clear sky chart

Job 9:9

Job 9:9-10
9 He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion,
the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.
10 He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed,
miracles that cannot be counted.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Yesterday's Saturn (6/14)

My friend Mike stopped by last night for a little  astronomy session.  Mike is the owner of the 8 inch dob I was experimenting with a couple months ago.  He actually came to do some viewing and take it back home with him.  He also got to see how I image Saturn, as the sky was clear and we saw it in both my 127mm and his 8" reflector.  The views in his 8 inch were nothing short of breathtaking!  I only wished I could have photographed with it, the view was unbelieveable!  It was certainly large enough to really get some nice detail if I would have been able to image it.  The trouble is, the focal length of that scope is on the order of 4 feet or so, so the magnification would have been huge, making the field of view quite narrow.  I just could not find Saturn with the camera.  I was able to plainly see the shadow of the rings on the planets disk as a very fine line across the disk, as well as the Cassini division was plainly seen.  I was not able to see the serpent storm but I believe it was because of how bright the image was!  I used my 9mm eyepiece, which appeared to be the limit to the resolution.  The barlow made the image larger, but did not show much, if any more detail.  My neighbors came by for a look as well, and were treated to a big Saturn with excellent seeing.

We also split a few close stars, and went looking for fuzzies, but didnt see any.  We would have looked some more, but it was getting late, we wrapped up around midnight.

While Mike was working with the dob, (my skies are a bit darker being he lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh), I took the opportunity to run some avi's with the 127 mm.  Here is what I captured.  The 4th image was shot in monochrome, and seems to have the most detail.

As you can see on the last image, I believe the Serpent Storm is resolved as a brighter area just above the dark band, between the band and the north pole.  This is the best I was able to see the storm in my equipment.  I sure wish i was able to photograph it using the dob, even to get a couple of frames.  Seeing was very good.  The moon was rising, so it pretty much ruined the sky for looking for dimmer objects.  The visual Saturn view however was well worth the time spent on it.


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