Tonight's Sky.

If I look west (or thereabouts) about 20 degrees off the horizon I see something very bright. Mars?

Then about 11 o'clock from that and more like 45 degrees, another, not quite so bright. Venus?

Then along that line, something else that doesn't look like a star. But much dimmer than the other two. Saturn?

Question - what sort of kit would I need to see them as planets rather than lights in the sky? And I'll just cut the funny fcukers who would say 'a telescope' off there...
 
Brain tumour
 

Kirkz

LE
A pair of eye's are fairly useful to have.
 

arfah

LE
High power binoculars (10x50) can do the job and if used with a cheap tripod will give you a steadier image.

If you have a smart phone. Purchase a night sky app. It will help you to understand what is where up there.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
I take a walk every night at ten. Venus is low in the northwestern sky. Since it hasn't moved in the last month, I posit that it was at its furthest point from the sun, chasing the sunset, but as the suns sets later nightly, although Venus is getting closer to the sun, it doesn't seem to move relative to us. Look closely, you'll see the horns of the crescent Venus pointing away from the sun.

The other one will be a planet but I keep forgetting to check when I sit down, which I just did. Wait out.

Edit. Looks like Jupiter as I'd have expected.

The Planets
  • Jupiter, two months past opposition (when it was opposite the Sun in the sky), is still high in the south-west in the evening. During April, it dims from magnitude -2.3 to -2.1 and shrinks from 41.5 to 38" across. As it switches from westward (retrograde) to eastward motion this month, it remains in Cancer and moves very little relative to the stars. A small telescope can reveal the equatorial bands, Great Red Spot (at certain times) and Galilean moons.
  • Saturn rises in the evening, a little earlier each night, and lies close to the left-hand star of the fan of Scorpius. It brightens from magnitude +0.3 to +0.1 and grows from 17.8 to 18.4" in diameter during the month. It reaches 22 degrees' elevation when due south in the early hours of the morning, and the ring system is inclined at 25 degrees to our line of sight.
  • Mercury reaches superior conjunction (behind the Sun in the sky) on the 10th, and remains invisible until around the 19th, when it appears low in the west-north-west about 45 minutes after sunset. Shining at magnitude -1.4, it climbs higher each evening on its way to eastern elongation (its furthest from the Sun in the sky) on the 7th of May.
  • Mars, ever-present in the evening sky for many months, is finally disappearing into the Sun's glare. Lying close to Mercury from around the 19th to 24th, it has an angular size of 4" and so reveals no surface details to us here on Earth.
  • Venus blazes at magnitude -4, rising higher in the evening western sky as the month progresses. It moves from Aries into Taurus on the 7th, aproaching the Pleiades Cluster around the 13th. Its angular size increases from 14 to 16" during April, as its phase wanes from 78 to 68 percent.
Since you asked.

I finally worked out the pair of stars aligned noth-south very high in the sky. If you know your Flashman, you'll know them as Gasper and Bollux. Otherwise Casper and Pollux, the heavenly twins, Gemini.
 
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Hugh power binoculars (10x50) can do the job and if used with a cheap tripod will give you a steadier image.

If you have a smart phone. Purchase a night sky app. It will help you to understand what is where up there.
Considering that c*nt charges $700 for a couple of toothpicks, I shudder to think how much a pair of binoculars would cost
 

Kirkz

LE
High power binoculars (10x50) can do the job and if used with a cheap tripod will give you a steadier image.

If you have a smart phone. Purchase a night sky app. It will help you to understand what is where up there.
I use google sky map, it's quite handy for working out what constellations are where when up on the Scottish Islands where there is a lot less light pollution.
 

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
If I look west (or thereabouts) about 20 degrees off the horizon I see something very bright. Mars?

Then about 11 o'clock from that and more like 45 degrees, another, not quite so bright. Venus?

Then along that line, something else that doesn't look like a star. But much dimmer than the other two. Saturn?

Question - what sort of kit would I need to see them as planets rather than lights in the sky? And I'll just cut the funny fcukers who would say 'a telescope' off there...
Alright, try a fucking rocket!
 
You need to decide what scope and then what budget. Binoculars can be very good but the bigger they get the higher the price. Here's a brief description of each type. :cool:

http://www.souledout.org/rsl/telescope/choosingtelescope.html
Tut - I'm not planning on buying. But thanks for the advice.

Gran's got some optics but she lives in Alderly Edge, about 40 miles away. I thought I might be nice to her for a change and pay her a visit. Check she's OK and have me a look through her telescope.

But obviously, I'll continue to assume she's OK if her glass isn't up to the job.
 

Kirkz

LE
Tut - I'm not planning on buying. But thanks for the advice.

Gran's got some optics but she lives in Alderly Edge, about 40 miles away. I thought I might be nice to her for a change and pay her a visit. Check she's OK and have me a look through her telescope.

But obviously, I'll continue to assume she's OK if her glass isn't up to the job.
In that case pretty much anything is better than nothing.
 
In that case pretty much anything is better than nothing.
Well yeah, but I need to see the rings of Saturn and some Martians and shit - else it's not worth putting up with Gran, is it?
 
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