Anyone Ready for another Saturn sketch?
This was taken this evening between 10:45 and 11:15 pm PDT (March 9, 2009).
This was my second look at Saturn this season and the rings are definitely very very narrow. I had a hard time keeping the rings from getting outta control on the sketch (in the end, I was unsuccessful). I spotted two of the moons clearly, Titan actually showed itself to be just a touch larger than a point of light, while Rhea was faint on the other side of the rings. After confirming the moon's, it turns out Iapetus was present as well and in the upper quandrant was a lone star in the field of view.
Moisture was high this evening, every time I put my face to the EP I would quickly generate a fuzzy halo around Saturn. Yet right next to the planet and rings there'd be a distinct black band/zone providing contrast between the planet and the skybackground/fog. I decided to try and capture this in the sketch as well.
Seeing was not spectacular, but fleeting moments would show a little more detail. Two orangish/reddish bands were clear one above and one below the rings, I couldn't make them out to the edge of the planet but they were distinct nonetheless, also a sharp dark line defined the ring shadow, which was amazing close to the rings. The orb of the planet was clearly not circular and looked flat on top and bottom.
At one point the seeing snapped into sharp focus and I could see which way the rings were presented. The "white" rings were hovering above the "cream" orb of the planet, that was quite a thrill to behold. I'm guessing this is still related to the Opposition affect (though it is a day past Opposition).
Now the details of the sketch:
C9.25 with 9mm T6 Nagler
Transparency was above average
Seeing was 4/9 with fleeting moments of >6/9
Temp was around 45 deg F with high humidity and a light breeze.
Raw sketch and notes made with pencil in a sketch book.
Black cardstock used with White Charcoal, White Pastel, "Flesh" Pastel for the orb of Saturn, Black Charcoal added to define ring shadow on the planet.
Confirmed orientation and moon placement using SkyTools3 (awesome planning software by the way).
I hope you enjoy it.