January 23, 2005 5:05 UT
Instrument: 18-inch Obsession

Planet diameter: 21"
Rings diameter: 47"

Even under average seeing, the 18-inch Obsession produces fine planetary views. At 399X (18-mm SWA, 3X Barlow, Paracorr), several moons frame the ringed planet. Among these, is faint Mimas which pops in and out of view near the following edge of the rings. Just ten days after opposition, Saturn shows a narrow darkening along the following edge. The planet's jaundiced hue is broken into segments by numerous atmospheric features. Most prominent, is the dusky south equatorial belt (SEB). The dark south polar region (SPR) caps the planet. Portions of two belts are seen between the SEB and the SPR. The subtle equatorial belt hugs Saturn's midsection.

The A ring is bisected by the narrow, dusky Encke's minima. This is a contrast feature not associated with an actual gap or division. The Cassini division forms a no man's land between the A ring and B ring. This is an actual division that, although not completely void of material, appears as a narrow inky black band. The outer two-thirds of the B ring is the brighest region in Saturn's ring system. The inner third of the B ring is duller and darker by comparison. Finally, the inner C ring appears as a charcoal grey band encircling the planet. Also known as the Crepe ring, its paritally transparent nature is evidenced by the visibility of Saturn's disk through the ring.

Saturn February 9, 2004


Navigation Image, see text links below Web Links Glossary Sketching Astrophotography Planetary Observing Deep-sky Observing Getting Started About Cosmic Voyage Home

Home | About Cosmic Voyage | Getting Started | Deep-sky Observing | Planetary Observing | Astrophotography | Sketching | Glossary | Web Links


Layout, design & revisions © W. D. Ferris
Comments and Suggestions:

Revised: January 24, 2005 [WDF]