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    

 

June 24, 2017

Condition is good today.   But I had to deal with mosquitoes attacking me.  I did something new today.  

I overexposed my methane band image so I can get more details in the disk.  This revealed a bright spot on the STeB.  This is associated to a white spot!  There is also a white spot on the SEBn.   The methane band also reveal a bright streak on the EZ.

June 23, 2017

I was only able to do a short imaging run this night.  Seeing was ok but transparency was poor.  I was only able to get 5 sets of RGB before the clouds rolled in.

The polar hexagon is distinct.  There are no white spots in this region.

 

June 19, 2017

Seeing was variable this evening. 

Saturn's rings are still bright but not as bright as around opposition.   The polar hexagon and dark polar spot are distinct. 

June 16, 2017

I was not able to image Saturn yesterday (Opposition Day) due to clouds.   Condition was good this evening. 

There are some low contrast spots visible.  The rings are very bright due to the opposition effect.

 

June 14, 2017

Today is the day before Saturn's opposition.  Condition was perfect today!  These are probably my best images of Saturn.

Note the very bright ring and the dull disk!  The Seeliger (Opposition) effect is now very prominent!  Note the bright spot on the belt above the NEB.  The polar hexagon and the polar dark spot are distinct.

 

June 13, 2017

The sky was overcast early this evening.   But it cleared up as Saturn reached prime time! Seeing and Transparency was excellent.  But my run was cut short my clouds.

It is 2 days before Saturn's Opposition.   The rings are very bright now as ice gains in the ring fully reflect sunlight back to earth. The polar hexagon is distinct.  The north polar spot is also clearly seen.  There are some low contrast features in the belts.

 

June 11, 2017

Weather has improved a bit here and I was able to capture Saturn 4 days before opposition.  The rings a very bright now due to the Seeliger (Opposition) Effect.

The polar hexagon and dark spot is very distinct.   The belts are very distinct.  There are some low contrast bright spots on the belts.

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.