Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: YAY! Saw Saturn & Jupiter for the first time!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    92

    YAY! Saw Saturn & Jupiter for the first time!

    Magnified, anyway.

    The telescope I used was a tiny 70mm f/5 refractor. It didn't have a finder scope, so I would use a 25mm lens to find the object and center it, and then I would switch to the 6mm lens + 2x Barlow, which gave me a magnification of about 116x (the focal length of the scope is 350mm). This strategy worked pretty well.

    Both Jupiter and Saturn looked very bright. All surface details were washed out in bright light, in fact. However, I was able to make out the shadow that Saturn's rings cast on its surface, and I also saw some tiny bands on Jupiter that looked just slightly darker than the rest of the surface. Even at 116x (veyr near the limit for this scope), both planets looked quite small, but I was pleased to see that the focused quite sharply.

    I don't have a camera, but I drew some pictures that give a really good idea of what I saw. Some details, like the direction of Saturn's tilt and the exact position of Jupiter's moons, are probably wrong because I don't have perfect recollection of them.

    http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h2...ist/saturn.jpg
    http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h2...st/jupiter.jpg

    I also saw Venus, which looked to be in a quarter phase. As I was looking at Venus, making small adjustments in my scope to keep it in view, it started to fade away and stretch out into a long, thin line. I was very confused until I removed my eye away from the eyepiece and noticed that Venus had set behind a fence post!

    I do have a question about Jupiter. If you look at the above image, you can see that there were three moons immediately surrounding Jupiter. There was a fourth moonlike dot to the lower-right, on the same plane as the other moons, but much farther away. Is it possible that this is another moon? Or is it just a star?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    11,545
    Quote Originally Posted by Utwo View Post
    I do have a question about Jupiter. If you look at the above image, you can see that there were three moons immediately surrounding Jupiter. There was a fourth moonlike dot to the lower-right, on the same plane as the other moons, but much farther away. Is it possible that this is another moon? Or is it just a star?
    Checked my star software, and if you were looking at about 10PM EDT last night, that sketch matches pretty well. The moon on the one side is Europa, then the other three, from the inside out, are Ganymede, Io, and Callisto. Good job.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Falls Church, VA (near Washington, DC)
    Posts
    9,031
    Nice work on your drawings. You have more telescope than Galileo ever did.

    This brings back memories of my first views of these planets through a telescope, including the act of sweeping up the target without a reliable finder.

    Keep up the good work.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by Utwo View Post
    Magnified, anyway.

    The telescope I used was a tiny 70mm f/5 refractor. It didn't have a finder scope, so I would use a 25mm lens to find the object and center it, and then I would switch to the 6mm lens + 2x Barlow, which gave me a magnification of about 116x (the focal length of the scope is 350mm). This strategy worked pretty well.

    Both Jupiter and Saturn looked very bright. All surface details were washed out in bright light, in fact. However, I was able to make out the shadow that Saturn's rings cast on its surface, and I also saw some tiny bands on Jupiter that looked just slightly darker than the rest of the surface. Even at 116x (veyr near the limit for this scope), both planets looked quite small, but I was pleased to see that the focused quite sharply.

    I don't have a camera, but I drew some pictures that give a really good idea of what I saw. Some details, like the direction of Saturn's tilt and the exact position of Jupiter's moons, are probably wrong because I don't have perfect recollection of them.

    http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h2...ist/saturn.jpg
    http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h2...st/jupiter.jpg

    I also saw Venus, which looked to be in a quarter phase. As I was looking at Venus, making small adjustments in my scope to keep it in view, it started to fade away and stretch out into a long, thin line. I was very confused until I removed my eye away from the eyepiece and noticed that Venus had set behind a fence post!

    I do have a question about Jupiter. If you look at the above image, you can see that there were three moons immediately surrounding Jupiter. There was a fourth moonlike dot to the lower-right, on the same plane as the other moons, but much farther away. Is it possible that this is another moon? Or is it just a star?
    Cool. I ordered a telescope from a creation science store that can go up to 600x magnification. I need to learn more about astronomy though because I haven't been able to use such a complicated scientific instrument yet.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    4,467
    I also remember the first time I saw Jupiter and Saturn with a scope - magical moments for sure.

    Hopefully this experience will grab you and make a life-long astronomer out of you - maybe even a professional.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Boulder, Colorado
    Posts
    6,269
    great post. I've seen them both enough times that the excitment has worn off, but I always enjoy showing new people.

    Before I read your post I clicked the images, had to say they were really good for the setup you have. then I read your post
    My travel blog Mostly about riding a motorcycle across the US and Europe. Also has cool things that happen in between.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    880
    Quote Originally Posted by crosscountry View Post
    great post. I've seen them both enough times that the excitment has worn off, but I always enjoy showing new people.
    That's a shame. I first saw the rings of Saturn about 25 years ago, and the excitement has never worn off.

  8. 2007-Jun-11, 04:49 PM
    Reason
    Trivial

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    92
    Thanks, guys!

    The next night I visited my parents-in-law (they are the actual owners of the telescope), and my brothers-in-law were there with their families, so it was a decent-sized gathering. When it became dark, we went out into the back yard with the telescope and binoculars, and I got to show everyone what I saw.

    The only problem was that the motor mysteriously malfunctioned, such that only the altitude axis was moveable with the controls. So, I decided not to use a very high magnification (I used the 25mm eyepiece, 14x). Even still, the rings of Saturn and moons of Jupiter were easily seen, and everybody was very pleased. My brother-in-law said that he couldn't look at Saturn for more than 2-3 seconds at a time without cracking a huge smile.

    It's amazing how we all, prior to actually seeing Saturn or Jupiter, naively envision these sort of Hubble-like views of them. When we actually saw them, they were much smaller and much less detailed than we thought, but instead of being underwhelmed, we were much more excited and pleased than we ever thought we'd be. Pretty much everyone there described this exact experience.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Boulder, Colorado
    Posts
    6,269
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW View Post
    That's a shame. I first saw the rings of Saturn about 25 years ago, and the excitement has never worn off.

    I don't mean that the enjoyment isn't there. I always look when the opportunity is there, but Seeing Saturn for the first time, the first few times, is not like it is now. I'm okay with that; I do enjoy showing other people though.
    My travel blog Mostly about riding a motorcycle across the US and Europe. Also has cool things that happen in between.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    880
    Quote Originally Posted by crosscountry View Post
    I don't mean that the enjoyment isn't there. I always look when the opportunity is there, but Seeing Saturn for the first time, the first few times, is not like it is now. I'm okay with that; I do enjoy showing other people though.
    I know what you mean, CC, and I didn't mean to be critical. For me, Saturn is still a must-see every time I'm out and it's up, and it's one of a handful of objects (Albireo and M13 are among the others) which can still bring tears to my eyes.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Boulder, Colorado
    Posts
    6,269
    I saw Mercury a couple weeks ago. I remember the first time driving out of town just to see it. I was worried about the horizon being too close and had no where to look. This wasn't my first time to see it in a telescope either. Of course Mercury is only a must see due to the relative rareness of the good alignments. Anyway, nothing will beat that first time. It was like a journey to see something new.
    My travel blog Mostly about riding a motorcycle across the US and Europe. Also has cool things that happen in between.

Similar Threads

  1. Jupiter 05/19-20/09,Saturn,ISS
    By JAICOA in forum Astrophotography
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 2009-Jun-04, 05:41 AM
  2. Jupiter and Saturn
    By imported_iceman in forum Astrophotography
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 2005-Jan-21, 01:20 AM
  3. Jupiter or saturn
    By jimmy in forum Space/Astronomy Questions and Answers
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 2003-Dec-18, 05:10 AM
  4. Jupiter and Saturn
    By draco in forum Astronomy
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 2003-Mar-29, 04:20 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •