Uranus and Neptune

Discussion on planetary observations

Uranus and Neptune

Postby jjb2011 » Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:03 pm

Uranus and Neptune are well place this autumn with Neptune in opposition on 5th September and Uranus on the 19th October. Both planets are reasonably placed in terms of altitude from my observatory unlike Saturn which has been impossible this year. I thought I would have a preliminary look with a view to some imaging a bit later in September.
Uranus at Magnitude 5.8 was easy to find, follow a line FROM Markab to Algenib - the two stars at the bottom corners of the great Pegasus square - continue the line to the east of Algenib to about the same distance and Uranus is just a little below the line. It was easy to see by eye and in the finder. I used a 250mm f10 meade ACF with a 38mm wide field eyepiece to find the planet. It was easy to see - a tiny greenish disk. Going up in magnification using a 32mm widefield eyepiece ~ x80 gave a better view and finally I used a 20mm ~ x125.
I tried out my DFK618 planetary camera,which was fitted on the flip mirror, at F10 with ~ 5 second integration to get a reasonable image but still very small. Adding a x2.5powermate to bring it up to F25 didn't help as I could not find the target - probably because switching to the barlow changed the focus position, and the axial position simultaneously, and with such a dim target I could not get an image to bring to focus ......mmm need to work on a solution for that !

After struggling with that, out of frustration I switched to Neptune - had to do a meridian flip - annoyingly. Neptune is about a degree from the bright 3.7 magnitude star lambda Aquarii so it should be easy to find, however examining nearby stars with the 32mm eyepiece I did not see anything which looked like a planet. I spent about half an hour checking out nearby stars but to no avail. Will have another go at these targets later in the month, meanwhile any suggestions on the imaging would be welcome.
JJB

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Re: Uranus and Neptune

Postby galileo » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:39 pm

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