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  #1  
Old 21-10-2018, 09:28 PM
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Tinderboxsky (Steve)
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Five planets in broad daylight

I took the opportunity today to try to track down Mercury through to Saturn in broad daylight. I have tried previously but have only managed four of the five. Success today though.

Mercury - very small bright white spot against blue background. The disc was obviously not round and appeared about 3/4 illuminated.
Venus - magnificent fine crescent. Jewel like against the blue background. Itís disc is so big and imposing at this stage of itís approach to inferior conjunction. The large non illuminated area was just visible.
Mars - still quite bright but receding quickly. A distinct, light red against the blue sky.
Jupiter - faint disc with main bands just visible.
Saturn - extremely faint. It took me several minutes at the eyepiece before I found it. Once found it was easy to re-find. The rings were quite obvious.

I then took a quick detour:
Antares - a blazing bright, distinctly red point of light against the blue sky.
Acrux - two sharp bright white points of light.

Scope - Vixen NA140SS on GPD goto mount with LVW22 giving 36X.
There was not a cloud in the sky and the seeing was reasonable.
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  #2  
Old 22-10-2018, 05:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinderboxsky View Post
I took the opportunity today to try to track down Mercury through to Saturn in broad daylight. I have tried previously but have only managed four of the five. Success today though.

Saturn - extremely faint. It took me several minutes at the eyepiece before I found it. Once found it was easy to re-find. The rings were quite obvious.
Because it is close to the Sun. Last February, I found Saturn more easily with my 11cm ED (from NSW), but here in EU it is too low in the sky. Next summer (Feb-Mar) I'll do a try again during another upcoming Australia visit. But surface brightness is not as good as the other planets, so Saturn is more difficult in daylight.

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Originally Posted by Tinderboxsky View Post
I then took a quick detour:
Antares - a blazing bright, distinctly red point of light against the blue sky.
Acrux - two sharp bright white po
These stars are easy. My ED 11cm shows Acrux (and Alpha Centauri) as nice doubles. But here in EU also Mizar, but that one is too low in the sky on AU, particularly in Tas.
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  #3  
Old 22-10-2018, 09:10 AM
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Regulus (Trevor)
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An interesting challenge to set yourself Steve. And a satisfying result, I'm sure.

It bought to mind that old furphy about how if you were down a 200' hole looking up, then the sky would be black as night and you could clearly see stars :-)
I think this is still out there making the rounds among the uninformed and inexperienced.


Trev
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  #4  
Old 22-10-2018, 10:21 PM
Wavytone (Nick)
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Well, I've been in a mine lift - basically a wire cage an a bloody long cable - looking up as it went down a 2,000m hole.

The sky rapidly becomes a blindingly bright circular dot as your eyes adapt to the darkness and I doubt you'd see any stars for this reason. After a few hundred metres the sky is so small it can't be seen at all as the lift shaft was maybe 3-4m diameter. Hard to say though is it went down/up so fast height was very hard to judge.
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  #5  
Old 22-10-2018, 11:07 PM
glend (Glen)
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Try using a red filter, it will darken the sky and improve contrast, makes the planets pop. I have watched Saturn occuled by the Moon during the day, and have seen Venus the same way. It was a fun way to spend daylight hours out at Chaffey Dam, back in the day.
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  #6  
Old 23-10-2018, 12:09 AM
Wavytone (Nick)
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Good point - red filter certainly would be effective, ditto Polaroid sunglasses.
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  #7  
Old 23-10-2018, 02:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavytone View Post
Good point - red filter certainly would be effective, ditto Polaroid sunglasses.
A polarizing filter does even better. These are even available to fit in eyepieces and make blue sky background a lot darker without darkening the star or planet, the most when 90 degrees from the Sun, even more than a red filter. Recently I purchaced one for this purpose.

https://www.bintel.com.au/product/bi...ser-1-25-inch/

Seeing stars from pits or mine shafts in daylight is a myth. Your eyes are adapted to the dark mine and the small piece of sky you see are far too bright.
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  #8  
Old 28-10-2018, 05:37 PM
Hoges (John)
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Thanks for the report on this - not something I'd ever tried before. I found Venus the most difficult as it was so close to the sun and I had to position my eyes just right on the eyepiece to avoid some glare but that fine sliver was worth the effort when I saw it.


Mars was interesting - I could swear I could see some darker mottling on it and the polar cap at my 10'oclock (I'm reversed with a star diagonal).


Saturn was the faintest but the rings were really obvious.



I will have to give the filters a go next time.
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  #9  
Old 28-10-2018, 07:04 PM
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Tinderboxsky (Steve)
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That is a good catch with Venus John. It would indeed have been quite close to the Sun as it is just past inferior conjunction.
Interesting comments re Mars. I was not using sufficient magnification and did not spend the time at the eyepiece to see any hint of detail. I do remember seeing some detail a while ago in an earlier broad daylight observation. Mars was not long past Oposition then.

Last edited by Tinderboxsky; 29-10-2018 at 06:49 AM.
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  #10  
Old 29-10-2018, 06:35 AM
Hoges (John)
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Try as I might, I couldn't see as much detail in Mars at night even at twice the mag. Did add Uranus to the bag though to make it up to six planets for the eve - I don't think I've ever managed that before.
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  #11  
Old 29-10-2018, 06:54 AM
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Tinderboxsky (Steve)
I can see clearly now ...

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Just need Neptune now.
I managed all seven in the one evening a couple of weeks ago at the Astrnomical Society of Tasmania Orana Star Party.

Quote:
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Try as I might, I couldn't see as much detail in Mars at night even at twice the mag. Did add Uranus to the bag though to make it up to six planets for the eve - I don't think I've ever managed that before.
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