A bit better Saturn

Fortunately, yesterday was not cloudy and I could do further experiments with Saturn. Using a Barlow 2x and Casio Exilim EX-FS10 camera I filmed some videos at highest resolution through the big dobsonian telescope Meade Lightbridge 16-inch. Weather conditions were good. I did a better collimation than previous days, getting sharp focus from time to time. Stacking the frames with Registax 5 I got this resulting image:

Saturn & Titan Meade Lightbridge 16-inch

In the left side of the image, it is visible a satellite of Saturn. It is Titan, with 9 magnitude. Over it, a bit at right there is almost visible another one, Rhea of magnitude 10. Visually it was observable another one aligned to Titan and Rhea, but it is not visible in the image. It was Dione with 11 magnitude.

Luckily this image shows the gap between foreside ring and its rear part. The image effective resolution according to my calculations is 1 arcsecond. Two cloud bands are visible one in the north hemisphere and the other in the south.

I would like to break the 1 arcsecond resolution barrier, but I don’t know if it is possible with this telescope. Theoretically it delivers a 0.3 arcsecond resolution because it has 400mm of mirror diameter.


7 Responses to “A bit better Saturn”

  1. Hi!

    How DO you calculate from the image, that it has a 1 arcsecond resolution?

    • computerphysicslab Says:

      It is easy. Knowing that Saturn disc is 20″ size, and measuring disc size in pixels (80 pixels) you find that the image has a resolution of 0.25″/px. But the finest observable detail you see in this picture is the gap between Saturn’s ring and the planet both sides, left and right. This feature measures 4 pixels, so, the effective resolution of the image is 4 pixels, and that is 1 arc second.

  2. jules Says:

    Hello !
    in fact i will buy a Meade 16″ telescope, but im not really convinced by the picture : do you see saturne the same as your picture with your eyes?
    i want also to look at the surface of the moon, and i would like to know if this telescope is better than the Celestron 9.25 CPC, as you can see with the first picture on this site :

    its awesome !

    Could you capture the same picture with the Meade telescope ?
    Thanks a lot !!

    • computerphysicslab Says:

      Great pictures! Until today I haven’t been able to grasp so much detail in my images as in yours. This is due to 2 problems. First, seeing conditions. To get nice details using a 16 inches telescope a very good seeing conditions are required. Second, collimation. Until now my telescope has not been perfectly collimated, and this is essential to get sharp images. So, this telescope could theoretically beat a 9.25 CPC but probably it is very difficult to get the needed conditions to do so.

  3. h!
    what do you see in reality with your eye ? is it better ?

    • computerphysicslab Says:

      It depends on the weather conditions. When there is much turbulence, you may see fine details of Saturn just in a very short instant of time, meanwhile, the camera is not going to be able to capture a so tiny moment.

      So, under heavy turbulence, looking through an eyepiece usually gives better results than taking shots or videos through a camera.

      Nevertheless, under steady atmosphere, the details captured by a video camera or a photographic camera may be fainter that what you can see through the eyepiece.

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