Used an app to locate Saturn

  1. Hey, was just wondering, yesterday I was looking through my 10x50 binocular and used an app to locate Saturn. What I was seeing in the binocular was a burning ball (It was really bright compared to the stars.) and there was a sort of blue color around the bright ball. Would you think that was the real thing ? Or I mistook it with a star ??? Just curious about knowing
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Bandersnatch

    Bandersnatch 1,398
    Gold Member

    If your binoculars were properly focused, that is, all the stars looked like points, then if what you saw looked like a disc, then it's a pretty sure bet that you've found yourself a planet.
     
  4. Well, it looked like a distorted disk, but still, I live in the city(pollution) and the stars all looked the same, but this bright-fire light was different than the others. Oh well, I'm happy to have seen my first planet ! Thanks
     
  5. mathman

    mathman 6,566
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    It could be a nearby galaxy or a hot gas cloud.
     
  6. Bandersnatch

    Bandersnatch 1,398
    Gold Member

    As a very bright object? In binoculars? I wouldn't bet my money on that.
     
  7. It was more than likely Saturn. If it were a star, then it wouldn't really have bloated like a disc like it did for you. Just two nights ago I was observing Saturn with my telescope, but I use a 9x50 finder scope to help locate objects; I find it fairly obvious to know when I'm viewing Saturn through that, and can even see a few of its moons (although they look a bit like stars).

    Try getting a program like Stellarium (I hate it, but it does its job and is free), and figure out where Saturn will be the next time you have a clear night. Then use those same binoculars and point it into the sky where Saturn should be, and compare that with what you saw yesterday.

    EDIT:

    I just read that you did use an app (presumably on your phone), but I wouldn't rely too heavily on those. It's best to get a reliable program like Stellarium to ensure it was Saturn that you saw.
     
  8. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Saturn is near the blue star Spica right now, so be sure you weren't looking at that.
     
  9. And would you say that the blue light around it would be its ring? Just curious about that blue light... Thanks. And I'll download that programm antifreeze
     
  10. Drakkith

    Staff: Mentor

    It's possible your binoculars simply have chromatic aberration and the blue light isn't focused, resulting in an outline of blue.
     
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