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Mr Flibble

Planets and seeing

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The seeing this evening was awful. It was almost impossible to make out any detail on saturn and its rings. It was slightly better about 12am but still pretty poor. Best views were at mag x140. Any higher was just pants.

How often is the seeing 'good'? I haven't had one 'good' night of seeing yet for either jupitor or saturn despite maybe about 10 or so attempts over the last year.

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Saturn has one extra problem at the moment - he is low over horizon and he suffers from atmospheric refraction which will limit the image quality even at good seeing.

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You need to understand the weather patterns .... rapid changes of weather implies the jet stream passing nearby and you have no chance of getting steady seeing.

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Hi David

There isn't much you can do about the seeing, but even on poor/average nights you can get short periods of good seeing. You just have to be patient and keep watching

Cheers

Ian

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Lower your expectations! Even when the seeing is quite dismal, you can still enjoy 'watching'. Use a low power EP and take in the 'bigger picture' of Saturn and a couple of moons drifting through space 800,000,000 million miles away with a backdrop of bright, twinkly stars...

I recently spent an hour or more viewing such a sight, using my 40mm Omni EP in the 10" SNT, it was stunning!

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Even when the seeing is quite dismal, you can still enjoy 'watching'. Use a low power EP and take in the 'bigger picture' of Saturn and a couple of moons drifting through space 800,000,000 million miles away with a backdrop of bright, twinkly stars...
Dark sky & wobbly seeing is a good night for "faint fuzzies". Bright moonlight & haze can be good conditions for observing planets, double stars & other relatively bright objects, especially if the air is steady. If you wait for good transparency and steady seeing, and you aren't at a major professional observatory site, you'll probably find your beard polishing your shoes before you're satisfied. Edited by brianb

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If you wait for good transparency and steady seeing, and you aren't at a major professional observatory site, you'll probably find your beard polishing your shoes before you're satisfied.

:D

I've definately settled into a pattern now of heading off to my dark sky site for faint fuzzies when the moon is out of the way and using my back garden for doubles when the moon is present. As for the planets though they seem to play by their own rules and it seems to be pretty much pot luck with regards to cloud, seeing, height, etc.

(Slightly off topic; I'm still holding out for a planetary eyepiece. I've now pretty much decided to go for an ortho so I'm just doing a bit of reading on the different makes - BGO, Circle-T Abbe, etc)

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