[VPAS] One for the books tonight

Ted Forte

Sounds like a fantastic night!  Congrats on a remarkable observation.


Kent, you might remember May 10, 2007 at Coinjock.  We viewed Saturn in your 25 and saw, what I described in my notes as the “Encke Minima” as well as the outer ring of Saturn! It is the only mention of the feature in my notes.


As for the Crepe ring, that’s rare too, but I’ve noted it 17 times in various telescopes in the last 30 years.




From: VPAS@groups.io <VPAS@groups.io> On Behalf Of jimcoble2000 via groups.io
Sent: Sunday, September 13, 2020 8:35 PM
To: kentblackwell <kent@...>; Roy Diffrient <mail@...>; BBAA Groups Io <backbayastro@groups.io>; vpas@groups.io
Subject: [VPAS] One for the books tonight


Two nice nights of observing. NWRP was fun, if soaking wet.


Tonight there was an observational first for me in a few decades of observing. We were in Kent's back yard doing doubles under iffy skies with passing clouds all night but seeing was astonishing. We went to Saturn and I hate to say this, as that quote "the best I've ever seen" is far overused too much to have real meaning; but tonight it really did apply. Seeing was so steady that I was able to use the superlative Vixen HR 2.4mm in my planetary 5 inch scope to observe Saturn at 406x. This is the first time I have ever seen the Enke division in the rings. The outer rings looked like an LP record groove. It was astonishing. The Crepe ring was so easy to see on the inside. The huge disc of the planet was 3 dimensional and shaded. A lifetime view for sure that made the night. Really.


It is hard to bring that kind of power to bear without the image falling apart. I am not at all sure you can truly appreciate the Vixen HR eyepiece until you take it to the very edge of performance. When everything else would break down the image, it holds. Too bad this eyepiece is no longer available and the series generally is too powerful for most scopes to use. It is rare to find one on the used market now.