Friday, June 14, 2013

Seeing and Saturn

The environment really makes a difference when it comes to planetary imaging. Here are two images of Saturn; the first from a windy night with poor seeing, the second from last night--calm and good seeing.

Windy, Poor Seeing

Calm, Good Seeing
The differences are dramatic. With better conditions the artifacts at the ring-tips are gone, there's more ring structure, Saturn's limb and cloud belts are better defined, and the polar vortex can be seen. Contrast is higher, too. (Differences in color balance are due to processing, not the conditions.)

Now imagine if the seeing had been excellent. Maybe some day I'll have a third image that illustrates that.

(Both images were created using a Point Grey Chameleon, Celestron C925 XLT, and TeleVue 2X Barlow, FireCapture and Registax 6.)

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