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Saturn 09.03.09

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#1 varmint

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 02:12 AM

Hello all,

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.

Attached Files



#2 frank5817

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 12:36 PM

Jim,

A really, excellent sketch. Looks like the rings are reopening based on your nice sketch.

Frank :)

#3 CarlosEH

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 01:00 PM

Jim,

An excellent observation and report of Saturn. You were able to detect a good amount of detail over the globe and rings. The cream orb and white rings is an opposition effect. Thank you for sharing it with us all.

Carlos

#4 varmint

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 03:46 PM

Thanks for your comments Frank and Carlos.

I think "scale" bit me on this one. The more I look at it the more I don't like it. The rings got way too bloated and I couldn't get them to slim down to what I saw. What was marvelous to look at was how slim and sleek they were, yet when the seeing cooperated you could "see" the entire ring disc in front of the planet. It wasn't eye-popping 3D, but enough that you could "tell."

I think the chalk and pastels I used require a larger area to work effectively, I may try again tonight but not bound my image by a EP circle and do a free-sketch (seeing permitting).

#5 CarlosEH

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 04:15 PM

Jim,

You may want to use Sol Robbin's excellent Saturn template for your own observations. Here it is below.

http://www.cloudynig...b 2009 copy.JPG

Carlos

#6 varmint

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 10:41 PM

Thanks Carlos. I may use that template at some point. Part of my objective was to try and do it myself,especially to show the ring separation in front of the planet. I might have to wait until next year's Opposition though... :grin:

#7 rodelaet

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 04:44 PM

Jim,

Your sketch is very enjoyable, even more with the fact that you include the halo around the planet. Bravo!

Keep up the good work. :cool:

#8 darkstar528

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 08:06 PM

Great sketch!!!!!...I saw it myself for the first time tonight and it looked just like that!!!!

#9 varmint

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 12:12 AM

Thanks Rony and Stephen, I was hoping to get some time tonight to do another observation, but work and family have conspired to keep me indoors tonight.

Plus looks like I'm gonna have to miss Titan's transit in the morning...

#10 JayinUT

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 07:21 AM

Jim,

I really like your sketch and your use of the chalk and pastels. I like how you captured several of the bands on Saturn.

#11 Dr Morbius

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 12:39 PM

2 thumbs up for your sketch from me. Wish I could do as good. :tomatodance:






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