Returning home from Lablit this evening at about 11 pm I scanned the clear sky in the south-east and noticed a small bright speck to the left of and slightly higher than the glowing moon. A quick perusal of Starmap on the iPhone told me that this was likely to be Saturn.
I dashed into the house, had a quick comfort-break (at the Americans so delicately put it), grabbed my telescope and set up shop on our front pathway. The viewing conditions were less than ideal; with the brightness of a near-full moon and the street lights to contend with, I had a little trouble finding the speck. But by blocking the moon with my hand I managed to steer the telescope into position and was immediately rewarded with my first sighting of Saturn:
I know it’s not new. I knew exactly what to expect. Except that I didn’t really. Not really. I was still delighted with the ‘find’ – the pale disk with the handles. I stood there for several minutes, crouched over the telecsope, grinning like a loon. I just could not help but smile.
I diverted myself briefly to have a look at the lunar surface in all its pitted glory but even that couldn’t keep me from Saturn. So I went back to the planet and smiled some more.