Planets in daytime

Those interested in amateur astronomy may yet not realise that the planets can be found in the sky during the day. Many people will be aware that the Moon can be seen in the daytime clear sky, if you know where to look. Same with the planets, but they can’t be seen without a telescope.
To do this you’ll need one of the various telescopes available nowadays that have a computerised star-seeking mounting. Assuming you know how to set it up, perform a “Solar System Align” using either the Moon or the sun. (Do not look through the telescope or finder at the Sun. Use the telescope’s shadow and then catch the bright projected image on a bit of card.) Once this is done, finding a planet is a no-brainer – just select one on the handset and press Enter.
Venus is the easiest to see by day, followed by Jupiter and then Mars. Mercury, otherwise a very elusive object, can be seen if the sky is clear and the Sun is not shining on the telescope. I have never managed to see Saturn (too dim).
It is also possible to find the brightest stars by the same method.

Some experienced astronomers may point out here that it should be possible to get the same result using an equatorial mount and setting circles. To which I would reply: if you can make setting circles work for you, fine. But I never could, which is why I got a ‘SLT’ as mentioned above. 🙂 It’s like using a sat-nav for the night sky, and makes finding interesting objects far easier.