Popular Astronomy

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Here are some pictures of Saturn taken by SPA members during 2012.

This lovely sketch, made by Peter Grego, shows all the main features of the planet that are currently on display; the beautiful open ring system with the dark Cassini Division running around it, the shadow of the planet falling on the rings and the subtle system of light zones and dark belts on the planet itself.

While this image, by Martin Lewis, shows all those same features as seen by the camera. The North Pole is tilted towards us and there is a subtle green band in higher northern latitudes. This seems to be the remnant of a giant storm system that ran around the whole planet after forming from a single white spot on the surface. Images showing a little of that spot and its development are at the bottom of this page. On the very inside of the bright ring system there is a dark grey ring, known as the ‘Crepe’ ring that can be hard to see or image.

In this image, by Steve Norrie using a one-shot-colour camera, the crepe ring has also been caught beautifully.


While in this wider-field view David Finnigan has caught a veritable swarm of Saturn’s moons as well as background stars.

A few images of Saturn by SPA members when it was in Virgo during last year's apparition.

Steve Norrie took this image from Coningsby, Lincolnshire on  02 June 2011 at 2255UT. Steve used a Celestron 9.25 SCT with DMK21 Mono CCD plus 1.5 Barlow. Registax and Photoshop processing.

Image by Cliff Meredith

Image by Martin Lewis

Sketch by Graham Sparrow