SATURN 2017

Saturn's rings are opening up more!    Things look quiet at the start of this season.

These images were taken using a Celestron  C14  mounted on an Astrophysics AP900GTO mount. RGB is done using a set of Chroma Technology RGB filters on a Starlight Xpress Motorized filter wheel.  Methane band images are done using a Chroma Methane Band filter (889nm  18nm bandpass).   Amplification is done using an Astrophysics Convertible Barlow working at 2.5X.

Image acquisition was done using  Torsten Edelmann's Firecapture 2.5 software.  All images are NORTH UP!    Processing was done using AutoStakkert! and Registax.

For info on Saturn's belts and zones please click this link.

You can also see my past images of Saturn at the ALPO Japan Kansai Branch site.
SATURN 2007 SATURN 2010 SATURN 2013 SATURN 2016  
SATURN 2008 SATURN 2011 SATURN 2014    
SATURN 2009 SATURN 2012 SATURN 2015    

 

April 29, 2017

After 2 hrs of sleep, I woke up again for a date with the Lord of the Rings.   The mount worked fine now.  But there was some thrill during this run.  A huge thunder cloud was heading our way in the east.  Fortunately, winds were only 3kph so I had enough time to get some color data before water starts falling from the sky.   Seeing was very good tonight.

Note the two NEB white spots!  These are the same white spots I imaged on April 25!   The Polar Hexagon is distinct.  So is the Blue-Green polar spot which the Cassini Spacecraft imaged on April 26.  The Cassini Spacecraft is now doing it's last dance.  This is the de-orbit routine which will crash Cassini into Saturn this September. 

 

April 25, 2017

As I post these images, the Cassini Spacecraft is now doing a "Juno".  It is doing a close approach into Saturn that it will go inside the ring!  When I woke up, the sky was mostly cloudy and the ground was still wet due to a recent thunderstorm.  But the sky cleared long enough for me to take these images.

The rings of Saturn are wide open now. The Polar Hexagon is still very distinct.  The dark polar core can also be seen.  There are some low contrast white spots on the NEB.

March 18, 2017

Seeing was unstable this morning.  Saturn is still very low in the sky.

The polar spot is prominent in the IR image while the polar hexagon can still be seen in the color image.  No spots were resolved probably due to poor conditions.