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It's Saturn - But it's not very good!


bus_ter
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My Alarm goes off at 4:45am, BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEEEEEP, arghhh what was I thinking? It's cold, and of course it's dark. I pull myself out of bed and look out the window, I can see the crescent moon and plenty of gaps in the cloud. Mission is a GO!

15 minutes of hurrying around packing the car and getting dressed (not in that order!) and I'm ready to depart. A short 15 minute drive brings me to the Coastline away from the town lights and I start to setup. I can see Orion high in the sky behind my shoulder, and the Moon dominating the flat sea horizon to my front. Down and to the left of the Moon I see an unwavering yellow star, I know straight away I've found my target. This is not only the first time I've seen Saturn this year, it's the first time in my life I've ever looked for her!

I align up the finderscope and pop in a mid range 16mm eyepiece... a quick focus and WOW there she is! Rings clearly on show, this couldn't be anything other than Saturn!

I spend 10 minutes enjoying the view before I feel the wind pick up on the back of my neck. I turn around to see Orion has disappeared behind a thick layer of cloud. If I'm going to image, it is now or never. I boot up my laptop and plug in the webcam, but in the short time this has taken the wind speed has really picked up. My exposed location means I'm taking the full brunt of the wind, and by the time I have Saturn on the webcam sensor the Telescope is shaking so badly that Saturn looks like a game of Pong on the laptop screen. It's now starting to rain and everything is getting Wet, I quickly run off a couple short captures and pack everything away as quick as I can. By the time I'm ready to leave the rain has eased, and twilight is beginning. I drive home and have a well earned breakfast.

So here are the rather poor results of my early morning session.

Was it worth it? Hell yeah! :)

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Object achieved - well done!

You really can't expect a decent view with the planet still so low down, and the unstable air associated with blustery showers doesn't help either. The season will start for me when Saturn is due south in morning twilight.

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Hi Buster

Wow that sounds exciting I must get my self out of bed early and do the same I have been longing to see Saturn and you have inspired me to go for it. The images are great because its the first time you have seen it and that makes them very special. I felt like that the first time I got to see the Orion Nebula. So its up early and off to see it soon as the clouds and rain are gone. Well done I am pleased for you:D

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love ypur deadication, you should get some great images with the webcam and the mak 127, they make very good planetary imaging scopes, there`s some fantastic images of Jupiter from folk with these scopes.

throw on a barlow next time for greater image scale, great work though it is something special seeing it for the first time

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Thanks for all the positive feedback :)

Saturn was surprisingly high, you don't need the flat sea horizon I had this morning, just a clear view out the SE should be enough.

I didn't have the chance to put a barlow in, so the magnification was very low, and the wind made the image very unstable, pretty much a blurry blob dancing over the sensor. With still conditions and a good capture with a barlow I'll be able to significantly improve. (watch this space!)

So Saturn is up there now in the mornings, all you have to do is get up early. I don't want any excuses.. I expect to see this section fill up with Saturn images very soon.. Dedication is what you need!

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Great story and well done on getting ANY pictures in the circumstances!

Saturn is now visible from my garden from about 5.30 am. It was nicely placed just below the thin slice of the moon this morning, but the sky was getting too light and I just couldn't make it out. Hopefully in a few weeks when sunrise is later I should be able to get a decent view.

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Got up at 4.30 this morning but was greeted by thick cloud and rain so went back to bed bah stupid clouds.. never mind my day will come and Saturn will be MINE mwha ha ha ha ha:evil6:

I salute your dedication! :eek:

Jupiter is easy.. Saturn requires true dedication to the hobby :)

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Well done! It's great to read your dedication and enthusiasm. You never forget your first viewing of the beautiful Saturn. I remember my first time viewing at a 2009 Year of Astronomy open event somewhere around Telford. Using someone else's telescope as I didn't have one, my 3 year old daughter and I viewed Saturn, we were both so excited, I decided I had to buy a scope of my own. Such a magical night.

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Thanks for the kind words. I'm looking forward to my second viewing of Saturn, with hopefully calmer conditions so I can use a barlow and get a good run of video.

@Steve C, no i've never thought of writing a book :eek: I just got a little excited that day and the words poured out of me. Most of my viewing sessions arn't nearly as exciting!

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Yahoo buster I got my first view of Saturn at long last got up early again for the 3rd time running and at 4.30am the clouds moved out of the way at last and there she was! Stunning I was glued to the eyepiece until 6.30am. I have posted a video on my blog below if you want to check it out fully. Wow that was so worth doing I am never going to forget my first view of this magnificent planet!:eek:

saturn9.JPG

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Heres the link to the utube vid I did of my first view of Saturn its a bit shaky but I was very cold and had a job holding my mobile phone to the eye piece lol. I dont normally sound so dead pan but I was half awake having got up at 4am and I hate getting up early;)

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