SATURN 2008/2009

A new season for Saturn.  This will be an exciting year because it will be the year when the ring plane crossing occurs.  Sadly this event won't be visible here on earth because the ring plane crossing occurs in September 2009 when Saturn is almost in solar conjunction.  Transits of Saturn's major moons will also be seen. 

These  images are north up and were taken by my C11 mounted on an AP900GTO mount  with a DMK 21F04 camera.

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 2008  

May 23, 2009

Seeing was just average this evening.  

The ring is noticeable darker.   The Cassini Division is also well defined at the edge of the disk while there is a hint of the Division on the front of the ring.

There are a lot of banding in Saturn but no special features in the disk.  The northern hemisphere is still dark while the southern bandings are well defined.

Dione can be seen on the lower left.


May 13, 2009

Seeing was perfect this evening.  Saturn was at the zenith when I took these images.

Lots of banding in these images.  The dark barge on the SEBn is visible in these images.  The northern hemisphere is still dark while the southern hemisphere is very bright.

The rings are rather dim.  The Cassini division is very distinct and can be seen crossing Saturn's disk.


May 11, 2009

Condition was okay this evening.  It's been almost a month since my last image.  Weather here hasn't been great and I was very sick most of last week. No, it wasn't swine flu.

A lot has changed with Saturn.  As many have noted, the rings have dimmed a lot.  The rings are wider  so much so that you can see the Cassini Division all around!  Note the curing shadow on each edge of the disk.

The SEB is very distinct.  I was even able to see  this visually with my new WO Binoviewer which saw first light this evening. 


April 13, 2009

It was cloudy early this evening.  It slowly cleared up but transparency was very low.  Seeing was average but improved as Saturn got higher.

Titan's shadow is exciting Saturn's disk.  There are some artifacts on the shadow because seeing was poor when I started imaging.  Other than the shadow, nothing much on Saturn's disk.

April 10, 2009

Seeing and transparency was average this evening.    I was only able to salvage one image as seeing deteriorated after I took this image.

Tethys can be seen above Saturn's ring.  Nothing really interesting in Saturn's disk.


April 8, 2009

Seeing and transparency was excellent this evening. 

There was a Tethys transit this evening.  You can see Tethys skimming just north of the ring. 

There is also a dark barge on the SEBn.  You can see the motion of this feature in the animation below.    Note also the white band north of the SEB.  You can see it move!


April 7, 2009

Another night of superb seeing and transparency.

I tried to image the EZn red spot.  It can be seen on the last image.  It seems this spot is prominent on the Red image close to the CM on the last image.  One can also see a faint spot at the SSTZ at the CM.  Is this the dragon disturbance?

The white and north of the SEB is very prominent.


April 5, 2009

Seeing was good this evening and transparency was perfect!  This is the reason why the contrast of these images are very good.  Saturn was practically overhead when I took this image.

Lots of things going on in Saturn.  Titan is emerging from an eclipse by Saturn's shadow.  Tethys is on the right skimming the south of the ring. 

On Saturn's disk, there is a faint white spot just south of the SEB at teh CM.  The band details of these images are excellent!


April 1, 2009

Seeing was good this evening.   But thin clouds reduced transparency to only 3.

There is an  interesting bulge north of Saturn's SEB at the CM on the last image.    Note the white streaks just north of the SEB.   The northern hemisphere is still very pale

The ring is getting wider now.  Note the curve in the Cassini division.  The ring is also getting more dull.


March 27, 2009

Another perfect evening.  There were some thin clouds during the start of my session, but it cleared after a few minutes.

Note the white band just north of the SEB.  It is very prominent in the last image.   Again, there are a lot of band details.

Just a reminder that there will be a Titan shadow transit on the 28. This will be visible from the west coast of the Americas to east Austral-Asia.


March 26, 2009

Seeing  was perfect this evening.  These are some of my best images this season.

There was suppose to be a quad transit tonight.  I was just too tired to capture this event.  So I imaged Rhea (right) and Dione (left) as they approach Saturn.  Later on, Mimas and Enceladus joined the two ice moons to transit Saturn.

The most prominent feature is the dark elongated barge on the SEBn.   You can see it moving in the animation below.  The SEB is also very well resolved.  Note the faint reddish belt forming just below the ring shadow!  Also the  interesting white band between this belt and the SEB.

The rings seem to be getting wider by the day.   The Cassini division is now very prominent.


March 25, 2009

I had another almost perfect condition this evening. 

Three moons can be seen in the image.  Tethys and Dione are on the left.  While Enceladus is just above the ring on the right.   The band details are again excellent in this image. The SEB is well resolved.  There are a lot of banding in the south polar region.

 The NEB is still rather dull.


March 23, 2009

Condition was excellent this evening.    Seeing and transparency was perfect.

Nothing really special going on with Saturn.  No moons are  visible.  But the  band detail is very nice.  Note the dark spot on the EZs/SEBn.  Note also the white irregular band north of the SEB.  Is this associated with the dark barge?

The band details on the  southern hemisphere is very distinct.  3 distinct SEB bands can be seen.

The northern hemisphere is very dull and bluish.


March 20, 2009

Condition wasn't very good this evening. Transparency was very bad as there was a thick haze over my area.  Seeing was though.

Titan has just emerged from Saturn's shadow!  Tethys is also approaching Saturn!  Condition was so poor that I had a hard time capturing Tethys.

Not much details on the disk because of poor transparency.

March 18, 2009

Seeing was good this evening.  Transparency was better than yesterday.  Tonight there is a double transit of Dione and Enceladus.  It is interesting that Dione and Enceladus has a double transit every around 2.6 days.!!  They are also aligned at almost the same plane.  John Rogers, the venerable author of The Planet Jupiter, has suggested that Dione might be the cause of the "tiger stripe" fissures in Enceladus!  That is really interesting as the frequent close encounter of Dione could create tidal effects in Enceladus.

In the animation below you can see Dione and it's shadow following this ice moon.  Enceladus is more difficult to see but you can see a hint of it just north of the ring.  There is a lot of band details.

March 17, 2009

It's back to earth now for me after the release of the Hubble Images of the Feb 24 Quad Transit in Saturn. Seeing was fantastic this evening.  I had to capture the start of Rhea's transit. 

Note Rhea and it's shadow as it moves along Saturn's disk.   The Cassini Division is distinct in this image.  The banding detail on Saturn is very nice.  The south polar area has a lot of nice bandings.  The northern polar area is still dull.  The color difference between the SEB and NEB is quite pronounced.  The SEB is very dark while the NEB is dull.


March 12, 2009

The last favorable Titan transit of the year has finally come.   There will be more transit later in July but Saturn will be close to the  sun by then.  There will be more transits next year starting April.  From now, there will be shadow transits of Titan.

The sky was mostly cloudy today.  Fortunately it was clear around Saturn.  I had to image Saturn while it is still very low in the sky.  It was still below 30deg when I started image.  Conditions got better as Saturn went higher.  I was clouded out briefly during the end of Titan's transit.  But I was able to capture the end of the shadow transit.

Today is a gazing transit of Titan.  Titan skimming over Saturn's north  pole.  Titan's shadow followed it..   Titan is a bit dark compared to the bright Saturn.  I was also able to capture the EZn white spot.


March 9, 2009

I missed the opposition yesterday because I had a fever.  I was stressed out after imaging 3 straight nights. 

Seeing was good today.  Nothing special with Saturn this evening.  No transits or spots.  The rings are still bright a day after opposition.  The band detail is also good. 

Note that the northern hemisphere is still darker than the southern hemisphere.  The SEB is also redder than the NEB which currently is a bit pale.

Just a reminder for the Titan transit in March 12.    This will be visible from the western Americas to east Austral-Asia.  The best view again will be at the mid-Pacific.  This will be a gazing transit with shadow. It will start around 9UT and end around 13UT.

Below is another take of Ceres.  It is very well resolved but no surface details.

March 7, 2009

Seeing was almost perfect this evening. 

There was a double transit of Dione and Enceladus.  From the images  you can clearly see Dione and it's shadow.  There is a hint of Enceladus following Dione in the animation below.  Tethys is on the right.

The belt detail is very nice.  The rings are very bright now with 1 day to go before opposition!!  All in all it was a magical night!

March 6, 2009

Seeing was excellent this evening.  Just had to image the Seeliger effect.

Good seeing allowed me to get a lot of details in Saturn's disk.  Note the white spot at the STZ after the CM.  Is this the "dragon" remnant?  Note Tethys just below the ring on the left and Rhea on the left.

The Seeliger effect is more pronounced in the monochrome luminance image below.   This opposition effect will peak on the 8th!!  You can see the brightness difference between Saturn's disk and ring in the last 3 imaging session on  this  page.

March 5, 2009

Condition was good this evening.  Seeing was not perfect though because of the northerly wind. 

 Note that the ring of Saturn is getting brighter.  The Seeliger effect is starting and will peak on opposition night on the 8th of this month.    You can see the difference between ring brightness from the image 2 days ago.

There is another Tethys transit this evening. Tethys and it's shadow  just north of the ring.    The band detail is also excellent.

I also had another run at Ceres.  Still no details but the dwarf planet is well resolved.



March 3, 2009

It had been cloudy for the past week.  I was rained out during the quad transit!  Fortunately HST was able to get some stunning images.  Images should be released in the next few weeks.

Last night, seeing wasn't good.  But I was able to capture the Tethys transit.  Note Tethys (white spot) and it's shadow (dark spot) just north of the ring on the left side.  The animation gives you a better feel on the motion.

I also took a shot of Ceres which is close by.  Ceres is suppose to be closest in the next hundreds of years. I was able to resolve Ceres but no surface details.  Seeing was not good.

February 23, 2009

Here's a test run image for the quad transit tomorrow.  Seeing wasn't great because Saturn was still very low in the sky.


February 18, 2009

I imaged early this evening to capture the transit of Rhea and it's shadow.  Seeing was terrible because Saturn was still very low in the sky.

Imaging  the shadow was simple because of the contrast. But the shadow is very small!  Rhea itself is difficult  to see but you can get a trace of it on the animation below.   Look at the area around NEBs on the right side.  You can see Rhea move but the contrast is not good.

A few more days from the quadruple transit. in Saturn.  HST will be imaging this very rare event!  Thanks to Keith Noll of the Hubble Imaging Team for this great effort! 



February 8, 2009

I woke up at around 1am this morning to image the egress of Titan's transit on Saturn.  The sky was overcast from around 1am to around 1:50am!!  I was fortunate to see the end of the transit which is really stunning as it gave Titan a 3D effect!  Condition was average.  This will be my third Titan transit this season!  Visually, Titan was prominent at around 350X.

Titan is about to exit Saturn's disk!  Note that Titan looks reddish! Note also the dark barge just north  of the SEB!  It is prominent in the animations below.

There will be two more transits visible this year.  The one of Feb 24 is special as it will be a quadruple transit of TItan, Mimas, Dione and Enceladus.  At around 14:25UT on that day, all 4 moons will be within  Saturn's disk!! 


January 27, 2009

Condition was better this evening.  I imaged Saturn when it was overhead!

Note the excellent band details on these images.  I was hoping to image the radio disturbance but could find any white spot in the image.   Note the reddish belt close to the south pole. 

The north polar area is still bluish.  The northern hemisphere is dark on red.  The ring angle is getting wider now.   The Cassini division can be seen close to both edges.


January 23, 2009

It had been cloudy for the past weeks.  I was fortunate to get a clearing this evening! Condition wasn't great but improve as Saturn went higher.  Clouds came in after an hour of imaging.

Saturn is getting bigger and higher.  The dark spot in Saturn is Titan NOT it's shadow.   There are 3 more transits for the year.  The one on February 24 will be a rare quadruple transit!!

The  images on the right are LRGB images.  Note the white spot below Titan.  Is this a white spot or an artifact?  Note the band detail on Saturn's disk.  The southern hemisphere is still brighter than the northern hemisphere.

January 7, 2009

It had been cloudy for the past weeks.  Condition today wasn't great because transparency was  poor.  I was able to have a break late in the session before clouds and haze started to roll in again.

I was finally able to capture the Titan Transit.  This type of transit is so rare that the last time this happened was in 1995.  After March 12, will be last that can be seen this season.  Next year there will be 4 transits from mid-April to July 4.  After that, the next transit will be on 2025.

The last 4 transits of this season will be on  1/23, 2/8, 2/24 and 3/12.  The  2/24 and 3/12 transit is the rarest as it will feature both Titan and it's shadow!!   In fact the 3/12 transit will  be a grazing transit where half of Titan in graze Saturn's north pole. All the Titan transit this season will only be seen in the  Asia/Pacific region!  After 3/12, the transit will return on July 16 but by then, Saturn will be close to the sun.

The color image is a LRGB image of Saturn and Titan.  The monochrome animation was taken using luminance.  The northern hemisphere is darker than the southern hemisphere.  The STD is no longer visible so it must have dissipated.  There is a hint of the Cassini Division at the edge of the ring.


November 22, 2008

Finally got a clear sky to image Saturn.  The ring is almost gone but a hint of the cassini division can be seen at the edges. 

Lots of surface details on Saturn!  A lot of distinct bands in Saturn.  Note the bright spots just north of the SEB.


Copyright 2009 Christopher Go (