I saw Saturn's Rings (and some of it's moons)!!!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dark_Convoy, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. Dark_Convoy

    Dark_Convoy Old Bastard Veteran

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    Last night we had clear skies over Louisville, so my older two sons and I braved near freezing temperatures to venture out in the front yard and set up the telescope (We have a 4.5" 1000mm focal length reflector).

    According to my astro software Saturn was in close proximity to the moon, making it very easy to line up. I plopped in a 25mm eyepiece (40x magnification) to line everything up.

    I was shocked when a tiny image of Saturn, complete with rings, and Titan came into view, I quickly put in a 9mm (111x magnification) eyepiece and called the kids over.

    At higher magnification, it was astonishing, and absolutely beautiful. The rings were very distinct and I could see 3 or 4 moons. Saturn and her rings appeared a ruddy brown, and the moons looked like tiny brilliant jewels.

    This was the first time we got a really good look at a planet in our scope and it literally gave me goosebumps!

    I knew the kids were impressed when they spent all of the rest of the night drawing pictures of Saturn.

    I just kept trying to imagine what Galileo must of thought the first time he saw that, words really can't describe how awesome it is to see it with your own eyes.

    :dj 
     
  2. Ops_was_a_truck

    Ops_was_a_truck JOOOLIE ANDREWWWWWS!!!!!!

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    You're incredibly lucky! My Dad and I were planning to check out Saturn tonight - we have a 6" reflector telescope that I bought for him a few Christmasses ago (when money was gooood)...he's the real brains behind getting the thing to work, which is why I'm not going to try and make sense of what he does with the thing...but the sky clouded up around 8, so that put a nix on the whole ringed-planet peep.

    ...but he HAS shown me some pretty awesome stuff, including Saturn (last winter) Mars, the Andromeda Galaxy (OMG! With a freakin' home telescope! - it still looked like a tiny-ass blur, though, but hey - it was a whole 'nother galaxy!) and he's regularly out there, looking at the moon.

    The moon is so amazingly clear through a telescope. I get humbled and awed in such a dorky fashion every time I look at the moon, especially when I can see the surface so clearly with that telescope of his.
     
  3. KA

    KA PENIS GOES WHERE?!!

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    note to self: put telescope currently directed at neighbour hot stewardess chick's bedroom window to actual good use.
     
  4. Chaos Muffin

    Chaos Muffin Misadventure Veteran

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    Ah man that's awesome. Wish you could get some pics of it somehow.
    Must be a really nice telescope your using. Could never view Saturn, or its moons.

    Even though they still look small that had to be a breathtaking moment.

    Shat's out there somewhere

    KA=Pervert!
     
  5. Weirdwolf

    Weirdwolf TFYLP Podcast Founder TFW2005 Supporter

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    Awesome man. I wonder if you look hard enough if you can see Uranus? ;)  j/k
     
  6. MegaPrime33

    MegaPrime33 Follow me @NerdActivist TFW2005 Supporter

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    Damnit man that IS a good use!!!
     
  7. Star Sabre James

    Star Sabre James <b>The JUICE</b> TFW2005 Supporter

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    With that telescope he should be able to see all planets, except Pluto.
     
  8. Kupp

    Kupp Ford Fanboy TFW2005 Supporter

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    I think you missed his uranus joke.
     
  9. undertaker

    undertaker Deadman's Disciple

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    Good time to get the telescope out. The best skies for viewing are in the winter, and apparently you had clear skies if you could see 3 or 4 Saturnian moons. Two aren't difficult to see, but the third and fourth brightest moons can pose a challenge for telescopes with roughly 4" diameter or smaller.

    Now you need to get your good view of Jupiter later this year. You'll see the 4 Galilean moons (you can see all 4 through binoculars), assuming they're not in front of or behind Jupiter. You should see some bands and, maybe, the Great Red Spot. Watching Jupiter's moons change position night after night is a neat bonus. ... Of course, there are tons of other things to see, but that list is too long (I'm more into viewing galaxies and nebulae).

    Congrats on the good viewing, and good job getting your children in on it. Too many people never get to see this sort of thing and never get to experience part of "the bigger picture."
     
  10. Star Sabre James

    Star Sabre James <b>The JUICE</b> TFW2005 Supporter

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    No I got it, I was trying to be serious for a moment.
     
  11. rattrap007

    rattrap007 Insert witty comment here TFW2005 Supporter

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    I saw Saturn.. it was on the road in front of me... oh wait that was A Saturn... not the planet...
     
  12. Lance Halberd

    Lance Halberd oh hai

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    Yah, pics would be most awesome!

    Is there a way to attach an SLR or digital SLR camera to a telescope via the eyepiece mount? I reckon you'd then set the shutter speed to the "bulb" setting, pick a low f-stop, focus on infinity, and use a shutter release cable or the IR remote for the camera to take the picture.

    Damn, were it not for all these city lights, I'd get myself a telecope just to try that out.
     
  13. Dark_Convoy

    Dark_Convoy Old Bastard Veteran

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    They make mounts for that, they even make CCD eyepieces, but you need a servo driven scope for that sort of thing because astro-photos require long exposure times and if you left your scope stationary everything gets streaked in the photo due to the earth's rotation.

    A servo driven scope solves thins problem by automatically tracking objects via computer controls.

    Also, I live in a major Metropolitan area with a good bit of light pollution (especially to the west) you can see most of the planets even in highly light polluted areas...
     
  14. Darth Fitch

    Darth Fitch Herald of Golobulus

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    Hey DC,
    I've been into stargazing for a year now, since I moved to a neighborhood where I can see the stars clearly at night. I got a similar telescope for my birthday last September to enhance the experience. I scoped Saturn the other night and got the same reaction. It was phenomenal! Andromeda was also a fantastic view!

    As far as scoping the outer planets, wiseguys, Uranus and Neptune are in Aquarius and it's out of season. Mars is in Taurus, so just look for the Plieades. Saturn is West of Gemini. Jupiter is in Virgo (approximately), so you can see it in the early morning.

    Astronomy, yeah... ba da, da da daaa, I'm lovin' it!
     
  15. Dark_Convoy

    Dark_Convoy Old Bastard Veteran

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    Have you been able to resolve mars as a disk? It seems I cant get it to focus well, the guys over at the bad astronomy message board said it's hard to do this time of year.

    I'm hoping to get a 2x barlow eyepiece next month to double the magnification of my existing eyepieces!
     
  16. Predaking

    Predaking Well-Known Member

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    Damn you guys are making me want to buy a telescope.
     
  17. Lance Halberd

    Lance Halberd oh hai

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    Hmmm, I see....

    *adds servo-driven telescope to Must Get Expensive Toys list*
     
  18. Weirdwolf

    Weirdwolf TFYLP Podcast Founder TFW2005 Supporter

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    Me too. I've always been interested in space, space travel, etc. My wife has a telescope but it's one of those cheapie Wal*mart ones and you can't hardly see anything with it.
     
  19. Eric

    Eric RIP AND TEAR!!!

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    No! Bad pun! :stick: 
     
  20. Optimus

    Optimus Well-Known Member

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    I have to get my scope out again one of these days.
     

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