Saturn, Rhea and Tethys – February 2010

Between two rainfalls – I was able to take this picture of Saturn with my Maksutov Cassegrain 7″ at focal plane f/d 15 with my DMK B&W camera.  This is a composite picture from about 1100 RGB frames.

Notice from left to right two of Saturn’s satellites:  Rhea (mag 9.9)  and Tethys (mag 10.3).  Cassini’s division is guessed but not very obvious since the rings have a low inclination.  – The  C ring is hinted on the left and right portion of the disk. Disk diameter is 19″.

Saturn is more challenging to image because of its low surface magnitude. On the Red channel I had to shot at a speed as low as 1/9 sec by image.  Just finishing up shooting the blue channel, and clouds came over!  Next time I’ll try to image at f/d 22 using a 1/5x barlow to bring more details.

Seeing: 4/10
Transparency: 2/6 (Full moon)

Shot on 2/28/2010 at 1.10am PST

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