Saturday, June 07, 2008

Saturn's ghost (Blue Mountains)

Tim H. was working on his telescope setup. It is an interesting mixture of new and old, high and low tech.

He has an ancient Celestron orange-tube Schmidt-Cassegrain "C8" catadioptic (that he bought new 31 years ago) perched atop an imposing white Synta EQ6 Pro mount, extension tube, and husky metal tripod. He has a mysterious little black adapter on the hand controller port which is in turn connected to his Dell laptop. I think he was most recently testing a serial-to-USB adapter and it was working fine. Software The Sky 6 Pro is driving the mount.

Suddenly, he exclaimed, "There it is!" He had found Saturn, at magnitude 0.65, in the middle of the day. Particularly impressive with Tim eyeballing the polar alignment!

It was very, very pale apparition in the blue sky. It took me a moment to spot it through the Meade 18mm UW 5000 eyepiece. Variations in the air would cause it to wash out and shimmer. Occasionally, it would appear crisply, and you could easily see the rings.


I like his laptop light shield...

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