Location of Saturn and Mars, early July, 2012
Posted 02 July 2012 - 07:09 PM
When it gets dark enough in the evening to see several bright stars, I face the southwest. I then look overhead and spot a bright star named Arcturus, or Alpha Bootes. I take a hand, extend it out to full arm's length, make a fist, then stick out my thumb and little finger as far as I can. I put the tip of my thumb on Arturus with the rest of my hand and finger pointing down. At about the tip of my little finger, there is what looks to be another bright star with a lesser bright star about a fist width below it. The upper and brighter of the two stars is actually Saturn.
To find Mars, put the same extended thumb on Saturn and point the little finger to the right (assuming I am using my right hand). Then, rotate my little finger downward maybe 30 degrees. There should be what looks like an orangy yellow star in the neighborhood. That is Mars.
Mars is now a little far over in the west to see much, but you may be able to make out an edge of the red disk that is light bluish in your telescope. The bluish part is an indication of a polar ice cap. At this point in time, I doubt that a beginning telescope will be able to make out much else. Two years ago, I think, when Mars made a close approach, I was able to see an ice cap and sort of a darker bluish-red mottling on the surface at times with my NG-70, 70mm f/10 (700 mm focal length) refractor. The big problem then was Mars was so bright that I was having trouble with reflections off of the inside of the lens hood.
I used a 60mm f/15 (900mm focal length) refractor a couple of nights ago on Saturn. I could make out the rings very well and thought at times I could see hints of the Cassini division between the two big rings. I think I could make out some differences in the shading of the two rings.
Posted 04 July 2012 - 01:47 PM
I will try to find them as soon as those evil clouds decide to leave my town for good.
I have problems to point to the Moon, is gonna be hell to find them, or better say, to point at them
Bill, do you think I could use my binoculars to find them easier? Or will it make it harder instead?
Posted 05 July 2012 - 12:20 PM
Posted 05 July 2012 - 02:52 PM
Posted 05 July 2012 - 07:41 PM
Then, at night, when you center the cross-hairs on an object, then it should show up in the main scope.
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