Star Gazing Guide - a suggestion

A place for general chat about Sky at Night Magazine

Star Gazing Guide - a suggestion

Postby astrokev » Sun Feb 05, 2006 5:10 pm

Hi Editors -
As an avid planet watcher (Jupiter & Saturn in particular) I've always found it surprising that in monthly sky guides (not just S@N) there is rarely a mention of the presentation angle of Saturn's rings. In addition to imaging, I enjoy drawing at the eyepiece (yes- there are some of us left in this web-cam age!), and have templates for all ring-angles. How helpful it would be if the angle of Saturn's rings was mentioned in the sky guide, to help select the right template.
As a constantly changing (albeit slowly) aspect of Saturn's glorious appearance, I'm sure this would be of interest to readers, and I'm saddened that more isn't made of this. Is it possible to include this in future editions.

On a related theme - I was a little disappointed that more coverage wasn't given to Saturn's opposition in the Jan edition; an opportunity I notice that wasn't missed by one of S@N's UK competitors.
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RE: Star Gazing Guide - a suggestion

Postby Pete Lawrence » Mon Feb 06, 2006 5:36 pm

Hi AstroKev,

I'll bear in mind your comments about the ring angle - it's a nice idea. As for the opposition coverage - in particular the 'opposition' (Seelinger) effect - of course the S@N team knew the weather in advance: cloud [&:]. For those who could see the planet at opposition, the rings did brighten and the globe looked duller by comparison.

You're obviously an avid observer of Saturn - and it's good to see that sketches of the ringed planet are still being made. Whereas a Jupiter blank is basically a 64x60mm oval (accepted standard size), that required for Saturn, as you suggest, is a bit more complex due to the ever changing tilt of the rings.

It might interest you to see a sequence of image I took of Saturn on the early morning of the 4th February, showing the movement of the moons.

[url=http://www.digitalsky.org.uk/saturn/saturn-20060204.html]http://www.digitalsky.org.uk/saturn/saturn-20060204.html[/url] (animation 600kb)

Keep the comments coming, your points have been noted and taken into account.
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RE: Star Gazing Guide - a suggestion

Postby big dipper » Mon Feb 06, 2006 5:53 pm

I wonder whether the reason that the angle of separation of Saturn's rings isn't given more attention is precisely due to the fact that it is such a slow moving process (someone will correct me if I'm wrong but I think it takes something like 15 years for the rings to go from edge on to wide open). Just a thought...but it would make sense.
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RE: Star Gazing Guide - a suggestion

Postby jerry » Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:50 am

Hello Group

I am trying to found Mars & other Solar Systems with my Skywatcher 150 with a 2x Barlow as I found Saturn & Moon all the time now. Can anyone tell what Mars look like with my telescope as I can not found any other planets????? If I can see Saturn very clear with the other Solar Systems be as well??? Or do I need a Webcam Camera or add other item to my telescope!!

Thank You
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RE: Star Gazing Guide - a suggestion

Postby big dipper » Fri Feb 17, 2006 6:03 pm

Hi Helen. Unfortunately Mars is now a good bit past opposition & so its disk has shrunk a fair bit since last November. Compared to the detail seen on Jupiter & Saturn you may well find Mars to be a disappointment through your telescope at the present time as all you may see is a small, orangy-coloured disk.

Mars is never an easy object to observe which is why people make the most of oppositions which occur approximately once every two years.
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