/ Observations

Fri, 4th Aug 2017 - Saturn

We've had a long run of cloudy weather this Summer in Ireland (it being Ireland) and so observing sessions have been few and far between. I've been keen to observe Saturn and try and see how many moons are visible in my 10" reflector from my garden and maybe try and catch the Cassini Division - something I haven't seen before other than in photos. I think I may have missed the best opportunity for this when I first got the scope but was to caught up in seeing nebulae to bother with a silly planet.

Saturn is presenting its rings opened up to Earth at the moment and offer the best views but will slowly be closing up over the next couple of years - so viewing opportunities for wide open rings are actually quite limited. Saturn is visible in the early evening in summer however by the time it's dark enough it's getting pretty close to the horizon.

Transparency: 5, Seeing: 2-3
Scope: 1200/254 f4.7 Dob.
EP: 8mm + 2x
Moon: 12 day Waxing Gibbous. Alt 16º. 90%
Weather: Partly cloudy.

IMG_2176

22:30. Saturn. 8mm + 2x Barlow

A good break in the clouds. It had been raining during the day so I would have expected seeing to be better considering how good the transparency was, however there was a fair bit of shimmer. It was quite a warm and muggy evening. Note: Start recording temperature and humidity. I hadn't been able to acclimatize the scope as it had been drizzling on and off and I didn't want it to get wet, so I think the shimmer might have been coming from the scope itself.

Saturn was at around 15º over the horizon and it was still not quite dark. I could make out two moons definitely and possibly three. As I was planning to make a sketch the clouds came in ending the session, and I had to do it from member. Comparing with Sky Safari later I couldn't quite get them to match up so I'm not sure what I was seeing. Titan and Rhea at a guess as they're the brightest. I think I caught a glimpse of the Cassini Division but wasn't able to repeat it so it may have been my imagination.

This is the first time using the eye patch. It's a bit of a pain and can make writing hard. My left (non observing) eye is not as strong as my right and writing using red light only is a struggle for me.