08 January 2011

Saturn: oh yes we did

Get up at oh-dark-early, that is (4.45am), to check out Saturn and try to spot the new storm that was spotted a few days ago.

Apparently, it looks like this:
(photo courtesy of galaxypix)

Quite remarkable, no? Anyway, we'd set up last night, so it was painless when we got up, and Saturn was in quite a good position over the house. Sadly, the seeing wasn't fantastic; it came in and out, which made focusing a bit of a pain. The rings were very obvious, and I think I could see the shadow of the rings on the planet (or it might have been a dark cloud band). We looked for ten minutes; J claims he could see a bright spot near the limb, when the seeing came good briefly. We came inside to get away from a couple of annoying mozzies for ten minutes, giving the planet time to revolve a bit and give us a better chance of seeing the storm. The seeing was no better when we went back. Again, J thought he saw the brighter spot once or twice; me, I don't think so. I could imagine that I saw it, but I think it was wishful thinking. Anyway, we were done in by sunrise (!!); Venus was behind a tree so we didn't bother trying to see it through the scope. It was incredibly bright though.

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