A new season for Saturn.  I had a late start this year.  The rings are wider now.

These  images are north up and were taken by my C14 mounted on an AP900GTO mount  with a Point Grey Research monochrome Flea3 (ICX618) camera.  Chroma Technology LRGB filters were used to make the color image.

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.


June 4, 2013

Transparency was very poor this evening.  I was only able to scrape an IR image.

The polar hexagon is prominent in this image.  The Encke minima and the Crepe ring is clearly seen.


May 29, 2013

Here's another image of Saturn with the ASI120MM camera.  Seeing was perfect this evening!  These are probably my best images of Saturn!

Note the bands on Saturn's northern hemisphere!  I have never resolved the bands this clearly  before!  Note the bright spot on the NNTZ.   The dual NEB is clearly resolved.  The NTB is distinct.

The Polar Hexagon is fully resolved.    Note the yellow polar band GOES AROUND THE HEXAGON!   Note that the Polar Hexagon has a dark rim and a light center.

The Encke minima is distinct in the rings.  Hopefully I will get more nights like this!



May 26, 2013

I'm back to the ASI120MM camera.  I was able to reduce the focal length of my system by gettting my AP Barcon closer to the flip mirror.  The image scale is still larger than the ICX618 but my capture frame rate is higher.

Note the white feature at the NNTZ.  The Polar Hexagon storm is also distinct.


May 25, 2013

I had to test my ICX618 camera to see how it worked with the newly collimated C14.  The image now is much better!  There are less artifacts on the image.

There are white spots on the NNTZ.  The NEB is dark and well defined.  The north polar hexagon is distinct.


May 23, 2013

I spent some time re-collimating my OTA.  Seeing was also okay this evening.  This is an image with the ASI120MM camera.

Note the dark spot on the NNTZ.  Note the details inside the North Polar Hexagon storm.  The Encke minima is distinct. 


May 21, 2013

Condition was a little better this evening.   Here's another image of the ASI120MM camera.

There is a prominent bright feature on the NNTZ.  This feature is also prominent in the IR image.   The polar hexagon can also be seen.


May 17, 2013

Condition wasn't great today.   I had to start imaging early before clouds rolled in.  I finally got to test the new ZW Optical ASI120MM Camera.  This camera is based on the MT09M04 monochrome CMOS chip which is much more sensitive in visible light than the venerable Sony ICX618.  I would like to thank Sam Wen for the camera.

Here are my first impressions.  The image scale is HUGE!   This is a 3.75 micron pixel size! I tried to do some adjustment in my system to reduce the focal length but gave up.  I went ahead and image with my usual configuration.  I was surprised that the exposure time was THE SAME as my Flea3 despite the 30% increase in images scale. I stacked the images as usual but REDUCED the image scale by 30% before final processing.  I derotated 6 sets of RGB before clouds rolled in and heavy rain last night.

Despite the terrible conditions, the final images looks acceptable.

The Polar hexagon is distinct.  The white band on the NNTZ is distinct.  This is the remnant of the Great storm of 2010. 

Will test this camera in the coming days...


May 15, 2013

Seeing and transparency was very unstable today because of clouds.

The remnant of  the 2010 storm is still visible as a bright band on the NNTZ.  Note the small dark spot rising!  It is more prominent on the IR image in the bottom.  The north polar hexagon is still prominent.




May 10, 2013

Seeing  was  okay this evening but I had limited imaging time because of clouds.  Transparency wasn't great.

Note the white spot on the NNTZ.  This might be part of the remnant of the great 2010 storm.  The north polar hexagon is distinct.   The Encke minima is prominent.  One can also see the Crepe ring.


May 4, 2013

Seeing  was still  unstable today.  I de-rotated almost an hour of data.

The Polar Hexagon is distinct.  The dark spot on the NTB is very prominent.  The NEB band is dark.  Note the bright cloud above the SEB.

The Encke minima and the Crepe ring are prominent.


April 30, 2013

Seeing  was excellent this evening.  These are some of my best images so far this season!

Note the bright band which is probably the remnant of the 2010 super storm!  Note also the dark cyclonic spot which was first noted by Anthony Wesley earlier this year.

The NEB is a distinct band.  While the Polar Hexagon is very clear! 

The Encke minima is easily visible. 

April 29, 2013

Seeing was very unstable this evening.

Saturn's ring is still very bright due to the Seeliger effect.  No prominent features resolved this evening because seeing was bad.  The Polar Hexagonal Storm is prominent.




April 28, 2013

It opposition day for Saturn!  Seeing was average.

Saturn's rings are now at it's brightest!  The Encke minima is obvious while the crepe ring is also distinct.

The Polar hexagon is at it's brightest.  Note the brightening of the center of the Polar Hexagon.   There seem to be some low contrast bright features on the NNTZ.


April 26, 2013

Seeing was average this evening. 

Saturn's ring continues to brighten due to the Seeliger Effect or Opposition Surge.  This is due to the ice grains in Saturn's rings are perfectly reflecting sunlight back to earth and there are now shadows!  This effect will peak on Opposition day on the 28th of this month.

The North Polar Hexagon of Saturn is distinct.  There seems to be some white spots on the NNTZ.  There is also a hint of the NNTZ Dark Spot!


April 24, 2013

I had a very frustrating session with Saturn.  First off, my filter wheel refused to run. The soldering of the wire to the cigarette plug broke!  I was in no mood in fixing this in the middle of the night.  I had to temporarily tie the wire back to the tip.  Fortunately the cable held up for the night.  Next up, my Moonlite focuser refused to bulge!  I had to focus manually.  To top it all up, seeing was terrible and transparency was very variable because of thin clouds.  But I just went ahead and took some images.

The rings of Saturn is brightening again.  This phenomenon is known as the Seeliger Effect or the opposition effect.  Saturn's rings will continue to brighten and will peak on opposition day which is on the 28th of this month. 

Nothing much is resolved in Saturn's disk because of bad seeing and also because of the opposition effect which causes Saturn to look pale in comparison.


April 15, 2013

What a frustrating imaging session!  The sky was clear when I woke up at midnight.  After taking 2 sets of images, the sky was overcast!  I tried to wait for half an hour for the sky to clear but it never did.  To top it all off, mosquitoes were all over me!

The polar hexagon is prominent on this image.  Note the white spots on the NNTZ.


April 13, 2013

Seeing was excellent today.  Finally able to catch decent images of Saturn.

Note the white patches on Saturn's northern hemisphere.   The most prominent are on the NNTZ.  These patches are very prominent on the IR images.  Note the bright patch close to the pole on the IR image.  Note also the white patches just north of the NEB.

The polar hexagon is very  prominent.  The Encke minima is very prominent.


March 2, 2013

The sky was clear this morning.  This is my first image of Saturn this season. 

The rings are opening up.   There is a hint of the Encke Minima.  Overall, things are quiet in Saturn today. 




Copyright 2012 Christopher Go (