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What is the properties (size, etc) of required lenses for minimal telescope to see the Saturn rings clearly?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

The rings of Saturn should be visible in even the smallest telescope at 25x. A good 3-inch scope at 50x can show them as a separate structure detached on all sides from the ball of the planet.

enter image description here


The best time to see the planet Saturn in 2013 will be in late April and May.


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Just to add to this already excellent answer: Those images are definitely achievable, but your biggest hindrance will be seeing. Don't look over warm surfaces (e.g. pavement), and be patient. Sometimes you just have to watch for a few minutes and wait for the atmosphere to be momentarily still, and then you'll be rewarded with an excellent image. Same advice for seeing Jupiter's cloud bands. – Chris White Mar 25 '13 at 17:30
Also, the inclination of the rings to our line of sight varies between about what is pictured here and edge-on (read: invisible). This next approach will be somewhere in between I believe. – Chris White Mar 25 '13 at 17:37
@hunter2 likes to comment (but can't): "Also, most binoculars are sufficient to see Saturn's rings." – Keep these mind Apr 5 '13 at 12:14
@Richard And, are you seeing anything? – Keep these mind Apr 23 '13 at 19:51
Pretty sure you have to ping Richard on his question itself, since he never commented on this answer in particular. In any event, the SE engine notified me, so I'm pretty sure it didn't notify him. – Chris White Apr 24 '13 at 1:12

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