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Saturn, Spica, and Mars Conjunction

Posted: 4 August 2012

Monsoon clouds returned on Thursday, 2 August 2012. Clouds stayed until late Friday afternoon, 3 August 2012. The observatory was opened at 1925 MST, 97°F. The sky was mostly clear, but there were clouds along the horizon in all directions, including this distant monsoon storm in the northeast at sunset:


At 1935 MST, began viewing Saturn, 77X and 133X. Titan was visible at 133X. At 1943 MST, Rhea became visible, followed by Tethys at 1947 MST. Seeing was not very good and some clouds were going past Saturn.

At 1956 MST, I took this handheld sky photo while sitting at the telescope. It is f/4.5, 1/2sec, ISO 500, 18mm, with the Nikon DSLR, and shows Saturn, Spica, and Mars.


Shortly after taking the above photograph, a lens fell out of my eyeglasses. And a small screw was missing. I returned to the house to replace the missing screw. When I returned to the observatory I did a search for the missing screw but did not find it. By 2022 MST, more clouds had appeared overhead, and at 2029 MST, clouds were in much of the sky. I decided to close up for the night.

Closed the observatory at 2040 MST, 84°F.

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