Last updated: 28 December 2001
Subject: Field Report Sent: Monday, September 10, 2001 6:47:10 From: email@example.com (ed mosser) I woke up this morning at 3:30 and couldnt go back to sleep. So at 4:00 I got up and went downstairs, then looked outside. It was beautiful. The clouds had cleared and the sky was just incredible. I went back in and grabbed the ETX90RA and headed out. I noticed the moon and a bright object next to it. I looked and it was Saturn, about 1.5 degrees to the east. I rememembered an article from Sky and Telescope about the moon occulting Saturn. Today had to be the day. At 4:30 Saturn was 1 FOV (1 degrees) east of the moon. I turned to Jupiter and then to Casseopia. I easily spotted M103 and then NGC457. I was working without charts this morning, just enjoying the sleepless morning. Next was the double cluster. Wow. I went in and made coffee and returned. It was getting light and while Saturn was moving closer, I quickly estimated that I would not be able to watch the occulation due to the sunrise. So, I turned to M42 and then looked at Jupiter, noticing a 4th moon had appeared. Earlier, only 3 were visable, but the 4 must have just popped out. I went in and got the boys up and made French Toast for coffee. I took the 7x50's out at 6:30 just to look at the moon, and there was Saturn, even after sunrise. Back outside went the ETX90 and sure enough there it was. My 6 year old was with me and at first he couldnt see it, but later he did. At 7am, I took my oldest to high school and then returned. I called my astronomy friend, Dennis Novak (10 inch dob which seldom gets used) and he came over and watched it until he left for work. Now, my watch is set 5 minutes fast, but the best I could tell is the moon began to coverup the rings at 8:06:50 (watch time which is 5 minutes or so fast). At 8:08:00 the outer diameter of Saturn disappeared and about 8:08:25 the rings were gone. This was not a scientific observation, but it was easily visable. I was very fortunate not only to see it occur, but to share it with John, who no doubt will have stories to tell at school today. Ed Mosser "When all is said and done, there is nothing more to say or do."
Subject: Moon/Saturn occultation Sent: Monday, September 10, 2001 8:00:15 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Stan Glaser) From our vantage point in Yorba Linda in Orange County, California, my wife and I were able to catch 1st contact through a thin layer of clouds using my ETX-90EC with a 18mm SWA Plossl plus 2X barlow. It only took about a minute before 2nd contact, but by then the clouds got a bit thicker, and we could just make out that event, though it was pretty dim. We decided since we were already awake to do our 3-mile early morning walk (it was almost 5:00 am), and by the time we returned ready to view 3rd and 4th contact, we couldn't even FIND the moon!!! So goes the weather...(darn!) Hope others had clearer skies than we did... Stan Glaser email@example.com p.s -- hope to put some faces to some names at the Mighty ETX Star Party/Nightfall conference this weekend in Borrego Springs!!
Subject: Moon over Saturn with ETX-60AT Sent: Monday, September 10, 2001 16:04:04 From: Rick.Geimer@nsc.com (Rick Geimer) Just thought I would drop you a line after finding your wonderful site. I picked up an ETX-60AT about 2 weeks ago at Costco, then got a 3x barlow lens 2 days ago, just in time to get up at 4:00 am Pacific Time this morning (Sept 10, 2001) to watch the Moon pass in front of Saturn. Really cool. I was lazy and didn't align my telescope to use Autostar, just used the remote to find the moon, and there was Saturn right next to it. I knelt in the grass in my backyard and tracked it manually for about 45 minutes until Saturn disappeared behind the moon. My wife thought I was crazy... Earlier today I accidentally stumbled upon a .gov site that had a picture of Saturn and the Moon that looks almost exactly like what I saw (except I caught the moon eclipsing Saturn, not exposing it). The amazing thing is that the guy who took the pictures was using a 1.2 meter reflector...I'm pretty impressed with my little $100 Costco steal :-). Here's the link in case any of your readers wish to see what Saturn looks like with an ETX-60AT, the supplied 9mm lens, and a 3x barlow: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap970924.html Rick
Subject: Saturn Occultation with ETX 90RA Sent: Sunday, November 4, 2001 6:21:48 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (martyn) Yesterday evening we had a clear, but ever so slightly hazy view of the occultation of Saturn by the moon. I was located at the observatory in a town called Ommen in Holland. Location 52° 31.11N, 006° 25.38E. The reappearance of Saturn was blocked by clouds. My Etx 90RA was set up outside, next to the dome that houses a celestron C11. About 45 minutes before occultation I inserted my celestron plössl 12.5mm and started viewing. Adults and children present all had a look through the etx and everyone just loved the view of Moon approaching Saturn. A staffmember of the utility observatory said he almost liked the view through the ETX better than that through the C11. I also aimed the etx at Jupiter for a moment, low in the partly clear eastern sky. The planet was not too bright due to low altitude, but several cloudbands (SEB and NEB) were still clearly visible, also that the SEB was a bit lighter than the NEB. I did not look for too much detail as I wanted other people to have a look before returning to the big show. There were several oh, wow's eminating from behind the scope. As the moon crept up on the beautiful ringed planet, I inserted my SP 9.7mm to reduce the glare of too much moon in the f.o.v. This eyepiece also enabled others to enjoy the view without constant refocusing with a shorter eyepiece. As the occultation was about 1 minute in the future, it became amazing to see how much brighter the moon is than Saturn. I knew this, but actually comparing these two so close together is much more convincing. In comparison to the moon, Saturn looked decidedly pale. But the ETX showed it beautifully. As the moon covered Saturn -and just before- it was easy to see the moon move. I think it is thrilling to see the moon actually move along it's path around the earth. As I am writing this, I realize that I never looked for any of Saturns moons. They were clearly not obvious as they usually are(2 or 3 moons) but were also covered by the moon. I think the occultation of Saturn was too spectacular to bother with a couple of "silly" moons. But still, I wish I had looked for them. And.....next month it is going to happen again. Visible from all of europe, in the wee hours of 1st of december, 03:31h for The Netherlands. Best regards, martyn mailto:email@example.com observing from the Netherlands, 52° 29.49N 006° 23.22E
Subject: Occulation of Saturn Sent: Friday, December 28, 2001 1:20:16 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Doug Drossman) Great night for observing! I let the scope chill for about 2 hours just in time to catch Saturn dropping behind the limbus. I used an 18mm WA with a 2x Barlow for 138x. Crystal clear view. Letting that lens cool down was more important than I thought! From NYC the top of the moon was in shadow, so Saturn dropped out of sight behind the black shadow. I would have liked to have seen Saturn drop out behind a bright edge. Maybe later this week this will be possible. BTW, that #883 I bought had a problem. The plate with the Azimuth degree markings just fell off. The glue was not working. I guess I'll get some crazy glue. Pretty bad for a brand new tripod. Anyway great night. Hope you had a good view too! Doug D.
Mike here: I was clouded out!
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