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"Saturn" 11/11/99 Kitt Peak, Arizona
(Image by Adam Block, Willis Greiner and Cheryl Price. Copyright NOAO, all rights reserved.)

This CCD image was obtained using a 16" Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope operating at f/10. The camera used was a SBIG ST-8; sky chart software was Software Bisque's The Sky, acquisition and image manipulation software was Cyanogen's Maxim DL. Ten exposures were taken through each of three filters; blue, green and red. The best image from each filter "run" was chosen; the three separate color images were combined to form a raw combined color image. Dark and flat-field exposures were taken and applied to the raw images. An unsharp-mask computer routine was then applied to the combined data, resulting in the final color image shown here.

Saturn has always held a great fascination for observers. Originally thought to be the only planet with rings (we now know that Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune also have dim but distinct ring systems) Saturn is an awesome sight with even the most modest of telescopes. I believe that everyone remembers their first view of the great ringed planet. Saturn also possesses the largest moon in the Solar System (Titan); it is one of only a handful of planetary satellites that has its own stable atmosphere. It is on these moons of either Saturn or Jupiter that astronomers now feel we may encounter recognizable life.


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All images and narratives copyright Willis Greiner, all rights reserved.

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