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Saturn??


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just come in from a little stargazing session, and intrigued by what looked like a planet.

I was looking to the east, just below the Gemini constellation and come across a planet like object. We only have a 20mm lense with a 2x Barlow, so couldn't see much detail.

Tried looking on the net to see what it could be, and my only conclusion is Saturn.

Is this correct? :hello2:

thanks Sam

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Saturn has not risen yet. It may have been Mars (which would look noticably orange/red) or the star Procyon in Canis Minor.

A 20mm eyepiece plus a barlow would show Saturn's rings so I don't think there would be any doubt.

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Hi Sam

The only planet nearby at that time is Mars which is fairly distinctive even to the naked eye and is lower down in Cancer. Saturn is much more star-like and doesn't rise for several hours yet.

Could it have been a satellite? If on the other hand, you have discovered a new planet I look forward to the press conference!

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You'll know saturn when you see it for the first time - strap your chin to your head cos it's gonna drop to the floor when you see saturn in the eyepiece. It comes up around midnight at the moment and will be highest around 4am for the best views (assuming good seeing). It's near the head of virgo. I too use stellarium which is great - but for quick and easy reference I also use skyviewcafe which consumes less computing power - it also has a few very interesting features.

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Yes, you have got to see Saturn. I got up early the night before last and just could not stop looking. The rings are side on at the moment. It took some will power to get out of a warm comfortable bed but I am glad I did. Go for it. Later, when I looked at Mars in the south south west I was disappointed not to be able to make out any detail. Do I need a filter to stop the glare or is it just bad technique on my part? Oh for a bit more experience.

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Do I need a filter to stop the glare or is it just bad technique on my part? Oh for a bit more experience.

Try using a blue or yellow filter this does make a difference than unfiltered light.

Also the mount - the setup and balance of this is paramount to providing a good seeing scope to counter any subtle vibrations that oscillate the tube that can be undetectable to the eye when viewing but reduces the quality of the image and what you can or can not see in contrast and detail.

For example if you are using the scope on a patio the seeing of the scope is worse than if the scope is on grass.

Chris

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Do I need a filter to stop the glare or is it just bad technique on my part? Oh for a bit more experience.

I find Mars is tricky to observe. With the same setup you can have very different details seen, depending on the seeing conditions. So keep at it and always test it when you get outside.

For a better quality I do the following:

- Collimate as best as I can.

- Use an Orthoscopic design EP, if you have 1. (I tested with an equivalent Plossl and it always shows more glare and less detail).

- Use a mag around 200x if seeing conditions allow.

Edited by pvaz
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Thanks for the tips on seeing Mars. I thought I would just be able to set up the scope, look through the eyepiece, and there would be the ice cap etc. On reading other posts it is obviously not that easy. Will now try to get the patience to equilibrate temperatures. hope for good seeing, allow scope to settle down oscillations, and be more patient.

Scope, by the way, was on frozen grass, operated by frozen fingers using a frozen brain. Wish I was in the Azores.

DavidB.

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What is the minimum magnification that you need to see the ice cap and/or other details. I am limited to about 180x.

It should be enough under good seeing conditions. but it's very small. look at it for a few minutes, there are some pockets of seeing where the planet show sharp for a bit. It kind of comes and goes.

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What is the minimum magnification that you need to see the ice cap and/or other details. I am limited to about 180x.

I can see it with my 5" refractor at 171x. It's not blazingly clear though and comes and goes all the time with the pockets of good seeing. Thats usually the way with planetery details when viewing from the UK !.

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I've been viewing Mars with my 10" dob at x300 and the views have been pretty good although the planet is still a pretty tiny disc. In about an hour of viewing I probably had a total of two minutes of clear views. I could make out both polar caps and two distinct dark regions one spreading down from the north pole towards the equator the other was more of a band.

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