March 26, 2005


Provided and copyright by: Claude Boivin
Summary authors & editors: Claude Boivin; Jim Foster

The photo above of the beautiful ringed planet, Saturn, was taken from Saint Félicien, Québec on February 5, 2005. This day happened to be a Saturday, which of course is a word derived from "Saturn." For three hours, from around 19:15 to 22:05, I was fortunate to have about a 15 minute window when the sky was sufficiently clear and the atmosphere stable enough to take this picture. Saturn is the 2nd most massive planet in our solar system (mass of 5.68e26 kg) and also the 2nd largest (diameter of 120,536 km at the equator). It's the sixth distant-most planet from the Sun (1,429,400,000 km or 9.54 Astronomical Units). The ringed planet is currently one of the brightest objects in the night sky. Look for it in the constellation Gemini, which rides high in the sky a few hours after sunset.

Photo details: quickcam pro 3000 webcam, Celestron 11 telescope at F/25, 1/5 second exposure, rate of exposure - 5 images per second, composite of a 3 minute AVI video clip, Iris acquisition, Registax 3 processing.

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