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Dr Simon Bennett FRAS

Jupiter and Saturn in last night's evening sky

We were walking home from the village shop last night and looking up the sky was beautifully crisp and clear - and it was cold! Its been a while since we had clear sky and it was amazing to see how far Jupiter and Saturn were in the sky given it was not long since the Sun had set. We just thought not long ago it was the early morning when we could see them. This year time has flown by! 

Jupiter and Saturn in last night's evening sky

Now is a good time to observe our large gas-giant neighbours before they start getting lower in the western sky early in 2022. There is Jupiter with its larger-than-Earth sized Great Red Spot, belts and its 4 main moons; Saturn of course has its majestic ring system on show. Its amazing to think that its rings are only about 1km thick! 

To see detail on Jupiter and Saturn you need a telescope as well as eyepieces giving a magnification of ~120-150x+. For viewing these and other planets and our Moon, Celestron's X-Cel LX 6-element fully multi-coated 60° apparent field of view eyepieces are ideal. They are available in focal lengths from a very short 2.3mm up to 25mm and feature twist up/down rubber eyeguards to get your eye placed for comfortable viewing. Each eyepiece has 16mm of eye relief making them good for glasses-wearers.  Their 1.25” barrels are threaded to accept filters which can help with observing some of the features on these planets.

Jupiter and Saturn in last night's evening sky Celestron X-Cel Eyepieces

To compliment the X-Cel LX eyepieces Celestron also offer an X-Cel LX 2x and 3x barlow which will double/triple the magnification of a 1.25" eyepiece. The barlows have an apochromatic lens design for sharp high contrast images free of false colour. You can also use the barlow on its own to image the planets with a Solar system camera (e.g. ZWO ASI 482)

Jupiter and Saturn in last night's evening sky Celestron X-Cel Barlow

Coloured filters can help with viewing different features on the planets and we supply a set of high quality glass 1.25" yellow, red, green and a Moon/neutral density filters from OVL in a foam-lined plastic storage case. To find out more about filters for planetary observing there is a good article from the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO) : http://alpo-astronomy.org/mars/articles/FILTERS1.HTM

Jupiter and Saturn in last night's evening Filters

To find out more about the Celestron X-Cel eyepieces, barlow lenses and the OVL filterset see the links below to our website. Also all of these are currently in stock for quick delivery.