K3's Astronomy - Saturn
"When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have set in place, what is Man that You are mindful of him?" -- Psalm 8:3,4

Saturn photos with CCD web camera

A, Saturn
B, Saturn's moons

A, Saturn


Picture resolution: 26.3"/pix
Click the image to see full size photo (0.21"/pix)
Saturn. 28.04.2007, 22:32 (20:32 UT)

CCD Resolution: 0.42 arcsec/pixel
Telescope: 8" OrionOptics Newtonian (f=1200mm)
Camera: Lumenera Lu075M (Monochrome) + Barlow 3X
Filters: IR blocking filter
Result focal length: 3600mm
Exposure: 800x1/30s (gain 8.0)
Seeing: quite turbulent air
Temperature: ~14C
Captured and processed: K3CCDTools 3 + Corel PhotoPaint


Processing details:
1, Captured 2166 frames in K3CCDTools (72 seconds @ 30fps)
2, Planetary Wizard in K3CCDTools with X2 resampling
3, Selected best quality 800 frames
4, Stacked
5, Histogram processing with Unsharp mask (3; 0; 900)
6, Resized in Corel PhotoPaint to 80%
7, Brightness-Contrast-Intensity adjustment in PhotoPaint
8, Slight sharpening in PhotoPaint


Click the image to see full size photo (0.16"/pix)
Saturn. 26.12.2002, 01:55 (00:55 UT)

Resolution: 0.32 arcsec/pixel
Telescope: 8" OrionOptics Newtonian (f=1200mm)
Camera: Vesta 675SC2 + Barlow 3X
Result focal length: 3600mm
Exposure: 240x1/15s (gain 80%)
Seeing: rather steady air
Temperature: -12C
Captured and processed: K3CCDTools + Corel PhotoPaint

Finally I captured Cassini division visible along the whole ring! Also a thin shadow of Saturn's body is visible on the left side of ring. It proves that Saturn is after oposition (it was 17.12.2002).


Processing details:
1, Captured 509 frames in K3CCDTools
2, Planetary Wizard in K3CCDTools with X2 resampling
3, Selected best quality 270 frames
4, Manually deselected 30 frames (with worst detail in Cassini division)
5, Stacked
6, Histogram processing with Unsharp mask (4; 0; 400)
7, Resized in Corel PhotoPaint to 50%
8, Brightness-Contrast-Intensity adjustment in PhotoPaint (3; 11; 0)
9, Slight color saturation adjustment in PhotoPaint (+2)


Click the image to see full size photo (0.16"/pix)
Saturn. 12.12.2002, 02:58 (01:58 UT)

Resolution: 0.32 arcsec/pixel
Telescope: 8" OrionOptics Newtonian (f=1200mm)
Camera: Vesta 675SC2 + Barlow 3X
Result focal length: 3600mm
Exposure: 100x1/15s (gain 50%)
Seeing: rather high air turbulence (from balcony...)
Temperature: -6.6C
Captured and processed: K3CCDTools + Corel PhotoPaint

The effect of Barlow 3X instead of Barlow 2X is clearly visible - higher resolution with more details.
Now the Cassini division is visible almost along the whole ring. But still a lot of space for further improvement to future.

Processing details:
1, Captured 448 frames in K3CCDTools
2, Planetary Wizard in K3CCDTools with X2 resampling
3, Selected best quality 200 frames
4, Sorted by Difference - deselect worst 40 frames (with higher difference)
6, Manually deselected 60 frames (with worst detail in Cassini division)
7, Stacked
8, Histogram processing with Unsharp mask (4; 0; 400)
9, Resized in Corel PhotoPaint to 50% + slight noise reduction
Note: Full size photo is direct result from K3CCDTools (no PhotoPaint processing)


Click the image to see full size photo (0.24"/pix)
Saturn. 05.02.2002, 21:57 (20:57 UT)

Resolution: 0.48 arcsec/pixel
Telescope: 8" OrionOptics Newtonian (f=1200mm)
Camera: Vesta 675SC + Barlow 2X
Result focal length: 2400mm
Exposure: 100 frames stacked, unknown exposure
Captured and processed: K3CCDTools + Corel PhotoPaint

The Saturn is 2 months after opposition - we can see that shadow of Saturn's body on rings is on another side than it was in November (see a photo bellow ). Saturn's opposition was 03.12.2001.


Click the image to see higher resolution (0.24"/pix) image
Saturn. 11.11.2001, 02:49 (0:49 UT)

Resolution: 0.48 arcsec/pixel
Telescope: 8" OrionOptics Newtonian (f=1200mm)
Camera: Vesta 675SC + Barlow 2X
Result focal length: 2400mm
Exposure: 40x1/33s (gain 60%)
Seeing: air turbulence
Processing: K3CCDTools + Corel PhotoPaint

This is my first Saturn with my Orion Optics Europa 200 scope.
The motor drive was turned off while capturing AVI file.

Click the image to see higher resolution (0.24"/pix) image
Saturn. 11.11.2001, 02:49 (0:49 UT)

The same AVI source as above, but processed with AstroStack

Click the image to see higher resolution image
Saturn. 22.12.2000, 23:52 (22:52 UT)

Telescope: 150mm Newtonian telescope (f=1000mm)
Camera: Vesta Pro 680K at prime focus
Result focal length: 1000mm

The scope was of very poor quality, that's why I returned it to seller


B, Saturn's moons



Move mouse pointer above picture to see labels
Saturn's moons. 26.12.2002, 00:52 (25.12.2002 23:52 UT)

Resolution: 0.96 arcsec/pixel
Telescope: 8" OrionOptics Newtonian (f=1200mm)
Camera: Vesta 675SC2 at prime focus
Result focal length: 1200mm
Exposure: 136x1/5s (gain 100%)
Seeing: rather steady air
Temperature: -12C
Captured and processed: K3CCDTools

I used my Vesta 675SC2 in normal (i.e. not long exposure) mode. I was surprised that after summation of 134 frames I was able to see 11.4mag Enceladus moon!
The "ears" on left and right side of Saturn are caused by diffraction (on secondary mirror holder).

Here is a table with Saturn's moons data at the time of exposure (taken from SkyMap Pro):

ID Mag Position
Angle
Separation Name
I 12.6 288 24.6" Mimas
II 11.4 269 40.0" Enceladus
III 9.9 266 50.3" Tethys
IV 10.1 278 58.3" Dione
V 9.4 41 53.5" Rhea
VI 8.0 26 104.4" Titan
VII 13.9 107 220.0" Hyperion
VIII 10.8 93 396.1" Iapetus


Processing details:
1, Captured 199 frames in K3CCDTools
2, Aligned in K3CCDTools
3, Sorted according quality and selected best quality 134 frames
5, Summed
6, Histogram stretching + gamma 1.90 + Unsharp mask (2; 0; 100)

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Last Update: 02.05.2007