Monday, July 09, 2012

might have seen Encke Gap

I kept thinking about my observation with Ian's big Dobsonian at the CAO of Saturn, in particular, the rings, back on 20 May. Of course, his 20" mirror has tremendous light gathering power, and I was certain I had seen a dark edge on the ring or perhaps a dark gap—like the Cassini Division—out at the edge of the A ring.

After some research, I learned of the 300 kilometre wide gap at the outer edge of the A ring: the Encke Gap. Interesting! But was it visible from Earth? I put that question to the RASC Toronto Centre Yahoo!Group.

Happily, I learned, seeing the Encke division was possible. Paul Mo. had seen it in a 6" refractor (at 7000 feet in elevation, mind you). Randy said he saw it in a members 6" refractor during excellent seeing. From downtown Mississauga! And Guy said he tagged it several times in his 6" reflector, while the ringed planet was at maximum tilt.

That means I get to put this under the "definitely possible" category.

No comments: