The Planet Saturn ... The 6th Planet from the Sun



The Planet Saturn
I captured this planet uing the 11" Celestron with a 2X Barlow in my backyard on the night of August 26, 2018. On an atmospheric 'seeing' scale where 0 is total cloud cover and a 10 is totally clear with low humidity and no moon glow, the sky that night was a 7. At that time, Saturn was about 888 million miles away, as compared to about 855 million miles in late July when it was at opposition, a change in distance of about 33 million miles, which is slightly less than the distance when is Earth is closest to Mars. It would had been nice to capture Saturn then but weather conditions made it unavailable.

I used the software; SharpCap Pro which has a ROI (Region of Interest) function to capture the planet. Instead of taking pictures with a dimension of 5440 x 3648, I am able to set a capture area around the planet, and in this case, 800 x 600 pixels (there are several options for sizing the capture box). This greatly reduces the avi file size by 97% allowing for much more frames for better resolution and faster stacking times.

Techy Stuff:
Telescope: 11" Celestron Edge HD with the Orion 2x 4 Element Barlow yielding a focus ration of f/20
Mount: CGEM ii
Camera: Altair Hypercam 183C (Color)
Capture software: SharpCap Pro 3.1
Guiding: PHD 2
Filter: Baader UHC-S
Number of Frames in .avi file: 2,000
Stacking Program: AutoStakkert! 2.6.8
Used best 100 of the aligned 2,000 frames for stacking
Post Processed in Photoshop CC
Seeing Conditions: 7 (0-10, where 0 is total cloud cover)
Bortle Light-Pollution zone: 6-7 (can barely see the Milkyway)
Temperature: 79F, Dew Point 74
Location: Backyard, Savannah GA


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