Astro Pics – 2 Planets and a Cluster

The nights over the last few weeks have been quite clear over England with the weather being unseasonably dry. This always offers some wonderful night time views of the sky and I knew it was coming up to the time where Saturn and Jupiter were in the sky.

Then last week I say that yellowy star that I knew was Saturn. I’ve nevr seen Saturn and it’s rings through a telescope, to me it’s always been this semi bright speck, so out came the telescope (it’s not that easy it’s a heavy and delicate thing – I have to literally cuddle it to lift it).

The great thing about it is that it’s got some clever star map work in it and after setting time, dat eand location all I need to do it point it at 3 bright stars and it knows where it is and what it’s pointing at. It’s very clver and it also means that I can tell it what to look at.

My 8″ Telescope -ready for some night viewing

Witha a few wirring motors, the telescope rotated towards and the yellowish point of light a settled.

This is what I saw:

Saturn through my 8″ Telescope

It’s not so easy to make out in this as the picture isn’t as clear, but this is a zoomed in and filtered image as the light from Saturn was so bright. It’s the strangest thing, Saturn appears like a tiny toy planet or sticker in your view finder, suspended seemingly impossibly.

I then noticed at in the east was a brighter light – Jupiter was rising. I needed to wait for it to clear the roofs of the nearby houses. While I was waiting I found somethign else to look at, I picked (after a few other attempts) M15, a star cluster. To the eye it’s just a fuzzy patch… but on a picture it’s a bit more.

Messier 15

After Jupiter had cleared the roofs I could point the telescope at it and it was huge (relatively)!

Jupiter and 3 of it’s 4 biggest Moons.

What a sight… it was impossible to think that with Jupiter I was looking across at almost 500 million kilopmetres and with Saturn a billion kilometres. The biggest issue I had as can be seen is there’s little detail. It’s strage to think that even from that distance over exposure in the camera is an issue, but this is what the images are bleached out. I need to find a way to resolve that. So watch this space (literally) I might be able to get more detail.

© Simon Farnell 2013 – 2023

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