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Monday, September 02, 2013


Seeing Neptune in Binoculars (1 September 2013)

Chart showing the location of Neptune in Aquarius at (almost) the same scale as my photograph and almost the same orientation (click to embiggen) so as to confirm I really did image what I said I did.Neptune imaged using my Caonon IXUS, 3x Zoom, 800 ASA and 15 second exposure. The image is inverted (colour reversed) to make the faint dot that is the planet stand out (indicated by white arrows). You will need to click to embiggen to see it properly

Enlarged section of the image above making the faint dot that is Neptune clearer.

You may remember that Neptune is just past opposition and for the moment Neptune is magnitude 7.8. This means it is potentially visible in strong binoculars (at least 10x50's) under dark sky conditions for the next month, when it is normally only visible in telescopes.

Well, last night I got out my 10x50's to view Nova Delphini, and after that (and with a lot of consulting of maps) I went after Neptune.

And got it. I had to do a lot of double checking with the charts to make sure as it was so faint, but yep, I got it. I even got a photo of it with my little "point and shoot" Canon.

Considering the amount of effort that went to discover Neptune with the telescopes of the day, that is pretty mind-blowing.

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