Last updated: 31 January 2004

Subject: Saturn at high power on ETX 125
Date: 1/29/04, 16:49
From: Dan Hester (
Here's another Saturn report: 

Last night (Jan 28)....another exceptionally clear eastern North
Carolina night! I brought out my ETX 2 years old and let it
cool on the back concrete deck for about an hour. After a quick
calibration of the drives (which I always do before observing)...I did a
quick align and immediately punched in Saturn at about 8pm. I centered
the planet in a 26mm Meade with a 2x barlow...viewed both the cassini
and enke(i forgot how to spell it) divisions and lots of banding.  My
neighbor came over as he often does...and took a look.  He asked me if I
could use any more power... so I did.  First....a 15mm plossel Meade
with the barlow.  The cassini division was clear all the way around the
planet during moments of good seeing.   Finally, I stuck in a Meade
plossel 5mm. I had to barely insert the short eyepiece to clear the
finder. At wouldn't believe the sharpness and contrast.  I
could actually see a shadow of the ring at the top of Saturn.  The
casinni division...still sharp. The other division was not visible, but
we saw shading on the bands and on the planet.  I did try a Meade WA
18mm at one point (This is the worst eyepiece, bar none, that I have
ever used.) but even with the expensive barlow, it didnt work well.  
(anybody want it cheap?) Needless to say, contrast and sharpness were
superb, and the ETX held Saturn for over an hour...Until it was nearly
overhead before we stopped looking.

Thanks again for your site...
look forward to reading it every night.  

Still waiting for more word on the Star Party.  

Good Seeing....Dan

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