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russ

Saturn - Cassini at last :)

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Clear skies last night, not the best. Nearly full moon, hazy cloud, poor seeing, poor transparency.....nearly didn't bother at all. But decided as i had already setup the scopes earlier in the evening, i would at least have a 5 minute look at Saturn.

So glad i did. It looked mighty good in the Skymax 127 and Celestron 90mm F11.....when the seeing allowed that is. Best of all i saw Cassini for the first time in years. Had glimpses this year but it was never convincing. This time there no doubt. :)

Used the 7mm TMB clone for 214x in the Skymax. An 8mm would have been better but alas i have nothing at that focal length.

Beautiful banding on the disk too.

And the 90mm refractor gave an almost equally good view using the 6mm Skywatcher UWA, giving a very sharp 167x......great scope.

Very pleased, hoping for more of the same tomorrow night. :(

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Well done Russ. Glad you got to see it. I was on Saturn around midnight. Seeing was pretty good for me about then, which actually made for a nice change compared to the rubbish I've had lately :)

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Nice one Russ,

I had good views here in Wales on Wednesday night..I tried using my TMB 5mm but wouldnt focus, so used my new BST explorer 8mm. Had the best views of Cassini division so far..Was very pleased...:)

Edited by magic77

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I had my first view of Saturn for 20 years last night, but couldn't see any trace of the Cassini at all. With my old 6" newt I would see it easily almost every time. I've only had my current scope less than 2 months and I've nearly talked myself into upgrading already :)

Is viewing the Cassini made more difficult due to the relatively shallow angle of the rings at the moment?

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Well done Russ !,

TBH it took me many years to clearly see the Cassini division and that was with an 8" SCT with the rings wide open a few years ago. This year it's been a tough proposition with seeing, scope and observer needing to be fully up to par !.

I've managed to get it with my 6" scopes but not the 4" refractor so far.

Nice report :hello2:

Edited by John

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Just one thing to add, i couldn't really see it clearly in the 90mm, could almost convince myself i could see it but not for sure. :hello2:

In the 127 it was not a problem.

The shallow angle of the rings is not helping. I remember back in 2003 it was almost impossible to miss Cassini. A fantastic pencil black line. But then Saturn was higher in the sky and the rings were wide open.

Shame this time round Saturn will be barely above the horizon by the time the rings fully open. :hello2:

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Sounds very good Russ

Will you be bringing the mak to SGL6? Never looked though one yet :hello2:

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I caught Saturn for the very first time tonight. It was absolutely staggering - I honestly can't describe the feeling when I first saw it. Unbelievable. :hello2:

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Great work Russ.. as we both know the 127 mak is an awsume scope. One of the best performers out there under our skies I feel

Rob

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I had my second look at Saturn tonight. Seeing wasn't brilliant, but I think I saw the cassini division briefly. Lovely sight.

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I agree totally Russ about last night. Generally it was a rubbish night so I did a few doubles and waited for Saturn. It was really good in my 6" f11 with the 7mm BGO so a similar mag at 228x. At times I felt I could see Cassini almost all the way round but it was tricky. The detail was not even close in my 12".

In the moments of clarity the dark 'cap' in the northern half was obvious and I even thought I picked up a patch of pattern/paleness where the storm is supposed to be but cannot be sure.

I am still very grateful for your help in getting this scope which is truly spectacular on planets. I hope to squeeze it into the car for SGL6 but it's looking doubtful unless I have it sticking out the sunroof!

Edited by Moonshane

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the image here http://stargazerslounge.com/imaging-planetary/135489-saturn-21-march-vgood-seeing-new-storm-south.html is (honestly) close to the sort of thing I was seeing last night but clearly a lot smaller!! and obviously not quite as detailed. I was amazed.

Edited by Moonshane

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It's looking pretty good tonight here as well !

I'm picking up Enceladus between the planet and Rhea and Dione and the Crepe ring on the inside edge of the ring ansae with my 10" OO newtonian and the 6mm Ethos. The higher it rises, the better it gets - the challenge is how long I can keep awake !.

The seeing is coming and going a lot though - breathtaking one moment then the view blurs before the detail pops out again.

Edited by John

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this reminds me of Jupiter when it first started to appear earlier in the year. I always thought that planets were at their absolute best at opposition (and maybe they are) but it seems that at opposition they are more subject to people's heating etc and the poorer seeing of the evening; whereas when they first appear and you observe them in the early hours maybe the air is steadier and seeing generally better so you see more despite the slightly smaller disk? does that make any sense at all?

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this reminds me of Jupiter when it first started to appear earlier in the year. I always thought that planets were at their absolute best at opposition (and maybe they are) but it seems that at opposition they are more subject to people's heating etc and the poorer seeing of the evening; whereas when they first appear and you observe them in the early hours maybe the air is steadier and seeing generally better so you see more despite the slightly smaller disk? does that make any sense at all?

Makes perfect sense and definitely the belief i hold too. I always make the most of the planets when they are better placed in the morning sky. The evening sky seeing is mostly quite poor and more than offsets the larger disk size. Jupiter was dreadful in the evening sky but superb last summer in the morning sky. I'm not expecting much from Saturn these coming months.

It's looking pretty good tonight here as well !

I'm picking up Enceladus between the planet and Rhea and Dione and the Crepe ring on the inside edge of the ring ansae with my 10" OO newtonian and the 6mm Ethos. The higher it rises, the better it gets - the challenge is how long I can keep awake !.

The seeing is coming and going a lot though - breathtaking one moment then the view blurs before the detail pops out again.

I did get out again last night. This time using the 150 F5 newt. Again absolutely no problems with Cassini and picked up those moons too. The banding on the disk was very pronounced. Lovely sharp view at 187x.

Edited by russ

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.... it seems that at opposition they are more subject to people's heating etc and the poorer seeing of the evening; whereas when they first appear and you observe them in the early hours maybe the air is steadier and seeing generally better so you see more despite the slightly smaller disk? does that make any sense at all?

I think you're absolutely right. I also prefer to see Saturn with some the planet's shadow across the rings, which obviously disappears behind the planet at opposition when it looks a bit 'flat' to me.

Edited by lukebl

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....subject to people's heating etc and the poorer seeing of the evening; whereas when they first appear and you observe them in the early hours maybe the air is steadier and seeing generally better so you see more despite the slightly smaller disk? does that make any sense at all?

It does make sense. My problem is that I have neighbours houses immediately to the east of me with elderly folks living there. They, understandably, have the heating on more than some and for most of the night so there is really no point in me trying to view anything until it has risen well up into the sky and that means waiting until the early hours for Saturn.

Last night things were really starting to get good at around 1:30 am but I was shattered so had to pack it in :p.

I still get tempted to view too early though :D and have to keep telling myself that it's not my eyes or the scope and to BE PATIENT !.

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Saturn was 'nice' on the Monday, thought I may just have seen Cassini.. but to be fair my eyes could be fooling with me??. Anyway the seeing right now is just awfull. I've not had it this bad for some time...

Looking to see if tonight is going to pick up a bit... just want to nail it proper

Rob

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Fingers crossed Rob. Seeing is poor but occasionally it pops into view nicely.

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Cheers Russ.. It does seem the 1am witching hour is the time to view then

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After a month or so's break from observing, I spent an hour and a half on Saturn last night, up until 1am or so.

Before the cloud rolled in, that is!

I could not convince myself I could see the Cassini division but I think I saw Titan - it seemed the right distance from the planet and stayed at the same distance over the hour or so. About mag 6? I thought it looked orange, but then I'm not sure if you can see colour through a newt. I'll look that one up.

*Edit - Titan should be about mag 8, but it was in the right place (considering newt mirror giving inverted image) and I was very dark adapted *

I've only a 130mm Skywatcher (manual everything) and only managed to hold the planet with the 10mm, 20mm and 20mm plus 2x barlow but not 10mm and 2x barlow.

It was a bit 'wavery' to start but that was probably the scope cooling down.

Need more practice, but I'll never tire of Saturn...!

For me, that's amazing - I've never seen a moon around another planet apart from our own and the Gallelain satellites around Jupiter.

:D

BTW, if it's any help, the first 'target' I thought might be Saturn, last night, was in fact Vega! Spica was hidden by a Leylandi hedge...

Edited by Altair40

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