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How to see Saturn

Discussion in 'Astronomy & Astrophotography' started by Skywatcher, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Chief Astronomer

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    Saturn is not going to be great this year but it is still possible to see it as a small gold disc and for those who have recently bought telescopes you will be able to see his moons , the rings are usually spectacular but at the moment they are virtually side on to us so you may only see a hint of them if at all.

    If we ever get another clear night :sigh: go out in the evening and try and find orion - he is setting in the west now that Spring is approaching if you look now to the left of him to a more southerly aspect you will after a bit of time start to pickout the large constellation of leo the most distinctive part of this contellation is tha large backwards ? which marks his head on a star map it looks like

    [​IMG]

    It is much larger than I thought from looking at star maps but once you have found it there really is no mistaking it, regulus is quite bright

    Now just infront of where the lions back paws would be ( to the right of denebula) you will see a bright gold star like object that is not shimmering like the other stars - this is Saturn

    if you look at it at about 120 odd magnification you should see it as a tiny disc and you should esily see 2-3 moons around it. if you let your eyes become adaped over time you may see some surface detail but you really need a large apature to fully see this. The rings may be 'just' visible as a streak accross the planet.

    At the moment it is quite dim and quite small but this will improve a little over the coming weeks.

    Good luck and let me know if you need any help
     
  2. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    We were walking out of a shop the other night, and invoked the name of Skywatcher...

    "Look at that! It looks like the Islamic nations flag! Dr. Chris would know what it was we were looking at." :yes: Herself felt the very bright "star" near the tip of the crescent moon was a planet (I did not disagree) and thought it might be Venus? :unsure: but wasn't sure.

    So, Dr. Astronomer Skywatcher what were we looking at (and why weren't you there with us and your trusty telescope)? :D :D
     
  3. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    I wonder how many people are invoking the name skywatcher whilst walking along :lol: we did it only last night on a midnight walk. It was SUPPOSED to be cloudy but for a few minutes the clouds went and it was crystal clear with some really defined and bright objects. I kicked myself for not bringing my skywatcher "guide to identifying things for lazy Keith's" which would have told me what I was looking at :( as it was I had to make do with the somewhat less intellectually satisfying "ooooo look at that one! Bright hey! mmmmm!"
     
  4. Tink
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    Tink Cead Mille Failte! Staff Member Administrator

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    Indeed!!! Same here. Pointing and being awed is the extent of my astronomical expertise. :D :D :lol:
     
  5. Deb
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    Deb Serious Forum Regular

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    Thanks Skywatcher...there are rumours we may have a clear night this weekend because of the heavy overnight for being forecast.
     
  6. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Chief Astronomer

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    Keep at it chaps it will come :thumbsup:

    the moon is great over the next few nights loads of lovely craters in show my fav part of the moon infact :D
     
  7. Dawn
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    Dawn carpe diem-ing Forum Host

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    I can't even find Leo. :unsure: Apparently it is behind the houses over the road. :(
     
  8. Dawn
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    Dawn carpe diem-ing Forum Host

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    That was awesome!!! I saw rings and moons and and and.... :mental:

    I was looking at something over 900 million miles away and seeing detail. :eek:
     
  9. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Chief Astronomer

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    :D Brilliant you are now officially hooked for life - once you have seen those rings there is no hope for you now :evil: you will get the urge to show everyone you know, then you will get the urge to photograph them
     
  10. PsychoAlice
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    PsychoAlice Resident Anarchist

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    No one has said it? In a skywatcher thread...god I guess I have to be sophmoric

    How do I see Uranus?

    God I just kill myself...
     
  11. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Chief Astronomer

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    moving on...... :D

    The bigger the scope you have the larger you can magnify but given our generally poor conditions in this country you will struggle to get it over 200x anyway - what grabbing the extra light does however give you is more detail on the planet - with mine the other night I could clearly see stripes on the disc and at one point a tiny white storm cloud drifted accross.

    I think the most moons I've seen around it is 5, its great to look out on another night and see that they have moved :D
     
  12. Dawn
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    Dawn carpe diem-ing Forum Host

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    When we had our highest magnification we couldn't see it at all because of the lack of light so we had to scale it down. Could clearly see the planet had rings around it and 3 moons but couldn't see any detail.

    Still awesome though.
     
  13. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Chief Astronomer

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    It was quite low though and you would have lost some detail to the wobbliness of the atmosphere it will climb a little higher later in the night
     
  14. Dawn
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    Dawn carpe diem-ing Forum Host

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    But I'm usually asleep later in the night. :sigh:
     
  15. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Chief Astronomer

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    :lol:

    it is also quite dim at the moment as the rings are closed - more light = more detail

    Jupiter should be good in the summer :excited:
     
  16. Dawn
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    Dawn carpe diem-ing Forum Host

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    :faints:
     
  17. Skywatcher
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    Skywatcher Chief Astronomer

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    with yours you should easily be able to see the red spot if it is on view :D that is another :jawdrop: moment
     

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