Friday, November 27, 2020

made binocular and telescope views

In anticipation of the grand conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, I fired up Stellarium and made some snaps. All for 6:00 PM from Toronto.

First, the view in binoculars, jumping one week at a time. I configured the software to use 15x70 binoculars which yield a 4½ degree field. Of course, up is up and east is left.

Saturn and Jupiter in binoculars Nov 30

Nov 30, above. Elevation or altitude above the horizon about 17°. The angular separation or distance between Jupiter and Saturn is approximately 2¼°.

Saturn and Jupiter in binoculars Dec 7

Dec 7. Capricornus has come into view. Elevation 15°. Separation: 1½°.

Saturn and Jupiter in binoculars Dec 14

Dec 14. Saturn about to exit Sagittarius. Elevation 12°. Separation: 3/4° or 45 arc-minutes. About 1 degree is is typically the domain of telescopes, a low power eyepiece can show this much sky.

Jupiter passes Saturn in binoculars Dec 21

The big day, Dec 21. Also the solstice. Elevation 9°. Separation: 6 arc-minutes! Closest they have been to one another in about 400 years.

Jupiter and Saturn in binoculars Dec 28

A week later. You can see tree-tops in this snap. Elevation 6°. Separation: almost 1°; some 50 arc-minutes.

Then in a telescope. I configured the software for an 8-inch Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope with a 26mm eyepiece with produces a magnification of 77x and a field of view diameter of about 3/4 of a degree, 40 arc-minutes to be precise. Also set as in an equatorial mount. This is a mirror-reversed or laterally-inverted view. Therefore north is up and east is right.

Saturn and Jupiter in a telescope Dec 20

Dec 20, above. Separation: 8½ arc-minutes.

Saturn and Jupiter in a telescope Dec 21

Dec 21. Closest approach. Separation: 6¼".

Saturn and Jupiter in a telescope Dec 22

And then Dec 22. Separation: 10".

You can see the moons dancing about. I did not include the labels to keep the screen uncluttered... You'll want to use some software to identify all them.

Finally, I simulated the view with a 9mm and a doubler on Dec 21. Wow.

Saturn and Jupiter at high power in a telescope

If you can put magnification on it, if the view holds up (the seeing might be poor at a low elevation), it's gonna be spectacular.

Let's hope for clear skies. This will be amazing.

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The YouTube video I made on Nov 14 shows the scene wide-field, say with just your eyes.

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Added a post addressing airmass, the amount of air you're looking through when celestial objects are low near the horizon...

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