A Late Season Saturn in Good Seeing

On Sunday night, 3rd May, I was out capturing some images of the Moon for a friend and even though I was using the ED80 and DMK, I noticed the seeing was quite steady so once finished with the Moon, I put the 12″ Newt back on my EQ6 mount.

I was pleased to see Saturn quite steady on the screen, with the Cassini Division visible in the raw video during moments of stable conditions. I only captured 2 runs, as I knew the seeing wasn’t going to get any better at that time, but it was enough to capture my sharpest image of Saturn this apparition – a great surprise for being so late in the season.

Edit: Reprocessed version replaced the old image to get rid of the excess blue.

Saturn, Sunday night 3rd May (reprocessed)

Saturn, Sunday night 3rd May (reprocessed)

Continue reading for capture and processing information.

Captured with my 12″ Newt, DMK21AU04 and 5x powermate, the Red and Green channels were recorded at 15fps for 2 minutes each, and the Blue channel was recorded at 7.5fps for 2 minutes.

Approx 650 frames were stacked in R and G, and 400 in B, to make up the final RGB image, which was assembled in AstraImage with LR deconvolution.

In Photoshop, I adjusted levels, curves and colour balance. The blue bias is because it was captured at 7.5fps and resulted in a brighter channel than R and G. I hope it’s not too distracting, I toned it down some.

The red channel was just stunning, but the blue channel held the image back from being even better. I used 50% red channel as luminance. No storms or spots were recorded.

Thanks for looking.

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