|Image exposure: |
Best 10% of 1000 frame video.
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|Image date: |
Above is the sharpest view of Saturn which I have obtained so far, made possible after I learned a bit more about how to make wavelet adjustments in Registax.
I wondered whether I should go back to some of my older images and reprocess them with the improved method. I decided not to, because I didn’t want them to turn out better than the latest one…
Saturn always appears slightly flattened at the poles, which is due to its fast rotation – two and a quarter times per Earth day!
You can also see the shadow of Saturn on the rings
The Northern Hemisphere is currently tilted towards us, so the Northern polar region is in view. This is where the famous North Pole Hexagon is located but whilst you can see the general polar region, the distinctive hexagonal shape is not really distinguishable. It was discovered in 1981 by a Voyager spacecraft flyby.
The ring tilt of Saturn is currently 19° and decreasing annually from its maximum of 28°. By 2025 the tilt will be zero and the rings will appear edge on as a slender straight line, bisecting Saturn. The last time this occurred was in 2009 and I took the following novice image a few months later:
The useful animation below (not mine), shows our approximate view of Saturn over the course of its twenty-nine year orbit. Don’t be alarmed, it’s not wobbling! It’s quite steady, we are just seeing it from different perspectives as it moves along its orbital path and we move along ours.
Below is an overexposed and uncropped image, taken a few minutes after I took the main feature image, showing some of the traffic congestion around Saturn!
Cosmic Focus Observatory
Above us only sky….
|Telescope:||SkyWatcher Esprit 120 mm apochromatic 3-element refractor; 840 mm f/l @ f/7.|
|Optics:||Field flattener; Astronomik broadband light pollution filter. Powermate 2X amplifier.|
|Mount:||SkyWatcher EQ6-R Pro mount.|
|Imaging camera:||ZWO ASI 071 MC cooled.|
Thanks for reading!
Images © Roger Powell
I’m one of the founder members of Macarthur Astronomical Society