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Old 28-08-2022, 01:39 AM
Dave882 (David)
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Soggy Saturn Tonight

What a crazy night...

Sydney was clear sky in the early evening but I was pretty slow getting outside and predictably, by the time I had the kids to bed and ready to go there was a stack of high cloud rolling through. What the heck I say and turn to c14 toward Saturn at 160x.

The cloud had come over but behind it Saturn was still pretty bright, but more impressively, incredibly stable. Progressively cranked it up to 300x, 400x. What the heck, I've now got the binos out at 450x and Saturn (still behind high cloud) is the most stable and clear I've seen it this year, and in those brief holes in the sky, maybe the best I've ever seen.

The Cassini division was crisp, and beautiful detail in the darker brown northern hemisphere bands, some interesting detail in the brighter region just above the rings, plus a nice view of the north pole showing a darker redish/purple region at the pole. In addition, I thought I could see the C bands in close to the planet, and maybe, just maybe, glimpses of the Encke Division out wide, but really needed to get to higher mag to confirm this. I was just amazed at how stable the image was even with all the high cloud. Absolutely exhilarating viewing. Until...

Well, the high cloud turned to medium cloud, and then out of absolutely nowhere it starts pouring rain!! I've got everything out, and by the time i've got the covers over the scope and the eyepieces inside, absolutely everything is soaked.. The light bucket had turned into a...bucket...and I had water in the mount, water in the scope, water in everything. Rain only lasted a total of about 3min, now I've now spent the last 3 hours pulling everything apart (even had to take the corrector plate off the c14), drying it out and put it in my dehumidified storage room where it'll stay for the next few days. Just hoping the ASIAIR and eq8 are electrically ok.

Regrets? Nah!!
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Old 28-08-2022, 10:38 AM
Saturnine (Jeff)
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Should have sent you a warning, was contemplating setting up last evening , as it was looking clearish after dark. Stuck my head out the back door after dinner and although the sky was about 50% clear , there was light rain falling out of an overhead cloud and the grass and paths were wet. The BOM radar showed scattered showers all over the coast and a little inland, so became discouraged about getting the gear out.
Glad you had such steady seeing and great views of Saturn to compensate for the gear getting drenched.
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Old 28-08-2022, 03:34 PM
Rod-AR127 (Rod)
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Hope everything dries out and stays working for you.
I wanted to snatch a few views between clouds last night but it started to very lightly drizzle just as l got to the back door, lucky me.
Hope to spy Saturn tonight between the clouds.
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Old 28-08-2022, 04:27 PM
EpickCrom (Joe)
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Sorry to hear your equipment got drenched David, at least you got a killer view of Saturn. I couldn't observe last night due to clouds and rain but will be at it again tonight hopefully..
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Old 28-08-2022, 09:30 PM
Dave882 (David)
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Thanks guys- yeah I think itíll dry out ok. Iíve got everything opened up and had it in a closed room with the heat on plus a dehumidifier going. Just gunna be a bit anxious the first time I hit the power button.

But honestly, that sky was amazing (before I got hit). I was so engrossed with the view I never even saw the offending cloud come over till it was too late. Was disappointing not getting a chance to see Jupiter under such stable sky like I saw Saturn.
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Old 31-08-2022, 01:08 AM
Dave882 (David)
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Felt it was probably enough drying time now, happy to say I got everything back together tonight and itís all working perfectly. By the time I had everything clean, assembled, aligned, collimated it was well past midnight so no observing tonight. Just got it guiding on ngc300 and itís tracking beautifully. Phew
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Old 31-08-2022, 08:13 AM
N1 (Mirko)
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A fun read. Assuming there's no lasting damage, all that moisture would have been worth it! I've noticed that too - high cloud can stabilise the seeing quite a bit. Must be to do with its effect on thermal radiation from the ground.
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Old 31-08-2022, 11:33 AM
Dave882 (David)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N1 View Post
A fun read. Assuming there's no lasting damage, all that moisture would have been worth it! I've noticed that too - high cloud can stabilise the seeing quite a bit. Must be to do with its effect on thermal radiation from the ground.
Thanks mate- yeah Iíve heard the same about high cloud and good seeing conditions but never experienced it myself before. Iíll be a bit more aware of the radar next time tho!!

I reckon without exaggeration Iíve spent about 12hrs at the eyepiece on Saturn alone this planet season (most in much worse conditions), so even though that session cost me about 6hrs extra work, Iím still happy I got out there (assuming no damage caused of course)
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