Saturn...

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votefornimitz

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I was able to pinpoint the location of Saturn in Leo Major this evening, and being of moderate brightness (slightly less than that of Regulus) it was not hard to find...<br />My questions arose from the magnification of it through my telescope...<br />with a 12.5 mm eyepiece, it seemed barely differentiable from a star of similar brightness....a 4mm eyepiece magnified this difference to a point I was sure it was not a star... I then equipped a 3x Barlow lens to my telescope and saw that Saturn appeared to have a bulge in the center (It did appear inclined much like our equator however)<br />Conventional wisdom would dictate I accept the fact that these are indeed the rings, but I wanted a confirmation first, because given my instruments, I might not be able to see the rings at all... <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <span style="color:#993366">In the event of a full scale nuclear war or NEO impact event, there are two categories of underground shelters available to the public, distinguished by depth underground: bunkers and graves...</span> </div>
 
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weeman

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I'm no astronomer, but it sounds like the rings to me. <br /><br />I don't know exactly how powerful your telescope is, but I have a 4.5" Celestron refracting telescope, and with my 2x Barlow lens, I can easily make out the rings of Saturn without having to squint my eyes. <br /><br />It can't imagine the bulge being anything else other than the rings, but I could be wrong. There wouldn't be any other characteristics of Saturn that give it a bulge near its equator, unless it is a trick of light, or something that is out of place on your telescope. <br /><br />Also, with my telescope, I am able to make out Jupiter and a few of its largest moons. The moons look like small stars, and if its dark enough and clear enough outside, I can usually just barely make out some of the cloud layers on Jupiter. <br /><br />You can use that for comparison with your scope. <br /><br />Good luck with your hunting <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000">Techies: We do it in the dark. </font></strong></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>"Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That's relativity.</strong><strong>" -Albert Einstein </strong></font></p> </div>
 
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adrenalynn

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Yes, that would be the rings.<br /><br />Planetary observing is rarely worth comparing scopes located potentially worlds apart. There's not telling what observing conditions are so far away. Planetary observing is *all* about conditions. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>.</p><p><font size="3">bipartisan</font>  (<span style="color:blue" class="pointer"><span class="pron"><font face="Lucida Sans Unicode" size="2">bī-pär'tĭ-zən, -sən</font></span></span>) [Adj.]  Maintaining the ability to blame republications when your stimulus plan proves to be a devastating failure.</p><p><strong><font color="#ff0000"><font color="#ff0000">IMPE</font><font color="#c0c0c0">ACH</font> <font color="#0000ff"><font color="#c0c0c0">O</font>BAMA</font>!</font></strong></p> </div>
 
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CalliArcale

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That would be the rings. Galileo's telescope (quite modest by modern standards) was able to resolve a bulge at the middle -- he described it as resembling "ears", and postulated that Saturn might have two very large satellites orbiting very close. However, since they didn't appear and disappear around Saturn, he eventually abandoned that idea. He was mystified at how the "ears" slowly changed shape over time. Cassini, equipped with a better telescope, figured it out.<br /><br />I don't know what the aperture of your telescope is, or what kind of telescope it is, but I would bet that if conditions are right, you will see the rings more clearly. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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heyscottie

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What is the focal length of your telescope? The rings should become quite apparent at less than 100x.
 
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