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July 7, 2014 July 7, 2014

Posted by orionrising in Observing.
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Observed the Gibbous Moon and Saturn for the first time using my 6 inch dobsonian reflector tonight. They were around one degree of one another, so the conjunction was altogether very beautiful. The view of the moon was amazing and very crisp — the terminator was very clear, and many of the craters on the terminator edge had very good contrast. Saturn was off-whitish — immediate impressions were that it was smaller than I had imagined, but the ring system was beautiful. The rings were oriented such that it looked like Saturn had two small ears projecting out from a centre off-white marble. I might have seen Titan off to the right hand side, but it was very faint. Next time I’ll try viewing Saturn with the full diameter of the dobsonian, that will likely help — I was concurrently viewing the moon, so I ended up using the smaller aperture on the telescope. With the naked eye, I saw Spica and Mars make a beautiful pair off to the bottom right of the Moon-Saturn conjunction. The weather was beautiful tonight, and the seeing was wonderful, although the effects of the atmosphere were more apparent on the moon’s surface compared to Saturn. 

Looking forward to doing more stargazing. 

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