Date Time: February 25, 2018 0430-0630 hrs
Weather: Slight breeze, mostly clear with high hazy clouds fouling seeing conditions, -6C with windchill increasing with the dawn.
Attendance: David McCashion
Equipment: 8" Meade LX 200 with 32mm and 19mm eyepieces. Canon Rebel Xsi with 18-55mm lens on tripod. Images processed on Photobucket.com
Objective: To view and image the planetary lineup of (from the East) Saturn, Mars and Jupiter.
- Very nice line up of Planets in the morning, across the southern sky.
- Jupiter was huge and bright at 0430 hrs and the skies were very clear. Four of its Moons were on one side of the gas giant, evenly spaced out. Its storm bands were easy to see in the 19mm eyepiece.
- Shortly after 0500 hrs a high hazy cloud covered the sky, fouling the seeing conditions. They were see-through, though.
- Mars was low, in the south, behind a big tree. Its disk is almost big enough to see detail across its face, in better viewing conditions. Also, it was behind the big tree, out front, and was difficult to view. With approaching Opposition on July 27, 2018, the Martian disk will make a great target for observing and imaging. When we get this close, every two years, the disk is big enough to see detail across its face, in backyard telescopes. Also, this year, its disk will appear much larger to us than in 2016.
- Saturn was very low, in hazy skies, behind trees when I tried to observe it with 19 mm eyepiece. Could easily make out its rings, which were very much tilted.
- This was my first time observing these three planets in 2018!
- No satellites or shooting stars were seen. First light was at 0613 hrs.