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Saturn + 4 moons in rare late seeing: RGB animation etc...


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post-3551-0-06715300-1341745137_thumb.gipost-3551-0-38073500-1341745162_thumb.pnpost-3551-0-32788100-1341750080_thumb.pnpost-3551-0-82275800-1341750054_thumb.pnHi everyone - these last couple of months have been very poor for planetary imaging in South Australia with almost completely clouded skies, unusually persistent jetstreams and rain by the bucketloads - so much so that we recorded the highest rainfall in June we have ever experienced in the 8 years we've lived at our current address...and plurry cold!!!

So when there was a chance of a couple of decent nights we headed out to the edge of the Murray Mallee on the 4th of July where it was even colder - but clouds made imaging fairly difficult.

However, on the last night (6th) the clouds lifted around 7:30pm so we quickly collimated the C14 on Spica and first targetted Mars, which at under 6.5" appeared surprisingly good in the onscreen feed.

Not wanting to waste any Saturn imaging opportunities (which have been few and far between this apparition) we turned to The Ringed Planet after just one iR-R-G-B set of Mars (which I'll post later) and began imaging it around 7:45pm.....

At the start of the 3rd RGB set the seeing seemed to lift a bit more, allowing us to adjust the focus ever-so-slightly to get the sharpest images and we were rewarded with 3 sets at this improved seeing, although by the end of the 3rd set we could see that the seeing was dipping back down again.....not poor - but taking the edge of that which this small window had provided.

Anyways, considering how late it is in the current Saturnian apparition as well as Saturn being rather difficult to extract details from anytime except in good conditions, we were more than pleased to get these images which reveal considerable detail on the disk, including the lighter spots along the Equatorial region and markings in the old storm band, as well as other details sprinkled across the surface...I've included the 1st & 3rd of the red channels of these particular recordings also as they reveal the details best.

Also pleased to find 4 moons in the frame: Rhea, Enceladus, Tethys & Dione (clockwise, with the top left-hand moon being Rhea))BUT wanting to go back into AS!2 and give Saturn slightly less horizontal cropping for the processing, as another moon, Mimas, is just chopped out on the far right for these processings....!

Whilst the animation looks fine on my 2 screeens, my partner's screen displays the slight background lightening in one frame much more.....so along with altering that during a complete reprocessing so that tiny Mimas is included in the animation I'll be able to hypnotise myself looking at 5 moons shuttling back & forth....!

Viewers will note that the moons are travelling in pairs in opposite directions (one pair on their (apparent) left-to-right motion and the others the opposite.)

First-up the animation followed by the 1st & 3rd red channel images from that little window of good seeing - the R channels revealing the disk details at their best.....then the rgb of Saturn at 135% of capture scale...then at capture scale (approximately 10 metres f/l) and then) - I had to re-arrange the image order as a friend over on CN pointed out that the rgb still images somehow had part of the RHS of the Crepe Ring blotted out....! :)

Edited by Kokatha man
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Hi everyone - these last couple of months have been very poor for planetary imaging in South Australia with almost completely clouded skies, unusually persistent jetstreams and rain by the bucketloads

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Thanks SB - a friend on CN has just pointed out some of the Crepe Ring has been blotted out on the RHS in a couple of images.....ah well - I'll have to sort that out but tbh I pushed these processings a bit too quickly as I'm really behind the 8-ball with work commitments.....and taking 3 days off out bush was a bit too much of a luxury also....!

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Thanks Dror and Michael - in reviewing the other rgb sets I've decided that there is another 18 minutes of suitable imagery for the animation which will include the 5th moon (Mimas) which has been (accidentally) cropped from this animation when setting AutoStakkert up for processing.....effectively doubling the number of frames and duration of the sequence, so I'll busy myself in any spare time doing this..!

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Thanks Dror and Michael - in reviewing the other rgb sets I've decided that there is another 18 minutes of suitable imagery for the animation which will include the 5th moon (Mimas) which has been (accidentally) cropped from this animation when setting AutoStakkert up for processing.....effectively doubling the number of frames and duration of the sequence, so I'll busy myself in any spare time doing this..!

Looking forward to the results of that.

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Excellent Darryl, glad you managed to get out recently,

great pics and animation :)

British summer been like same as Australian winter, so i haven't had scope out for months here either

weather seems worse than normal this year

keep up good work

James

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Great stuff Darryl and up to the very high standards we've come to expect from you .... really helps to brighten up our dismal summer :grin:

Regards,

Alan

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Thank you James, Alan, Rob and Carl.....I've almost finished the 6-frame rgb animation but I've had to forgo including the 5th moon in this - the moon (more on that in a moment!) is most visible in the green & blue channels (another reason why it's not in this 6-frame red channel animation) but in a couple of the frames it is very difficult to discern from background noise and thus I don't think it's credible enough to include.....amplifying background noise isn't really the done thing!

Its' identity is also confusing to me - either Iapetus or Mimas but my ephemeris has me leaning towards it being Iapetus.....is there anyone who can direct me to a good ephemeris I can look at that clearly defines the 7 brightest Saturnian Moons..?

I'm half-convinced it's Iapetus as it is meant to be brighter than Enceladus (Mimas is dimmer) and also in those frames/images where I can definitely discern/track it, it seems to have a more inclined trajectory than the other moons.....someting that's a feature of Iapetus also... :confused:

Anyway, here is the 6-frame red channel animation, the best red channel with the moons listed and a rework of the best rgb also.....hopefully the 6-frame rgb animation tomorrrow if I can find time..! :rolleyes:

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Thanks Pon & TC.....I've just found another Saturn's Moons ephemeris that I'd previously lost the link to and it seems to reinforce my original guess of the 5th moon being Mimas....! :confused::eek::rolleyes:

Ah well.....still not 100% certain as like the other ephemeris links I have, this one is also indistinct with its labelling, but it seems Iapetus was way out on its wide orbit at the time.....

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.....well, here's the 6-frame rgb animation - there's something a little awry with this (and NOT just the flickering colour & brightness etc variations! :eek::rolleyes: ) but I can't spend anymore time on it for now: at least it's done, if not to my satisfaction.....but it'll have to do for now....! :smiley:

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impressive dance of Saturn and it's moons, I can't see why you are not completely satisfied with it. you have very high standards :grin: well done :hello2::headbang:

Dror

Thanks again Dror - I guess my attitude is that beyond the basics, ultimately it's luck (luck of having certain gear...luck that any one period on any one night comes up trumps re the seeing and you're out there to take advantage of it....and of course the luck of having any planet at a good altitude for imaging as well..!)

So if you can get enough "data" you try and make the most of it by doing the best you can with it.....unfortunately for this "data" my time is very limited by work deadlines which demand the same (or more!) levels of application, so my time to get it as "right" as I want is compromised.....

I'd have liked to have got the brightness levels between frames a bit better - levels and curves...as well as colour a bit more even...and it seems Mimas comes in and out in a couple of frames which is something simple in essence but rectifying an animation with 10 layers takes a bit of time.....and I faffed around too much with "red-herring" stuff like a slight change in angle (the slight "rocking" motion) which is very difficult too correct as it's probably that slight dip in the planet's apparent angle as it slides off the fairly flat/uniform plane it appears to travel either side of culmination.....

But yeah, I do faff around constantly if I've got the time (a bit like Neil and his repros! :shocked::laugh: ) so if I haven't got enough time I feel a bit disappointed with things (and I rarely go back ages later to fix those issues...)

So apart from a WinJupos image compilation of the best 3 avi sets that I'll do maybe today or tomorrow this is it for me with this data - despite my disatisfaction..! :smiley:

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