December Planets

  • albertw
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20 years 2 months ago #1400 by albertw
December Planets was created by albertw

Mars is now far away from us and looking rather small and lonley, very much different from the sence of the Solar neighbourhood we had last August. But there are other planets around.

Firstly there is Venus. It is visibile in the evening sky in the south west. At magnitude -3.8 its the brightest `star` in the sky, and no doubt will have folks wondering if it is the `Christmas Star`.

Next we have Saturn easily visible in the Gemini and forming a triangle with Castor and Pollux in the North East, I managed to capture it during the recent aurora in this image www.cademuir.net/gallery/aurora/slides/img_1870.jpg , its the rightmost bright starlike object. Its rings are still very tilted to us and with luck and a good telescope you may be able to make out the Cassini division and the Shadow of the planet on the rings. Michael O'Connell got this image of Saturn recently with his 8" scope and webcam.

Saturn Finder chart: www.irishastronomy.org/user_resources/fi...070325295-Saturn.pdf

For those of you looking for more of a challenge Neptune and Uranus are still visible, though I havent tried to see them for a little while now. Uranus is about mag 5.8 in Aquarius and Neptune is fainter at mag 8 in Capricorn, though both will soon be fading into evening twilight.
Uranus & Neptune Finder chart: www.irishastronomy.org/user_resources/fi...1070325561-UrNep.pdf

As allways please post observations and pictures!


Albert White MSc FRAS
Chairperson, International Dark Sky Association - Irish Section

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20 years 2 months ago #1405 by voyager
Replied by voyager on topic Re: December Planets
Was at home in Cavan for the weekend so I got some good Binocular Observing in (my Telescope is in Maynooth). With a pair if 10x50 binoculars held very steady I could actually see the rings of Saturn! Needless to say I could not see the Cassini Division! It looked like a small ball with 2 ears more than a planet with Rings but it was very obvious that it was saturn and not a star or other planet. Also turned my Binoculars at Venus but it is too small to make out its phase with the 10x50s.

Bart B.

My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie

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