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Fischer Saturn Observations


Saturn's rings seen visually in July

On several days in late July it was not a great problem to see Saturn's rings with a 10-inch SCT under good conditions from Southern France - even though they were lit from the 'wrong side'. The rings appeared as an exceedingly thin and faint line on both sides of the planet; they became even clearer when a 'chrono-coronagraph' was employed, i.e. an eyepiece with a blade of metal glued into its focal plane behind which the planetary disk could be hidden. At times it appeared as if knots were visible on the thin lines representing the 'backlit' Saturnian rings, but it could not be established whether these were minor satellites. The appearance of Saturn with the prominent ring shadow and the faint line-like rings themselves was strongly reminiscent of the famous HST images taken during the May 22nd ring plane crossing.

Observations by Daniel Fischer in Le Revest, France, with a telescope supplied by Jens Naujocks

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