Page 1 of 1

Neptune Observation

Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 7:51 am
by nigeljoslin
A great start to my new astronomy season, this morning at...yawn...1 o'clock. The sky conditions were very good despite the warmth and humidity, with a number of deep sky objects visible to the unaided eye and good detail in the Milky Way.

After a brief sky-wander to acquaint myself with some old deep-sky friends, the mission was on. To observe Neptune, something I had never managed before. I knew that it was now at a decent elevation in the sky and quite close to Phi Aquarii, so even I should be able to find it.

Sure enough, after a little hunting, I located the planet. Upping the magnification to 200x in the 14 inch Dob showed a tiny blue disc, which under further magnification (400x and 550x) grew to show its beauty, an almost haunting pale blue that gave the planet a feel of great distance (to my now fired up imagination). Confirmation that it was Neptune was provided by the tiny dot of Triton, just where it should be according to my Carts Du Ciel.

It is a very good time to observe this planet now, as it approaches its opposition on September 10th.

Having read your last , Mike, I had hoped to also see Uranus, but it was a little to low for me and right over the house roof!

Happy observing,

Nigel

Re: Neptune Observation

Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:27 am
by mike a feist
I did try to pick Neptune out a couple of mornings ago with the T50 (50mm) spotter, did local phi and the couple of stars near it and just about saw a number of faint nearby stars but was unable to confirm which was Neptune. Of course in low-power small optics , position is everything.
Will try again, this time with the 60 mm Landscout. In comparison, Uranus is easy-peezee!!
By about 0345-0400 BST this morning, just before the dawning, Uranus was very high up.

Regards maf

Re: Neptune Observation

Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:25 pm
by nigeljoslin
Yes, picking the planet out from the nearby stars is the problem I usually have with Uranus! I have seen Uranus before, but only when it was well landmarked. My problem last night was that it was low just above the house in some haze. I have a problem with looking later in the night, it starts getting light earlier up here.

But thanks, saying it is easy at the moment, you've inspired me to have another try....though when that will be....busy few days and cloud shown on forecast.

It must be difficult in small optics, without the ability to see a disc!

Enjoy yourself,

Nigel

Re: Neptune Observation

Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 4:20 pm
by David Frydman
I have seen Uranus and Neptune many times as small discs, but I never tried with my larger scopes.
They are discs in a 3 inch refractor.

So I have never seen the moons of Uranus, Neptune or Mars.
Pity.

7 or 8 moons of Saturn.
But not the 5th Jupiter moon.

Jupiter's moons are discs in a 12.5 inch scope.
But I never managed to see detail on Jupiter's moons.

Can't remember if I saw Titan as a disc.

Regards,
David

Re: Neptune Observation

Posted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 6:44 am
by nigeljoslin
Using my 14", I have seen a wealth of detail on Jupiter and a number of beautiful satellite transits, but like you David, I have never seen details on the Jovian moons. I don't think I saw Titan as a disc, but then it's been so long since I've had a decent look at Saturn....I look forward to it being at a decent elevation, in 2022?

Best wishes,

Nigel

Re: Neptune Observation

Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:50 am
by PaulB
That's a nice report, Nigel.

I hope to see and possibly image Neptune and Uranus this year. I have not really spent enough time looking at these distant ice giants with my C9.25. And this coming season I hope to do this. Maybe from Kelling next month?

Re: Neptune Observation

Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:53 am
by nigeljoslin
Thank you, Paul. I have now seen all the planets!

Kelling looks like a good event.

Best wishes,

Nigel

Re: Neptune Observation

Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:54 pm
by PaulB
It certainly is Nigel.

I just love those dark North Norfolk skies.

Re: Neptune Observation

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:31 am
by nigeljoslin
I love the dark skies, too. I live right next to the Galloway dark Sky Park, but our garden is quite dark, too. I see structure in the Milky Way as soon as I step outside the back door...love it!