Thursday, January 27, 2005

The First Night with the Saturn

Tonight, the sky is very dark. Of course, my notion of very dark is not that dark actually. When I pointed the Ranger up in the sky, I saw a pink background, light pollution. Since I'm observing from my apartment's window, I have chosen two eyepieces with the Orion Shorty barlow. The 20mm Tele Vue Plossl for low power scanning and the 6.3mm Celestron Plossl for higher power.

I was originally trying to observe the Jupiter, and I waited until 1:00a with no luck. It seems that the orbit of Jupiter had moved out of my observation range. I tried to look out in the window and I could see a bright star with my short-sighted eyes. I guess it was the Jupiter. Then, I tried to look out in another window of another
room. Oh! I could see the Jupiter. Notice that I could only observe in the first room I've mentioned, i.e. the Jupiter had moved out of my sight range. It's a bad news to me.

When I walked back to the first room, I was thinking of what's that bright star? Oh! It should be the Saturn! My hope revived. But it is still too high to point my scope up, with the shelter out of my window. For the first room, I could go out from the Windows and there's a small place that I could place my scope there, but I've to
take the risk of being treated as thief. Anyway, I dare to watch the Saturn with my new Ranger.

Finally, I had decided to take the risk. I used the 20mm to locate it first. I found that it's too difficult, and so I've installed the Star Pointer to have a try. Yes! I got it in the 20mm. It looked like an elongated star. After playing with the helical focuser, I could make out the ring at 24X. Then, I inserted the barlow. The view is
so nice! And this 48X view was equal to, if not better than, the 83X view of the C90. It guess it's because the scope and the eyepiece were better.

I was not satisfied, and I moved on to use the 6.3mmn to get 76X. The view is not as constrasty and as sharp with the TV Plossl. Maybe the seeing condition did not allow, or the Celestron Plossl is inferior. I guess it was the former. Anyway, out the curiosity, I tried to insert the barlow anyway. I found it's kind of difficult to focus,
and could it be an evident that the seeing was no good? I guess it should be.

By using higher power than 48X, I found nothing more than a larger and fuzzier ball. I shared both of the view with my little sister, and she's so impressed. Later I confirmed that she never had any telescopic view of the Saturn before.

It seems that I should find a better night for another observation, but what I found was that, the Ranger is a so nice little scope.

1:00-2:00a, 17-Oct-98

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