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Saturn

Last night, I spent all my observing time on Saturn with the 12.5" Dob, mostly with a 7mm Nagler (227x). This year, the rings are edge-on or very close to it. At the moment, they have opened up slightly, so I could just barely see the (normally very prominent!) dark space between rings and planet. There was a subtle darkening across the planet where the rings crossed; I'm not entirely sure whether it was ring shadow, a cloud band, or both.

Unfortunately, seeing last night was poor (as it often is on clear dark nights in northern Colorado), and so I had a hard time seeing subtle detail. Overall, the view was quite similar to this image from earlier this year. There were 4 satellites in plain view -- Titan, Rhea, Dione, and Enceladus. I couldn't quite make out Mimas, even though it was supposed to be near maximum elongation at the time.

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