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Saturn+ASI120MM, Good Seeing&Lotsa Detail+Wjupos!!

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#101 bunyon

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 04:27 PM

Also, if you look at some of Damian Peach's 2012 photos, there are some rounded corners on the NPZ features too.

Mike


I suspect there are quite a few out there. I'd think any really good Saturn from last year has a decent chance.

#102 poita

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 04:38 PM

I'd say you definitely captured the Hexagon there.
Why? Because I didn't know about the Hexagon, and when I saw your image my first thought was "Wow, nice image, shame that your processing made the pole go all hexagonal though..." Then I read the rest of the thread and felt like a goose!

But I saw it when I *wasn't* expecting to see it, so it isn't people's expectation making them see something that isn't there.

#103 MvZ

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 04:50 PM

Hope you don't mind oosting this here. I just processed three infrared images I made in May 2012 in infrared light when Saturn was at 30 degrees altitude. The images were rather noisy, especially towards the poles. The rings weren't open that much, but it appears the hex can be seen!

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#104 Sunspot

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 05:22 PM

Damian's December 27th Saturn image definitely shows hints of the hex pattern. I think if the image was contrast enhanced it would stand out even more.

Paul

#105 Mirzam

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 05:41 PM

All this discussion raises an interesting question (to me at least): If an amateur telescope can capture this detail, might if have been seen by classic visual observers, such as E. E. Barnard, Percival Lowell, or even Steve O'Meara? The 36" Lick refractor used occasionally by Barnard was in an area of good seeing conditions (unlike Yerkes where he later worked). Barnard once observed an occultation of Iapetus by Saturn's ring system and noted (quantitatively) that there were variations in the amount of dimming, presumably due to variations in ring density (presaging the discovery of the hundreds of minor ring gaps). He made this observation with a 12" refractor. Why it it that Barnard never saw the polar vortex feature? Is it possible that the feature did not exist at that time?

JimC

#106 ToxMan

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:57 PM

I found an article (PubMed, of all places had the abstract) that says the first ground based observations were in 1990 and 91.

abstract

#107 Kokatha man

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 11:05 PM

Thanks again everyone - Poita, glad you reappraised my processing skills! :)

Freddy, of course you can use the image(s) - sure I'm keeping all the prize-money :lol:.....but this is what the Amateur Astronomer's community is all about imho, and why this post got the attention it has - it's all about our collective achievments and the (growing) relevance of our contribution to important "research" imho.

Paul, the Pic du Midi observations mentioned in that paper are also referred to in Leigh Fletchers blog link I provided earlier

http://planetaryweat...ewed-from-gr...

Hoping to post the WinJupos 4500 frames per channel in a little while if it's any improvement.....then we're off to our dark sky site for another couple of night targetting The Ringed One - and I think I've fixed the primary mirror slippage with a couple of setscrews and nuts from my workshop... :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed: :bow: :bow: :bow:

#108 Kokatha man

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:04 AM

Cheerio to this data from me.....leaving for the Murray Mallee right now (and picking up my new laptop glasses on the way!!! :lol:)

Here's a quick WinJupos combine of the rgb channels using the 4500 frames per channel I spoke about - don't know how it compares and it was pretty rushed to say the least, but here it is anyway for appraisal! :question: :)

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#109 wenjha

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:51 AM

this one is very clear!Hex...

Cheerio to this data from me.....leaving for the Murray Mallee right now (and picking up my new laptop glasses on the way!!! :lol:)

Here's a quick WinJupos combine of the rgb channels using the 4500 frames per channel I spoke about - don't know how it compares and it was pretty rushed to say the least, but here it is anyway for appraisal! :question: :)



#110 CPellier

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:30 AM

This absolutely great work !

#111 ToxMan

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:48 AM

We can't overlook in our excitement that there is plenty of other detail worthy of comment...

First, the storm remnant is very obvious. And, there are a number of spots visible along the northern latitudes' bands. I'm a little surprised that Enke division is not more obvious?? Especially when a number of other features are visible. But, I think is is the hardest feature to resolve.

May you be blessed on your excursion!

#112 bunyon

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:37 AM

All this discussion raises an interesting question (to me at least): If an amateur telescope can capture this detail, might if have been seen by classic visual observers, such as E. E. Barnard, Percival Lowell, or even Steve O'Meara? The 36" Lick refractor used occasionally by Barnard was in an area of good seeing conditions (unlike Yerkes where he later worked). Barnard once observed an occultation of Iapetus by Saturn's ring system and noted (quantitatively) that there were variations in the amount of dimming, presumably due to variations in ring density (presaging the discovery of the hundreds of minor ring gaps). He made this observation with a 12" refractor. Why it it that Barnard never saw the polar vortex feature? Is it possible that the feature did not exist at that time?

JimC


It's a very interesting question, I think. It would be nice to know if the hexagon has been around for a long time or is a temporary feature (though, note that 1986 is now 27 years ago). However, I doubt that it could be observed, definitively, visually. It would most likely not have been observed by a northern observer - when the North Pole of Saturn is most visible, Saturn is at its southernmost point in Earth's sky. In addition, I think if one is visually observing Saturn, one would be watching for moments of great seeing while the planet shimmered around those moments. I think it would be hard to convince oneself, let alone others, that any perceived hexagonal shape was the real shape and not some illusion brought about by strange seeing.

It might be worth going through the notes to see if anyone ever wrote down that they were fooled into seeing a hexagon at the North Pole - I doubt they would have reported such, but they may have noted it, if they could see it.

It's striking how much finer the detail is in modern amateur images than in the best sketches of professional observers with much larger instruments. Their observations were, in turn, much better than the photography of their era.

Going in the other direction in time, I think with the rate imaging tech and skill is increasing, someone will nab the north polar vortex, if just as a dot at the center of the hexagon, by the time Saturn starts back north in our skies. Already there is hint of detail (perhaps real, perhaps not) in Darryl's hexagon.

#113 lcd1080

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 10:48 AM

So the race is on to capture Saturn's north polar vortex!

I wonder what type of image analysis would be required to verify that the photographic signature of the vortex is truly indicative of the actual structure.

Pete

#114 Fogboundturtle

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:09 AM

ZW Optics should pay you. What a great publicity for this what seems like a great camera.

#115 DesertRat

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:47 AM

Words fail on your latest process Darryl. As you say down there - crikey! And here in the old west some say Ace High!

Glenn

#116 Kokatha man

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 12:10 AM

Thanks again for the kind comments!

Paul, I'm sure hoping to grab the Polar Vortex if at all possible - I believe the dark "border" to the NPZ is "real" but as to whether anything inside the "Hex" is or not I cannot say.....but this is half the fun of our efforts as AA'ers imo - allways trying to push the boundaries! :)

ZW Optics should pay you. What a great publicity for this what seems like a great camera.


Well, Sam did give me 2 free cameras, so I really can't complain.....and it was a buzz to be so involved with Sam, Torsten & Emil in getting the camera "out-there" with such a great program as FireCapture: I looked upon my role as the "whip-hand" - Sam did his share of pleading for mercy as I kept harassing him to improve this or that etc! :lol:

Indeed that was a real privilege.....not sure if I said this before but it was a real "leap of faith" to relinquish using my Flea3 and the first time I was at Tennant Creek for Jupiter I was trying to compare each and jumping back & forth - the second time I was up there I made the decision to go with the ASI120MM solely and I was rewarded with some great images from then on.....that when I'd thought that this year in Oz was going to be very poor for Jove's apparition! :)

Paul & Glenn - I ended up rushing the last process in all the most important stages, I suspect the Encke isn't so kindly dealt with because of this and/or maybe WinJupos isn't so focused upon ring detail, because I did notice the rings didn't fit into the Alignment Frames the way the disk does.....the first image in this thread shows Encke much better imo...I might repro those stages when we're back home.

Also, here's part of Prof. Agustin Sanchez-Lavega's email to me where he refers to his images back in 1991 at Pic du Midi:

"Dear Darryl,
Thanks a lot for this incredible image. As you mentioned probably is the first one of the hexagon taken by an amateur astronomer.
One Saturn year ago (in 1991)! we took Saturn CCD images with the Pic-du-Midi Obs., 1 m telescope that marginally showed the hexagon and the Polar Spot then present. A paper was published in Science (attached)."


Last night was a total cloud-out but we're ready if the opportunity arises; at the very least I'd like to test the stability of the primary mirror with my new locking mechanism, and how collimation and scope movement is affected.....it was such an easy thing to make and I suspect from "feeling" the primary adjuster knob that the mirror is quite "locked" in its' present position so hopefully no more movement.....also hope I've set the focal plane correctly!!! :question: although it will be simple to re-adjust. :)

Lastly here's the link to S&T's online "sky at a glance" for those interested.....

http://www.skyandtel...glance?pos=left

#117 Sunspot

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 09:05 AM

I'd like to find out what optics you use to get 5000mm on the C14. Even my shortest barlow gives me 7200mm. I'd love to get to about 5000 to 6000mm especially imaging Saturn.

I did my Jupiter images at 800x640 as suggested and that definitely worked out better...haven't processed any yet but it felt better at the eyepiece end.

I WAS hoping to try Saturn again this morning (seeing was miserable yesterday morning) but got nixed by the nasty "C" word. :roflmao:


Thanks again!
Paul

#118 sfugardi

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 09:23 AM

Mo, awesome work! I still prefer the 1st image. Check out the downloads on it, it's already up to 427 and counting! I think that is some kind of forum record. Hats off to you

Regards,
Steve

#119 Kokatha man

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 09:46 AM

I'd like to find out what optics you use to get 5000mm on the C14. Even my shortest barlow gives me 7200mm. I'd love to get to about 5000 to 6000mm especially imaging Saturn.
Paul


Paul - I use a TeleVue 2X barlow's lens element unscrewed from the rest of the Televue chrome barrel and black clamping section.....the exposed male thread end (ie, the rear) yields approx. 1.2X when right up hard against the camera's body section around the sensor (a few mm's from the sensor itself)

The other end of this lens element (ie, with an internal female thread) actually is the same thread (surprise! surprise! :shocked:) as the cheap GSO 1&1/4" extension tubes. :)

I have a special fitting I made up that allows me to vary the amplification from 1.2X to around 3X using the Televue 2x element merely by sliding the outer section in or out.....I'll post another pik showing its latest version sometime soon...

Steve, I agree presonally, the first shows the Encke much better imo, as I said to Paul (Toxman) recently... :)

I think the popularity is in part because all our images are sort of "common property" in that we are all out there trying our best...and if one gets a bit lucky on something it really could be any number of us who could've been that particular individual..... :waytogo:

#120 lcd1080

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 12:02 PM

...Also, here's part of Prof. Agustin Sanchez-Lavega's email to me where he refers to his images back in 1991 at Pic du Midi:

"Dear Darryl,
Thanks a lot for this incredible image. As you mentioned probably is the first one of the hexagon taken by an amateur astronomer.
One Saturn year ago (in 1991)! we took Saturn CCD images with the Pic-du-Midi Obs., 1 m telescope that marginally showed the hexagon and the Polar Spot then present. A paper was published in Science (attached)."

Were the Pic-du-Midi CCD images a part of the paper that was published in Science? It would be fun to see how the CCD cameras of 22 years ago compare with the current generation of photographic instruments.

Pete

#121 wenjha

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 09:18 PM

thanks Darryl
I awe you :grin: :bow:

Thanks again for the kind comments!

Paul, I'm sure hoping to grab the Polar Vortex if at all possible - I believe the dark "border" to the NPZ is "real" but as to whether anything inside the "Hex" is or not I cannot say.....but this is half the fun of our efforts as AA'ers imo - allways trying to push the boundaries! :)

ZW Optics should pay you. What a great publicity for this what seems like a great camera.


Well, Sam did give me 2 free cameras, so I really can't complain.....and it was a buzz to be so involved with Sam, Torsten & Emil in getting the camera "out-there" with such a great program as FireCapture: I looked upon my role as the "whip-hand" - Sam did his share of pleading for mercy as I kept harassing him to improve this or that etc! :lol:

Indeed that was a real privilege.....not sure if I said this before but it was a real "leap of faith" to relinquish using my Flea3 and the first time I was at Tennant Creek for Jupiter I was trying to compare each and jumping back & forth - the second time I was up there I made the decision to go with the ASI120MM solely and I was rewarded with some great images from then on.....that when I'd thought that this year in Oz was going to be very poor for Jove's apparition! :)

Paul & Glenn - I ended up rushing the last process in all the most important stages, I suspect the Encke isn't so kindly dealt with because of this and/or maybe WinJupos isn't so focused upon ring detail, because I did notice the rings didn't fit into the Alignment Frames the way the disk does.....the first image in this thread shows Encke much better imo...I might repro those stages when we're back home.

Also, here's part of Prof. Agustin Sanchez-Lavega's email to me where he refers to his images back in 1991 at Pic du Midi:

"Dear Darryl,
Thanks a lot for this incredible image. As you mentioned probably is the first one of the hexagon taken by an amateur astronomer.
One Saturn year ago (in 1991)! we took Saturn CCD images with the Pic-du-Midi Obs., 1 m telescope that marginally showed the hexagon and the Polar Spot then present. A paper was published in Science (attached)."


Last night was a total cloud-out but we're ready if the opportunity arises; at the very least I'd like to test the stability of the primary mirror with my new locking mechanism, and how collimation and scope movement is affected.....it was such an easy thing to make and I suspect from "feeling" the primary adjuster knob that the mirror is quite "locked" in its' present position so hopefully no more movement.....also hope I've set the focal plane correctly!!! :question: although it will be simple to re-adjust. :)

Lastly here's the link to S&T's online "sky at a glance" for those interested.....

http://www.skyandtel...glance?pos=left



#122 Kokatha man

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 10:49 PM

.....send any money you don't need to the "Build Kokatha man A Huge Transportable Telescope" fund Sam...!! :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:

Pete, I've looked at the pdf of that paper (too big to post, almost 6Mb and you need to register/login for the link)- but here is the link again to Leigh Fletcher's blog where you can go to the Pic du Midi report if you want to...

http://planetaryweat...ewed-from-gr...

I'm glad I wasn't trying to convince anyone here of the hex shape with the images therein.....but as you point out, ccd's have made enormous advances in that time!!! :)

#123 Kokatha man

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:38 AM

Hoping to image in the morning if these clouds stay away.....this morning we spent a lot of time really nailing collimation only to see clouds manifest very quickly and blot out the sky just before we were about to head for Saturn... :(

But them's the breaks and it happens to us all - often constantly! :bawling:

I got an email from Mike Foulkes, the Director of the BAA's Saturn section today: amid all the hub-bub about the NPZ's hexagonal shape his email suggested that probably the more/most important aspect of these images is that they very clearly show the storm activity in the Nthn. Hemisphere which has only been hinted at in most current images... :)

Thinking about all this atm, I hope that in hindsight I'm not blamed for any "flood" of Polar Projection maps on the forums :lol: - but I do think they will be very informative as we seek to image the Polar Vortex.....and they look quite cool! :cool:

#124 ZielkeNightsky

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 07:33 AM

Amazing set of images. Congrats Daryl.

#125 Mirzam

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 01:11 PM

Looking at the blog again, it's evident to me that other parts of Saturn's cloud structure have flat segments as well. Not just the north pole. I suspect that this has already been noted and studied by the Cassini folks.

JimC






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