EarthSky Community Photos
Updates on Your Cosmos and World
Puget Sound, Washington USA
The imaging train for this shot begins with an ASI224MC color video camera attached to a ZWO atmospheric dispersion corrector, attached to a Tele Vue 4x powermate, attached to a 12 Meade LX850 catadioptric telescope. The camera is linked to a laptop running Firecapture software used to capture the video sequence used to produce this image.
The Saturn image was derived from a video sequence of about 7,000 frames. The .ser format sequence was cropped, centered and debayered in Pipp and exported as an .avi sequence. Registax6 was then used to align, stack (3,100 of the 7,000 frames) and wavelet process the sequence into a .bmp image which was then taken into Photoshop elements to convert to a .jpeg. From there I used Lightroom for minor tweaks to light and contrast and a final clarity adjustment. I brought it back into PSE to set into a larger black background for aesthetic purposes.
While Comet Neowise has bee the main attraction of late, Saturn, along with Jupiter, has been crossing the southern skies every night in July and it reached opposition on the 20th. From my position at 47°north, it's fairly low to the southern horizon but still very visible at magnitude +0.1 . The seeing on this night wasn't optimum but still descent. The planet was playing hide-n-seek with passing clouds and atmospheric distortion was moderate to high.
Saturn will be getting progressively dimmer through the rest of the year as it again begins to move further away from us. It won't reach opposition again until next year about this time (1 August, 2021). It will be about 3° higher in the sky but just slightly less bright at magnitude 0.2.