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Summer Beehive and Saturn's Edgy Rings!


Nightspore

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I was set-up with the Titchy Sixty (Altair 60EDF) by around 02:00, Sunday the 9th of June. The Summer Triangle was almost right in front of me. As it was fairly dark I decided on the 2” 31mm Baader Hyperion Aspheric which gave me about 11.6x (just over six arc degrees of true field). The 36mm Aspheric is nice but the 31mm displays a little less edge astigmatism and is physically lighter. I do like the 36mm for objects like Berenice’s Hair and the like. But, you know, variety is the spice of life, right?

 

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The first thing I found was the Summer Beehive. The jet stream was not doing me any favours so I switched to an Altair 15mm UltraFlat. I know what you’re going to say; what happened to the 19mm Panoptic you’re basically married to? I haven’t divorced the Panoptic, we’re still a very happy couple. Apparently TV did make a 15mm Panoptic at one time, but it wasn’t very successful for some reason.

 

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The UltraFlat was designed by Mark Ackermann in the USA. APM had the exclusive rights to market them for a couple of years although now they are marketed under a variety of focal lengths and brand names.

 

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I’ve only used the Altair 15mm UltraFlat and it is very similar in shape and size to the 19mm Panoptic. Its 65° AFOV is slightly smaller than the 19mm Panoptic and its purported 16mm eye relief is a bit long for my preferred 12-13mm. Although if I keep the eyeguard raised it is tolerable. I found a lot of clusters in the Triangle, then switched to Cassiopeia for the Owl Cluster. I could just see its ‘wings’ at the 24x the UltraFlat gives with the 60EDF. 

 

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As I was in the Queen of Ethiopia’s vicinity I tried for Iota Cass with the SvBony 3-6mm zoom. I could just make out the three stars at 120x.

 

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At 03:00 BST it was starting to get lighter and I noticed this bright star in a low Aquarius (or at least where the Water Bearer should be). I was actually waiting for Saturn but I didn’t think it would be visible to me at barely 10° above the horizon. Although this was why I originally took the Titchy Sixty/AZ5 combo out, as it is highly portable and easy to reposition, especially if you’re a spaz like me. I just knew this bright star was Saturn, I dunno, call it years of stargazing experience, I mean amateur astrology, *cough*, astronomy. The Titchy’s superb optics didn’t let me down and I could even see Titan as well as the near edge-on rings. I detected some detail on the planetary surface although it was quite faint. Overall I observed at between 90-120x for around 45 mins. As it got too light to observe properly I decided to call it a day. I doubt Saturn’s rings, when completely edge-on, will be visible from the UK. Overall, I’m quite chuffed at seeing my old friend Saturn.

 

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I don't know why, but Saturn gave me this C57-D vibe from Forbidden Planet.

 

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What would Robby the Robot think? 

 

 

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Excellent! Saturn definitely has the spaceship vibe going. It will be too close to the sun though when it's completely edge-on. I believe the tilt is currently at 2% and will increase slightly the rest of this year before receding early next year. This summer may be the best apparition actually.

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27 minutes ago, Orion25 said:

Excellent! Saturn definitely has the spaceship vibe going. It will be too close to the sun though when it's completely edge-on. I believe the tilt is currently at 2% and will increase slightly the rest of this year before receding early next year. This summer may be the best apparition actually.

 

I don't think we're getting a summer this year.

 

oVBTxD7.jpg

 

Damn that jet stream coming from the North Pole!

 

 

Even a young Annie Haslam can't help ...

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5 minutes ago, Nightspore said:

 

I don't think we're getting a summer this year.

 

oVBTxD7.jpg

 

Damn that jet stream coming from the North Pole!

 

 

Even a young Annie Hallam can't help ...

Wow, that's a lovely, er, ummm, song!

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1 minute ago, Orion25 said:

Wow, that's a lovely, er, ummm, song!

 

Yeah, it's difficult to believe she's 77 now.

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