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  #1  
Old 07-07-2017, 10:03 AM
Tropo-Bob (Bob)
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Saturn's Moons

I have been observing Saturn's moons with a variety of small refractors. I can see Rhea (2nd brightest moon) with an 80mm scope, although 100mm is better. It is interesting to follow each evening, as it moves so rapidly around the planet.

However, even with a 100mm, Dione and Tethys are rather difficult and I will need to use a bigger scope to follow these more seriously.

From what I have seen though, these both look rather alike. Can they be told apart easily? I know each of Jupiter's moons by sight and would like to obtain the same skill with Saturn's Moons. If anybody can do this, please advise if the slight difference in brightness is the clue, or simply the moons distance from Saturn.

Last edited by Tropo-Bob; 07-07-2017 at 10:40 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-07-2017, 01:34 PM
deanm (Dean)
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It's easy to tell them apart: all you need is $2 billion dollars, a sophisticated spacecraft and a powerful launch vehicle..!
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap170706.html
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  #3  
Old 07-07-2017, 06:56 PM
Tropo-Bob (Bob)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tropo-Bob View Post
.

However, even with a 100mm, Dione and Tethys are rather difficult and I will need to use a bigger scope to follow these more seriously.

From what I have seen though, these both look rather alike. Can they be told apart easily? I know each of Jupiter's moons by sight and would like to obtain the same skill with Saturn's Moons. If anybody can do this, please advise if the slight difference in brightness is the clue, or simply the moons distance from Saturn.
I observed these tonight and correctly guessed which moon was Dione because it was more distant from Saturn than was Tethys. I used an 8" SCT with a 16mm Brandon EP. (I tried several others, but the Brandon seemed to show fainter objects- only by a fraction and this opinion is very subjective). I will follow these moons more often and hopefully with practice , I will not need to guess in future.

I looked for Encelanus and failed to see it, even after consulting a program displaying where it is. The near full Moon only about 6 degrees from Saturn certainly did not help, so I will try again when there is no Moon.

Last edited by Tropo-Bob; 08-07-2017 at 07:03 AM.
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  #4  
Old 18-10-2017, 08:05 AM
Tropo-Bob (Bob)
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Its been a learning adventure watching Saturn's Moons this year.

I used to be able to identify Titan, see other Moons, but not know which moon was which. Now I can find Rhea with an 80mm refractor, although a 100mm is much more comfortable.

With the 100mm, I can just see Tethys and Dione, but really cannot tell them apart without consulting where each is predicted to be.

I did find Iapetus at maximum brightness and marvelled on its extremely wide orbit.

After waiting years for the rings to be wide open, now I am waiting for them to close, because from previous experience, I found the Saturn's Moons to then be more easily seen. What do they say about grass been greener?
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  #5  
Old 18-10-2017, 01:34 PM
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Kunama (Matt)
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We had a bit more aperture last night and managed Titan, Rhea, Tethys, Dione and Enceladus, didn't look for Hyperion or Iapetus ..... maybe tonight ....
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  #6  
Old 03-11-2017, 09:24 AM
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Tinderboxsky (Steve)
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Interesting exercise Bob. I shall try next year as Saturn’s opposition approaches.
This reminds me of my little project to bag a detailed observation of each of the 11 events for the Jovian moons; occultation - disappearance & reappearance, eclipse - disappearance & reappearance, transit - ingress, transit & egress, shadow - ingress, transit and egress and a concurrent moon and shadow transit.
I have bagged a good observation of each of these events, except for Callisto where i am missing an occultation disappearance, a shadow egress and a concurrent moon and shadow transit. Because of Callisto’s wide orbit these only occur approximately every 6.5. when the orbital plan lines up with Earth. I have to be patient till some time in 2020/21, I think before I can complete all of these observations.
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