, glad they are of use.

Each event should create a thread in the Celestial Events forum so that you can comment on it there. They will be quite low so a good horizon will be needed, and 27th will be easier as Venus and Neptune will be much closer than on 28th at about 5 arc minutes, should be visible together even in a high power view through the scope.

 

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26 minutes ago, Stu said:

Thanks Baz, glad they are of use.

Each event should create a thread in the Celestial Events forum so that you can comment on it there. They will be quite low so a good horizon will be needed, and 27th will be easier as Venus and Neptune will be much closer than on 28th at about 5 arc minutes, should be visible together even in a high power view through the scope.

 

Great! I will have to check that out then for the celestial threads, I am still finding my way around a bit 🙂

So on 28th if the weather is on our side we should be able to get both Venus and Neptune in the eye piece together?! If so that is ace. Just hope they are both not to low then.

 

Cheers

 

Baz

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On 10/01/2020 at 07:14, Barry-W-Fenner said:

Hi all,

In regards to viewing Neptune. I understand it is possible to see its largest moon Triton with the correct seeing conditions and setup. But I was wondering if it is possible to see any of Neptune's smaller moons such as Proteus with bigger scopes.

I am just curious more than anything to know what can be seen through larger scopes. In truth I am  still struggling to find Neptune myself 🙂🙂

 

Baz

You don't have a hope in hell of seeing Proteus. It is far too close to the planet and will be lost in the glare.  Even if it were far enough away, picking up something below 21st magnitude will not be easy.

Others have commented on the visibility of Triton.

If you have a decent camera, good guiding and sufficient patience Nereid is possible, though not entirely trivial. It is quite faint, at mag 19.5 or so, and is in a wide orbit so you will need a good ephemeris as it may not be in the same FOV as Neptune. https://minorplanetcenter.net/iau/NatSats/NaturalSatellites.html is the place to go.

Here is my image of Neptune, Triton and Nereid. The main image is a 400s exposure and Nereid is circled. The inset is of 3 seconds; unfortunately Neptune and Triton are over exposed.  I must try to get a better one some time.

 

NTN.png

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