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Old 28-08-2011, 07:15 PM
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Exclamation Neptune+Triton, Uranus in excellent seeing

The sky cleared rather unexpectadly Saturday evening, so I decided to do some galaxy hunting. Little did I know that I would get periods of seeing so good that I would spend half the night observing just Uranus and Neptune.

I set up at 9.30pm and let the scope cool until 11pm or so while I had dinner.


Scope: 8" F/6 dob


Got out just in time to catch Neptune crossing the meridian. At 240x the planet was a tiny, blue orb, surprisingly crisp for a change. So I switched to a 3.5mm for 342x and after a while I noticed a faint star blink in and out of view just to the east of the planet. I then increased power to 480x and the star held more easily, and at 600x it was in view with averted vision 100% of the time!

I took notes on the time and the surrounding starfield. Unfortunately, Cartes Du Ciel for some reason doesn't include any Neptunian satellites so I had to use Stellarium to confirm the sighting. I have the UCAC catalogue in CDC so I an get to 16th mag in the program, but Stellarium goes nowhere near as deep so conversely it didn't show the starfield, but does represent the moons. I lined up the CDC and Stellarium charts in the same orientation and it was confirmed - that faint little star was indeed Triton!

Also went over to Uranus. Seeing held up and got excellent view of the planet at 342x. I had to increase power, up to 480x I could see two very faint blips of light a similar distance approx north and south of the globe. Uranus itself was nice and crisp even at this magnification with only mild blurring in the seeing. CdC revealed these to be the moons Oberon (mag 14.2) and Titania (mag 14.0). Very faint for an 8" scope in an outer suburb location so was thrilled with my observations. Increasing mag to 600x again improved the visibility of the moons. Tried to eek out detail on Uranus itself, but the thing is just too small and thus very sensitive to even the slightest seeing disturbance, and this is ofcourse compounded by the extreme low contrast of any features that might be present.

Tried for Jupiter aswell, but seeing degraded by then so no go. Figured I'll go for some galaxies as originally planned but it started clouding over so called it a night around 3.30am.
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Old 28-08-2011, 07:24 PM
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mental4astro (Alexander)
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That's a mighty triffecta, Sab. Triton, Oberon & Titania. I wonder what the bookies odds would have been?

I've said it before, I looovve an 8" f/6 dob for planet hunting.

Taking it to 600X! That's stupendous.
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Old 29-08-2011, 09:30 AM
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Awesome observing Sab,

I haven't made any observations of neptune and very limited obs of uranus.I hope to do some when there in the evening sky.

Regards Orestis
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Old 29-08-2011, 06:58 PM
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What an observing triumph, Sab. Triton, Oberon and Titania in an 8" scope- brilliant observing.
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Old 30-08-2011, 12:29 PM
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thanks guys. Took advantage of the conditions, my plan of hunting galaxies went up in smoke and didn't see a single one the whole time. Rare to get a crisp ball with Uranus at 250x let alone 400x plus. These tiny objects are often smudged too much, even by minimal seeing disturbance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mental4astro
That's a mighty triffecta, Sab. Triton, Oberon & Titania. I wonder what the bookies odds would have been?

I've said it before, I looovve an 8" f/6 dob for planet hunting.

Taking it to 600X! That's stupendous.
If I were to place a bet beforehand, I'd be a poorer man right now
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Old 29-10-2014, 07:39 PM
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The Mekon (John Briggs)
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Not sure that conditions were as good as pgc's were 3 years ago, but last night I finally bagged Triton from my backyard in Bowral.

Was not easy and averted vision helped. Using an 18" SDM and magnification was 228x. I am amazed that an 8" can pick up Triton, but then again, in the right conditions these obs can be made.
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Old 04-11-2014, 05:10 PM
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That's some great observing with a 8 inch. Well done.
I love looking at these planets. Even though there is not really much to see l just think it's incredible we can see them and wonder. I gauge the seeing on if l can hold triton in the eyepiece in my 16" dob. Which is not very often in Perth skies.
It's fascinating to see how far it moves over a few hours during the night.
Cheers Curt.
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Old 04-11-2014, 07:15 PM
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Several WSAAG members, myself included, have seen Triton (primary Neptune) and Titania and Oberon (primary Uranus) through the Linden Observatory 30" Evans telescope (3.5m focal length, eyepiece Televue Ethos 13mm), most recently 19th October 2014.
Triton is listed in Sky Safari as mag. 13.8, and that is one faint object.

To see these faint objects in a smaller scope is very impressive, and deserves accolades.

Regards,
Tony Barry
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