Archive for solar system

Moons of Saturn through telescope

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2011/03/09 by computerphysicslab

Titan, Tethys, Rhea, Dione, Iapetus are five bright moons of Saturn, the ring planet in our Solar system. They can be observed through amateur telescopes with at least 100mm (4 inches) of aperture. The following picture was taken through a 5 inch telescope, a Celestron NexStar 5 SE XLT. It is an image composed of 84 single subframes of 1 second of exposition each one.

It was taken on 2011-03-06 02h10mUT using a DBK 21AU04.AS Imaging Source CCD camera. Planet was recorded in a different exposition through a video stacked (shift and add) using Registax free software.

Check out the JPL simulation matching the picture above.

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Mare Crisium and Palus Somni

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2011/02/28 by computerphysicslab

Mare Crisium is one of my favorite Moon areas. There is a lot of details inside Crisium, but it is not easy to detect, because it is very fine. High aperture telescopes are needed to spot the small impact craters inside this maria, because its typical lengths are 1 or 2 kilometers wide.

Near Mare Crisium there is another big area called Palus Somni (below), that is visible in this picture made with an amateur telescope. The big and bright crater in the middle is Proclus:

The telescope used is a Celestron Nexstar 5SE and the camera is a Canon EOS 450d (Rebel XSi) DSLR. The picture actually is a mosaic made of two panes.

Pluto, a dwarf planet

Posted in Astrophotography with tags , , , , , , , on 2010/10/22 by computerphysicslab

This picture is the result of stacking 9 subframes of 120 seconds of exposition each one through a 6-inch refractor telescope.

Pluto is a dwarf planet in the solar system, part of a double planetary system with its satellite Charon. It has a highly eccentric orbit inclined to the ecliptic, which runs until closer at perihelion inside the orbit of Neptune. The Pluto-Charon system has two moons: Nix and Hydra. These are celestial bodies that share the same category.

It was discovered on February 18, 1930 by American astronomer Clyde William Tombaugh (1906-1997) from the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, and as the ninth and smallest planet in the Solar System by the International Astronomical Union and public opinion from then until 2006, but their group of planets in the solar system was always the subject of controversy among astronomers.

Its great distance from the Sun and the Earth, coupled with its small size, prevents shine below the magnitude 13.8 in its best moments (orbital perihelion and opposition), so it can be spotted only with telescopes bigger than 200 mm aperture (although there are people that says it can be spotted through apertures of 125 mm), photographically or CCD camera. It appears as star-looking, yellow, featureless point of light (apparent diameter of less than 0.1 arcsec).