There’s no object more breath-taking than the sixth planet from the Sun, Saturn. Saturn named after the Roman god Saturnus, known in Greek mythology as Cronus, the god of agriculture and abundance.
Due to its opulent rings, Saturn has captured the admiration of telescope viewer for years. This guide will show the best equipment for viewing Saturn and what you should look out for?
- The best equipment for viewing Saturn
Any small telescope with an aperture of at least 50mm and modest power of at least 25x will be enough to reveal Saturn’s rings and its brightest moon, Titan. However, Maksutov-Cassegrain and Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes (ranging from 4″ to 14″ in aperture) are our best picks for observing Saturn due to their increased light gathering ability.
The use of colour filters is a great way to enhance Saturn’s atmosphere’s subtle features for a more enjoyable observing experience.
- What to look for while observing Saturn
Rings- This is by far Saturn’s most famous feature. A smaller aperture telescope will show the rings as a tiny cream-coloured oval circling the planet. With a larger aperture telescope, you’ll be able to show their complex divisions. Look for the main outer A ring and middle B ring separated by the Cassini Division’s black gap.
Seeliger Effect- For a few nights around Opposition’s time (when the planet is entirely lit by the Sun), you may see Saturn’s rings shining a bit brighter. During this time that Saturn’s shadow hides behind the planet, placing more of its ring surface in view
Shadows- There is a fascinating interplay of shadow and light to observe on Saturn. The rings cast exciting shadows onto the planet. Other times, the planet casts its shadow onto the rings. Observer over many nights to see these changes.
Moons- Approximately 6 of Saturn’s 82 moons can be observed through amateur telescopes. Its largest moon, Titan, is easily visible.
Belts and Zones- Look for dark belts and zones on Saturn’s face. They strongly flow in opposite directions around the entire planet. You can probably see small storms within these regions. Make use of colour filters to bring out more detail.
Conjunctions: Conjunctions occur when two or more planets appear very close together in the night sky. They are often spectacular to see, especially if they involve the largest or brightest planets.
Saturn is one of the most exciting planets to view through a telescope. We hope this guide has helped you find one of our most beautiful planets in our Solar System.
Original article: Celestron.com