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Saturn
(2013-04-29 00:22)


About this Object

Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in the Solar System, after Jupiter. Saturn is a gas giant with an average radius about nine times that of Earth. Saturn's interior is probably composed of a core of iron, nickel and rock (silicon and oxygen compounds), surrounded by a deep layer of metallic hydrogen, an intermediate layer of liquid hydrogen and liquid helium and an outer gaseous layer. The planet exhibits a pale yellow hue due to ammonia crystals in its upper atmosphere. The outer atmosphere is generally bland and lacking in contrast, although long-lived features can appear. Saturn has a prominent ring system that consists of nine continuous main rings and three discontinuous arcs, composed mostly of ice particles with a smaller amount of rocky debris and dust. Titan, Saturn's largest and the Solar System's second largest moon, is larger than the planet Mercury and is the only moon in the Solar System to retain a substantial atmosphere.

About this Image

The purpose in taking this image was to try out a new 4x PowerMate. Although still constrained by the limits of a 4" scope, the result is much better than I had anticipated.


--- Date/Time ---
Local: 2013-04-29 00:22:00
UTC: 2013-04-30 04:22:00

--- Location ---
The Ashton Observatory at Johnson Farms, Ashton MD
(Latitude N39.15°, Longitude W77.01°, Elevation 510')

--- Conditions ---
Marginal seeing

--- Optics ---
Televue NP101is 101mm f/5.35 Refractor with Televue 4x Powermate

--- Camera ---
Celestron NexImage 5

--- Post-Processing ---
RegiStax, PhotoShop

--- Selected Ephemeris ---
1318.91 million miles from Earth and 1469.39 million miles from the Sun
Apparent Diameter: 18.77 arcminutes. Magnitude: 0.7
Percent Illuminated: 100%. Elongation from Sun: 177.18°



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