Saturn on January 3, 2004

This view of Saturn shows the planet's southern hemisphere. Saturn is a gas giant like Jupiter, and has similar bands of clouds. However, the cloud details on Saturn are much more difficult to see. Not only is the planet's globe smaller as seen from our perspective, but the cloud bands have less contrast. This image has been enhanced to show the cloud bands, and even reveals difficult to see details in the south polar region. Compare this image to the cloud features that can be seen on Jupiter, such as the Great Red Spot.

At the time this image was taken, Saturn had a size of 21 arc-seconds, and the rings were 47 arc-seconds across. Saturn was only three days past opposition and appeared as a yellowish -0.5 magnitude star in the sky.

This image was taken using a ToUcam Pro web cam on an FCT-150 telescope with a TeleVue 4x PowerMate. The images were taken from my backyard in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Constellation: Gemini
RA: 06h 41m 02.3s Dec: +22d 26' 20"
January 3, 2004
Image by Sid Leach
Scottsdale, Arizona

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