SATURN 2015

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.  A Celestron Skyris 236M camera is used.  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 2.0X.

Image acquisition was done using  Torsten Edelmann's Firecapture 2.4 software.  All images are NORTH UP!   The Skyris camera is controlled by a Thinkpad T520 through the USB port.  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 2009 SATURN 2011
SATURN 2008 SATURN 2010 SATURN 2012
SATURN 2013 SATURN 2014  

 

July 18, 2015

Seeing was unstable this evening.  Transparency was good. 

No prominent storms in these images of Saturn.    I am getting some artifacts probably for imaging too long.  Seeing was so bad that I had to reject a lot of RGB before derotating these.

 

July 17, 2015

Seeing was good this evening.  Transparency was variable due to haze and some thin clouds.

Here are some good images of Saturn showing the +63N storm.  The storm is very well resolved in the IR images but difficult to make out in the RGB image.  Even in the red filter, it is a very low contrast smudge.    The spot has also become more oval and lower contrast in IR.

Note the white band on the NEBs.  The polar hexagon is well resolved.  The polar vortex spot is obvious on the IR image.

 

July 16, 2015

Seeing was unstable and transparency was poor this evening. 

Finally caught the +63N storm!  It is now at III: 255.   The polar hexagon is very prominent. 

 

July 15, 2015

I finally got decent seeing!  However, condition wasn't perfect because I had to deal with occasional clouds!

The polar hexagon is well resolved.  The polar vortex can be seen as a spot on the IR images.  The +63N disturbance can be see on the second IR image below.     The belts and zones can be clearly seen in the RGB image.   Note the thin white band on the NEBs.

 

July 12, 2015

We are still in the monsoon season here in Cebu.  The SW monsoon is enhanced by a strong typhoon in the Pacific Ocean.  Seeing was bad and transparency was variable because of clouds.

The polar hexagon is still well resolved.  The contrast of the belts and zones is not as great as the images I got last month.  No storm in this region.

 

July 7, 2015

It has been very wet here in Cebu since my last imaging run.  I had some clearing but seeing and transparency was very poor!  Monsoon season has started here!

No interesting feature on Saturn this evening.  In the RGB image, the southern pole of Saturn can be seen through the rings!

 

June 15, 2015

Condition was perfect when I started imaging.  But I had some clouds in the middle of image the RGB sequence.

The 64N Storm is prominent in the IR image.   In the color image, it can be seen close to the CM.  It is a dark patch surrounded by reddish clearing.     In the IR, there seems to be a dark patch forming to the right of this feature.

June 12, 2015

Seeing was very unstable this evening.  Transparency was also very bad because of clouds and haze.

Early in the session, the 64N storm can be seen setting in the first IR image.  Note the EZn just past the CM, the bright disturbance can be seen!

 

June 11, 2015

Condition was frustrating this evening!  Seeing and transparency was perfect when I started imaging.   I started taking IR and the CH4 images. But when I started taking the color images, clouds started rolling in!  I had to take images in between clouds and stacked all the data. 

The 64N Storm is prominent in the IR image.  Note the area at the edge of the clearing which looks disturbed.  This storm is very low contrast in color images and not visible in CH4.

June 8, 2015

Condition was perfect this evening!  But taking these images was exciting because there was a big thunderstorm about 10 miles north of my location and this storm system was moving towards me!

These are some of my best images of Saturn.  It was stormy north of my location and this region of Saturn is also very stormy!  The 64N storm is just past the CM.  In the IR, it is a dark spot.  In visible light it is dark spot while the area surrounding it has a reddish color.  This spot is not bright in CH4!

Note the 3 white spots on the NEB.  Note also the thin reddish wavy band on the EZ. 

June 7, 2015

Transparency was very poor this evening due to haze and clouds.  

The 63N storm is prominent in the IR image!  It is a dark spot which seems to be disrupting it's region.  This feature is not very prominent in the visible light image.

The polar hexagon is well resolved.  The North Polar Vortex can also be seen prominently in the IR image.

 

June 2, 2015

Conditions were perfect this evening! 

The polar hexagon is well resolved.  Note the dark spot at 41N just past the CM.   The IR image also has a brightening of the 63N area before the CM.

May 30, 2015

Seeing was good this evening.  But transparency was poor because of clouds. 

The polar hexagon is well resolved.  No major storms in this region.  The rings continue to do, while the contrast to Saturn's surface gets better.

 

May 29, 2015

Condition was not good this evening.  The sky was hazy so transparency was low.  Seeing was very variable this evening.

No prominent activity in Saturn in this region.  The rings are slowly fading now.  The polar hexagon is obvious.  The EZ is bright in Methane band while the NEB is dark.

May 26, 2015

Seeing was good this evening. 

I was finally able to take a methane band image of Saturn!  The disk of Saturn is mostly dark in methane band because of the bright rings.  The EB seems to be bright while the band are dark in methane band.

The polar hexagon and spot are well shown in these images.  Note a dark spot at 64N just past the CM.  This spot is dark in green light.

May 25, 2015

I  got close to perfect seeing conditions! 

I have finally caught the 63N storm that other observers have imaged.  In the R and IR band, this is a dark spot.  In the color image, you can see the reddish wavy pattern surrounding the dark spot.

The polar hexagon is well resolved.  The edge is distinctly dark white the inside is light.  The center is dark in R and IR filters.

The NEB has a white band in it's southern edge.  Note the low contrast but slightly white feature on the NEB.   There seems to be a dark spot at the 44N area on the right.

 

May 22, 2015

Condition was good last night.  Seeing was a little unstable but I did not have to deal with clouds until close to the end of my imaging run.

It's a few hours before Saturn's opposition and the Seeliger effect can now be seen.  The Seeliger effect brightens the ring of Saturn because the earth is now perfectly between the sun and Saturn.  The ice particles of the ring give us maximum reflection the new next 3 days.

The surface of Saturn has turned pale because of the Seeliger effect.  Note the white band in the SEB.  The polar hexagon is well resolved.  Note the dark spot on the north pole in the IR image.

 

 

May 20, 2015

I  had a crazy imaging session.  The sky was mostly clear when I started setting up.  But when I started imaging, clouds started to roll in.  In fact, it was mostly cloudy today except in a 20 deg area around Saturn.  And it stayed that way for almost an hour.  Transparency was variable because of the clouds.

On most interesting thing in these images is a bright storm on the EZn!  This storm is clear in the raw images.   The dark polar spot is very prominent in the IR images.  The polar hexagon is also prominent.

 

April 1, 2015

Seeing was average this evening.   These are my first images of the season.

Nothing really noticeable on Saturn in this region.  The polar hexagon is still very distinct.  The bands are very distinct especially in IR.  No dark spots in this region.

 

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Copyright 2015 Christopher Go (christone@cstoneind.com)