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Saturn with a high latitude storm (2018Jul24)

Saturn with a high latitude storm Saturn with a high latitude storm © Frederick Steiling
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Target Information
Main Target Designation(s) Saturn
Companion Object(s) High latitude storm
All Exposures
Date(s) of acquisition 2018Jul24 at 05:25UT
Location Defiance, MO
Capture resolution 640x480
Target Altitude 26.3°
Luminance Exposures
Total capture 3376 x 53.3ms at 62% gain
Stack source 25% of 720" video at 18 fps (avg)
Red Exposures
Total capture 1000 x 142.4ms at 62% gain
Stack source 1000 frames of 600" video at 7 fps (avg)
Green Exposures
Total capture 750 x 217.7ms at 62% gain
Stack source 750 frames of 450" video at 4 fps (avg)
Blue Exposures
Total capture 750 x 264.7ms at 62% gain
Stack source 750 frames of 450" video at 3 fps (avg)
Imager ZWO ASI174MM
Filters ZWO 1.25" RGB
Telescope/Lens Celestron C14 XLT SCT
Magnifiers Tele Vue 2x Powermate
Correctors ZWO Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector
Effective Focal Length 7820mm (f/22)
Mount Celestron CGE Pro
Focuser Moonlite 2.5" CSL
Acquisition FireCapture 2.5
Guiding None
Processing AutoStakkert 3, Registax 6, WinJUPOS 10, PixInsight 1.8

Aiming to improve on my previous Saturn, I set out this time with a plan to acquire longer color videos (between 450" and 600" as compared to 90") and also take a long set of luminance data (720") to use as true luminance instead of relying on the red exposures to provide the detail.  The added data used in combination with a lower gain has resulted in more noiseless frames, while the shorter exposure lengths of the luminance data resulted in "beating the atmospheric seeing" a little better.  The result: My best Saturn yet... and a surprise!

High in the northern hemisphere in this shot is a bright streak.  This unanticipated feature is a massive storm!  With Saturn's diameter coming in at about 9.5x that of Earth's, it's a pretty easy estimate to say that this storm is larger than our own planet.  It's a good thing though -- any smaller and it'd be a lot tougher for me to act as a meteorologist from 750 million miles.

As Saturn begins to sink lower into the evening sky, I feel pretty comfortable marking this image as my Saturnian prize for the season.  Next up are more Mars attempts!


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