First Saturn for the Season

Hi all

With the forecast predicting clear skies for the next few days, I took the opportunity to get up early this morning and image Saturn – my first image for this Saturn season.

It’s also my first planetary image in what feels like months (I think it literally has been months), so I eased back into it with a shorter focal length than normal – also partly because Saturn is so dim and so low that it wouldn’t be likely to support high-resolution just yet.

The seeing was quite acceptable given the low altitude, reminds me why I love imaging in the early mornings. It was almost a non-event, as clouds greeted me when I first went outside at 4:40am. I waited them out until about 5:10am when I was just starting to pack up, when they finally started clearing. I captured 1 complete run, and then packed up as it was time to get ready for work. Clouds came back shortly after, so I was lucky to get any image at all.

With the rings closing up this year, it’s really going to be a challenge to capture any ring detail like the Cassini Division – and it’s much fainter than normal too.

12″ Newt on EQ6, with DMK21AU04 + 2x barlow. 15fps for 1 minute per channel. ~85 frames stacked in each channel.
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Quite happy with the outcome given it’s the first for the season. Hopefully more to come in the following days and weeks.
Thanks for looking.

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