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First planet sighting..but which planet?


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So lastnight I had the telescope in the back garden, pointing it at random stars and trying to figure out the focus etc. I am a complete newb to this!

I started with the brightest star in the north sky at about 8pm. I could see "something", but either I couldnt focus right or there is nothing to see.

I then moved to the opposite side of the sky, just east of where the moon would be at midnight. (I told you, newb, I havnt even looked at a starchart yet :) ) and targeted a less bight star.

Well...I was overwhelmed as I focused in. I could see a large dark cluster to the bottom right of the "object" that looked to me very much like the "eye of jupiter", craters and swirls. It was amazing!

Did I see Jupiter? Or...as my partner keeps saying...was it a speck of dust on the lense that I was seeing magnified?

I promise to study starcharts very soon and not be such a newb :):mad:

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I found my first planet, by the moon, last night too. Only I thought it was Saturn.

I couldn't make out much detail though, I think the moon was too bright for me to make out the craters:D, but I definitely saw some rings round it.

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Stars will appear just as points of light no matter how much you magnify them - unless they are out of focus though - then they can look like disks of light with swirls - that's the thermals in the atmosphere and the air currents in your scope tube. Perhaps that's what you saw ?.

John

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That could be it, jahmanson. Man...you wouldnt think I am 34 next week would you, I am like a kid with a new toy with this thing, except it blows any toys I ever had far out the water :)

Im going to Lampeter for the weekend and taking it with me, I might have better luck up there!

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I found my first planet, by the moon, last night too. Only I thought it was Saturn.

I couldn't make out much detail though, I think the moon was too bright for me to make out the craters:D, but I definitely saw some rings round it.

Yep, that was certainly Saturn gls - its a great sight isn't it :)

GGG - saturn should be your next target. At 9:00 in the evening Saturn is 30 degrees up in the SSE - you'll know when you've got it! it then gets higher and moves from SE through S as the night goes on.

Helen

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could see a large dark cluster to the bottom right of the "object" that looked to me very much like the "eye of jupiter", craters and swirls. It was amazing!

Judging by what you said, I think I know what you were looking at. Pretty much the brightest thing in the night sky, covered in craters. If you are looking in the right direction, you can see it with the naked eye, aswell. I think that was possibly "The Moon". It is visible most nights of the month. A fairly easy target, but fun none the less.

sorry.

-eli

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