Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Scale Of Things

Wow, check out this composite picture of the moon partially occulting Saturn. Even as an Astronomer my mental image just didn't have Saturn appearing that big relative to the moon, click for the big version.

Here is the description from LPOD:

In England on March 2nd, 2007 the Moon slowly moved past Saturn. From Pete’s observing site in Selsey the Moon just barely nicked the planet itself but pleasingly covered about 40% of the rings. Here are Pete’s words on how he captured this event: The difference in brightness of the Moon compared to Saturn was huge at the time and in order to get both objects imaged simultaneously, one must suffer. In this case I exposed correctly for Saturn which meant that the Moon’s limb was burnt out. A number of shots were taken at 30s intervals (10s movie captures at 60fps, fixed on Saturn) which gave me the positional information I needed to build the composite you see here. The RGB image of Saturn was captured just before the occultation and the lunar limb just after (this is a three frame mosaic). The interval positions shown are separated by 90s in time. South is up in the image and the Moon would be moving towards the upper right.


IbaDaiRon said...


(Here btw is what it looks like in the old version of Celestia I have on the office machine; 2007/03/02 12:00:37 JST (+0900), 445.31x. ... Virtual thrills for those of us with no access to the real thing!)

Mark Norris said...

Very Cool, its actually a pretty good match.

The one I showed was done by a guy with a pretty standard amateur set up, I think it was a 10" telescope.

IbaDaiRon said...

Guilty confessions time!

When I was a kid I had a cheapo refracting telescope; then later while in high-school I conned my uncle into dragging his reflecting one out of storage and borrowed it for a few years. I don't remember the sizes or powers now, but at least I can say that I've seen the rings of Saturn and the four large Jovian moons with the naked augmented eye! :)

We didn't have an astronomy club at any of my schools and only one of my friends was even remotely into it. In a different environment, who knows?

Another one of those roads not taken...