Last updated: 20 February 2004

Date: 2/17/04, 05:43
I observed the planet Saturn at 21.35-21.50 UT(Universal Time or
Greenwich Mean Time) on the evening of Wednesday 11 February,2004.

My first look at the planet was with the 26mm eyepiece(X48). I saw a
star 2 diameters of Saturn plus the ring to the right of the planet.

2 other stars were observed in the field of the eyepiece at a distance
of 7-8 diameters (disc plus ring),one was at 7 o'clock the other at 5

I then turned my attention to the disc of the planet and the rings.I
used the 12.4mm focal length eyepiece initially(X101) and then the 9.7mm

Eyepiece(X129).I found the 9.7mm eyepiece gave a better view so I stuck
with that. There was quite a bit of cloud around and occasionally the
planet was in cloud.I wasn't using the Autostar(I have a very jumpy next

door neighbour who I don't want to upset) but I found the planet stayed
in the field of view well even without the drive at this power.

The cassini division was well seen and I could see it right around the
planet. I saw a light zone on the disc of the planet about 7/10ths of
the way

up from the bottom of the globe towards north. (I have later identified
this zone as the equatorial zone from the Planet Observer's Handbook by
Fred W.Price).

I also have an 80mm(3.1 inch refractor) on an altazimuth mount which I
used 2 years ago to view Saturn and the view through the ETX90EC in

my opinion was slightly better which I would expect. I have calculated
that if you deduct the secondary obsruction the light gathering area of
the ETX90EC is

equivalent to an 85.5mm refractor(3.4 inch refractor).I used the Pie R
squared formula to do this.

Your website,Mike,is a mine of very helpful information to all ETX
owners.Thank you,too,to all the observers who have sent in

photographs of the planets.

Kind regards from Caernarfon,North Wales,U.K.
Clive Morris

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