Posted 13 March 2010 - 06:31 PM
Posted 13 March 2010 - 09:55 PM
Great sketched observation. I don't want to hijack your thread, but I'm curious about spokes and other's observations of them. I believe I have only seen them twice and had made sketches during these two instances. A couple of years ago a scientist at MacDonald observatory e-mailed me about my observations for a research paper. One thing I remember is, like you, I saw them when the rings were opened up quite a bit. Considering what the scientist knew about the spokes, it is 1: extremely rare to see them and 2: even more unlikely to see them when the rings are opened up at +20 degrees inclination.
I have one of my two sketches here at Cloudy Nights at:
Any thoughts about this?
Posted 14 March 2010 - 12:17 AM
Posted 14 March 2010 - 05:56 AM
I was mistaken about the Chick Capen being there in person at that time; since he passed away in 1986, but was there in spirit I am sure.
We where together at Parker’s during a similar observing session several years earlier when the four of us saw almost the same stuff on Saturn. Neat when all four of us made independent sketches that had much the same spokes and other stuff on Saturn. I will look for the observation in question.
Since that time I have seen spokes with my 12.5” and 16” when the rings were less open, but would have to go back into my records. Yes, very rare to see spokes and it sounds right about the rings being nearly 20 or more degrees De (Declination of Earth).
Posted 14 March 2010 - 06:11 AM
Posted 14 March 2010 - 06:48 AM
i'm curious about the circular feature you drew around the north pole in your first sketch, could it be a storm?
when will the rings be 20° open or more again?
Posted 14 March 2010 - 09:45 AM
Posted 14 March 2010 - 05:29 PM
Outstanding observations of Saturn which show the spokes over Ring B. I do remember the night that we got together with Chick Capen and detected the spokes independently of each other (each of us observing Saturn through Don Parker's 16-inch Newtonian and not reporting our findings until after all of us made an observation). It was exciting being able to make out the Ring B spokes, especially with Chick Capen present. Charles F. Capen was our beloved mentor and one of the most respected planetary authorities on Mars at the time. I have darkened the background of your first observation (July 30, 1987) and have attached it below. I hope that you like it.
The ring system will be tilted (angled) greater than twenty degrees after 2014 and reaching a maximum of approximately 27 degrees on October 16, 2017. I have provided a link to a graphic by Curt Renz on the tilt of Saturn's rings between 1980 and 2039. http://www.curtrenz.com/1290s.html
Thank you for providing us all with your excellent observations of the planets in the past. I hope that you are able to observe again soon.
Posted 15 March 2010 - 12:12 PM