Saturn, Opposition 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011


Datas of Saturn

Diameter at equator
Diameter of the ring
Thicknes of the ring
Revolution period
Rotation period
Mean distance from sun
Mass

120'536 km ( 9,4 x earth )
~ 270'000 km
some 100 m
29,5 years
10,5 hours.
1427 Mill. km ( 9,54 AE )
95,2 earth masses

Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun, and the second largest in the solar system. The fascinating ring system is made of ice and rock particles. It was noticed first 1610 by Galileo Galilei, but recognized as a real ring 1656 by the Dutch physicist and astronomer Christiaan Huygens.
In amateur telescopes the ring can be seen with magnifications of about 30x. The cassini-devision - the dark space in the ring - can be noticed at about 60x. The Saturn globe features subtle bands of light brown colour. Steady air is necessary to see these bands.

Saturnpictures of the year 2002 to 2005 klick here



17.4.2011,    22:10 UT

Saturn 19,3" f

140 / 980 mm Apo-Refractor (TEC 140), F/23,
Astronomic IIc - Filter
Lucam LU 165, captering software: LucamRecorder

LRGB, each channel 600 of 34000 frames added
Seeing: 6/10

  



26.1.2009,    2:08 UT, opening of the ring 1.2°

The dark line across the planet is the shadow of the ring. The ring itself in very thin.
Left is the moon Thetys

Saturn 19,3" f , 0.7 mag
Thethys 10.1 mag

140 / 980 mm Apo-Refractor (TEC 140), F/25,
Astronomic IIc - Filter
Lucam LU 165, captering software: LucamRecorder

LRGB, each channel 500 of 4000 frames added
Seeing: 6/10

  



17.2.2008,    0:45 UT

20,1" f , 0.6 mag

140 / 980 mm Apo-Refractor (TEC 140), F/45,
Lucam LU 75C, captering software: LucamRecorder

800 of 4000 frames added
Seeing: 6/10

  



4.2.2007,    21:45 UT

140 / 980 mm Apo-Refractor (TEC 140), F/48,
Lucam LU 75C, captering software: LucamRecorder

570 of 5000 frames added
Seeing: 6/10

  



20.3.2006,   
21:01 UT (Saturn), 21:34 UT (Moons)

This picture is a composit of two:
1) Saturn itself, 490 of 3250 frames added, each exposed 94 ms
2) Picture where the moons were visuable, each exposed 11 Sek., 25 frames added,
Both pictures were composed to one using Photoshop.

Moons from left:
Thetys (10.3 mag), Enceladus (11.8 mag), Dione (10.4 mag), Rhea (9.8 mag)

140 / 980 mm Apo-Refractor (TEC 140), F/48,
Lucam LU 75
Seeing: 7/10

  



30.1.2006,   21:23 UT

Equator diameter = 20,4". The arrow points to a small bright spot south of a dark band. This is a storm in the upper atmosphere of Saturn. These storms are rare. They have a lifetime of some days to some weeks. I was lucky to "catch" such a storm. On the picture below is an animation, showing the rotation of the storm.

Comparing the picture with those taken in the last years, it can be noticed, that the opening of the ring is now getting smaller.

140 / 980 mm Apo-Refractor (TEC 140), F/56,
Lucam LU 75C, captering software: LucamRecorder

500 of 3000 frames added
Seeing: 5/10





30.1.2006,   21:23 UT and 21: 41 UT

Animation of two pictures. The second one was shot 18 minutes later than the first one. It shows the storm region (arrow in the upper picture) rotating with the planet. Saturn has a full ratotion in 10,5 hours.

Taking the second video the seeing was much worse. So the second picture is not so good as the first one.

Instrument and equipment the same as above.