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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Saturn and Rhea

After a long spell of looking almost exclusively at Jupiter and our Moon, I was very pleased to see that Saturn is now visible. It is up in the south-east just before dawn, to the upper right of VERY bright Venus. The Sky and Telescope screen shot is a good representation of what I saw. I was using a 6 inch reflector telescope. I could see Titan very easily, and I could also see Rhea by using the averted vision trick.
Above is a much better view of Rhea. This one was taken by the Cassini spacecraft last November. Rhea has been in the news recently because scientists have discovered oxygen in its atmosphere:
http://www.astronomy.com/en/News-Observing/News/2010/11/Cassini%20reveals%20oxygen%20atmosphere%20of%20Saturn%20moon%20Rhea.aspx

1 comment:

  1. At the risk of over-spamming your blog, yet another comment!

    You ought to come out to my part of the state (Staunton/West of the Blue Ridge) sometime. I can see the Milky Way clearly from my backyard, it is amazing. I've also looked at Jupiter recently with the 8" Meade Dobsonian. I haven't yet seen Saturn from Virginia but it is always a stunning view.

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