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Friday, April 24th, 2009
CLUB NIGHT:  Spent most of the club meeting (Southwest Washington Stargazers) observing Saturn.  The view was about as good as it gets..... through Scott K's 12" X-Class Dob (1500mm focal length) and a 5mm Williams Optic eyepiece.   The gap in the rings was clear, the shadow of the rings across the planet, the shadow of the planet on the rings, etc.   I did not study the image close enough to see if I could make out the Cassini Division, but I suspect it would have come into view at times with steady viewing.
 
When I got home (about 10:10pm), I relaxed at bit and then set up my scope to try and capture some high magnification video of the planet.   I was all set up, centered the planet without the barlow and then put a 3x barlow on the camera.  When I got the image focused, I noticed, no matter how high I turned the 'gain', the image was very faint.  After working with the camera controls for about 15 minutes without improving the image, I happened to look up.....
 
What a shock:  The sky had been crystal clear..........now it was covered in clouds and Saturn was barely visible....a dim speck.  No wonder the video image was so poor.   So instead of having some video clips to process, I am forced to re-process some video I took earlier in the month.   The image below isn't great, but it roughly approximates the view through the eyepiece....although slightly less sharp.
 
 


Image Gallery For This Session
Saturn 2009 4 05 b5a
   

Saturn_2009_4_05_b5a.jpg
Click picture above for larger version
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