Saturn in 2013.

Observing Sites: Selsey, West Sussex, UK. +5043' N, 0047" W. Souni & Mt. Olympus, Cyprus. +3453' N, 3325" E.

Opposition date: April 28th, 2013. Apparent Opposition Diameter: 18.98". Declination:-1231'. Constellation: Virgo/Libra.

Instrumentation: 356mm Reflector. PGR Flea3 CCD camera.

 

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Saturn, July 19th, 2013. A rather unique observation and my last of the apparition. Obtained at almost the same time as the Cassini Spacecraft's portrait photo of Saturn with the Earth/Moon alongside. The view above shows the view of Saturn at the same time from Earth. Good conditions prevailed allowing sharp views and images. A lovely view of Saturn through the telescope was also enjoyed at the end of the session and one couldn't help think about that distant spacecraft staring back!


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Saturn, July 8th, 2013. Some unexpected excellent seeing conditions despite the low altitude of the planet. Several spots are visible across the planet as well as many minor details across the ring system. The northern polar hexagon feature is also clearly seen.


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Saturn, July 7th, 2013. Fairly good seeing but poor transparency. No spots of note across the planet.


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Saturn, July 6th, 2013. Fairly decent seeing for the low altitude. Again no spots can be seen across the disk.


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Saturn, July 5th, 2013. Good seeing for the low altitude. No spots of note across the disk in this red light image.


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Saturn's northern polar hexagon feature - April 21st, 2013.

Saturn's polar hexagon is a persisting hexagonal cloud pattern around the north pole of Saturn, located at about 78N. The sides of the hexagon are about 13,800 km (8,600 mi) long, which is longer than the Earth's diameter. It rotates with a period of 10h 39m 24s, the same period as Saturn's radio emissions from its interior. However, the hexagon does not shift in longitude like other clouds in the visible atmosphere.

The increasing tilt northward of the planet as seen from Earth he enabled amateur astronomers for the first time to finally observe this feature. The above polar projection image shows the feature captured on April 21st.


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Saturn, April 23rd and 26th, 2013. Poor seeing so only red light images were possible. Little of note across the planet.


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Saturn, April 22nd, 2013. Poor to fair seeing. A bright storm is visible within the bright belt remaining from the great storm of 2011.


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Saturn, April 21st, 2013. Taken from back down near sea level. Despite this seeing was still good. Various small storms are again visible across the planet.


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Saturn, April 20th, 2013. From Mt. Olympus, Cyprus at 1900m altitude under excellent conditions (both seeing and transparency.) Various small storms are visible across the disk, along with various brightness variations within the ring system. The narrow encke division is also clearly seen around the ansae of ring A. 


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Saturn, April 17th, 2013. Fair seeing. Some faint storms are visible on the disk including a bright spot in the brighter band left over from the great storm of 2011.


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Saturn, April 13th and 14th, 2013. Poor seeing on both nights hence only red light images of the planet were obtained.


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Saturn, December 27th, 2012. Good seeing and the first image of the new apparition. The rings have notably opened up since last apparition.

 


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