Friday, March 23, 2007

it was Titan!

Ah ha! It was Titan that I saw—we saw—at the RASC TC city observing session.

When I first trained my SCT telescope on Saturn, I immediately noticed a bright, small point, to the right of planet (in the mirror reversed field), about 5 ring widths away.

I asked others if it was Titan. There was disagreement and discussion and in the end, no one knew for certain.

But I just fired up Sky & Telescope's javascript utility and my RedShift software and I have confirmed it was Titan. Woo hoo! My first confirmed sighting of Titan!

And it turns out I was seeing some other moons too. I probably saw Tethys and Enceladus as well...

Now, I realise, that without any notes from the sighting, I don't know the particulars. That was stupid. Why did I not document this? Or sketch it? And note the times? Silly. I had even brought my cool red pen and little note book. Not to mention my new observing sheets.

I also never thought to fire up my Psion palmtop! That's really stupid. Procyon X has a Saturn moon viewer (in fact, it plots 8 moons)! I could have confirmed it right then and there...

Now I'm feeling inspired. Maybe I'll set up the 'scope tonight... Monitor these moons for an hour or so.


I also researched the sizes and visual magnitudes of the moons. Titan (5150 km in diameter) is bigger than our moon (3476). Titan had a magnitude around 8 (whereas Iapetus is 11).

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