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Location of Saturn and Mars, early July, 2012


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#1 MistrBadgr

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 07:09 PM

In case anyone would like to look at Saturn or Mars and is unfamiliar with their location, here is what I do in my back yard at 36 degrees North Lattitude:

When it gets dark enough in the evening to see several bright stars, I face the southwest. I then look overhead and spot a bright star named Arcturus, or Alpha Bootes. I take a hand, extend it out to full arm's length, make a fist, then stick out my thumb and little finger as far as I can. I put the tip of my thumb on Arturus with the rest of my hand and finger pointing down. At about the tip of my little finger, there is what looks to be another bright star with a lesser bright star about a fist width below it. The upper and brighter of the two stars is actually Saturn.

To find Mars, put the same extended thumb on Saturn and point the little finger to the right (assuming I am using my right hand). Then, rotate my little finger downward maybe 30 degrees. There should be what looks like an orangy yellow star in the neighborhood. That is Mars.

Mars is now a little far over in the west to see much, but you may be able to make out an edge of the red disk that is light bluish in your telescope. The bluish part is an indication of a polar ice cap. At this point in time, I doubt that a beginning telescope will be able to make out much else. Two years ago, I think, when Mars made a close approach, I was able to see an ice cap and sort of a darker bluish-red mottling on the surface at times with my NG-70, 70mm f/10 (700 mm focal length) refractor. The big problem then was Mars was so bright that I was having trouble with reflections off of the inside of the lens hood.

I used a 60mm f/15 (900mm focal length) refractor a couple of nights ago on Saturn. I could make out the rings very well and thought at times I could see hints of the Cassini division between the two big rings. I think I could make out some differences in the shading of the two rings.

Bill Steen

#2 Zubi Fett

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 01:47 PM

Thank you for the post Bill, much appreciate it.

I will try to find them as soon as those evil clouds decide to leave my town for good.

I have problems to point to the Moon, is gonna be hell to find them, or better say, to point at them :lol:

Bill, do you think I could use my binoculars to find them easier? Or will it make it harder instead?

Regards,

Ion

#3 MistrBadgr

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 12:20 PM

You should be able to use your binoculars and maybe make out that Saturn is not round and that Mars is reddish. That would let you know that what you are looking at is the right thing. Then, point your scope at one. Use your finder on the telescope, if it is alligned with the telescope. Then, with your longest focal length eyepiece, look through the telescope. If you had the finder cross-hairs on the object, it is alligned with the scope, and you do not bump the tripod, the object should be in your field of view in the scope.

Have fun!

#4 Zubi Fett

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 02:52 PM

Well, about the finder on the telescope. If I set the Moon using it, when i look using the eyepiece is normally not pointing to it, but is extremely close, does that sound about right? Or shall i do something about it?

Thank you ;)

#5 MistrBadgr

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 07:41 PM

You can adjust the screws holding the finder in place. I would try to tell you which ones to move to get what direction, but I always forget myself and have to experiment to find out which way things go. One thing you can do is to center your telescope on something al long way off in the day time. Then, tweak the screws holding the finder and make it move its position a little. Go back to the main scope and center the object again...most likely the scope will have been moved a little. Then, look through the finder and see which way the object moved in the finder. Keep making adjustments to the finder and recentering the big scope until the cross hairs in the finder are on the object and the object is centered in the main scope.

Then, at night, when you center the cross-hairs on an object, then it should show up in the main scope.

Bill

#6 Zubi Fett

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 02:39 AM

Very well, that I shall do then.

Thank you Bill.




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