[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Calvin Observatory
Home
Hours
Directions
Weather Forecast
Cool Images
Equipment
Publications
Observing Request
External Links
 
Related Links
Wildrik Botjes Planetarium
Physics & Astronomy Department

Astr110 Photography Projects, Fall 2004

Previous imageUp to Astr110 IndexNext image

Saturn, Matt Kool and Taylor Pomykala

Helix Nebula

For hundreds of years we were only able to see Saturn from a distance but with modern technology we are able to visit the planet. It was first visited by NASA's pioneer 11 satellite in 1979 and we have been learning new things about the beautiful planet ever since. Saturn is the least dense of all the planets. The composition of Saturn is very similar to the solar nebula that it was derived from which is 75% hydrogen, 25% helium with small traces of water, methane and ammonia rock. Saturn also has a rocky core, a liquid metallic hydrogen layer and a molecular hydrogen layer. Also, like the other jovian planets Saturn has a very strong magnetic field.

As you can see in this picture if appears that Saturn has rings. This is true but there's more than one right. It is actually many sets of rings separated from one another. Although the rings appear that they continue they are actually made from small particles each in its own independent orbit. Some orbiting rocks are kilometers in size and some are much smaller. What you cannot see in this picture are the many moons of Saturn. Scientists keep finding new moons with the newest scientific technology. If you look in to the sky at night saturn will be pretty bright but it distinguishes itself from other stars because it does not twinkle like other stars. Looking at the beauty of Saturn shows us how wonderful God's creation really is and His magnificent power.We have been blessed to be able to enjoy God's creation and must make sure we respect and maintain what is truly a gift.

References:
http://www.nineplanets.org

Right Ascension (J2000) 7:54:12.3
Declination (J2000) 20:47.33
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R)
Exposure time per filter .01 seconds in (V), .03 seconds in (B) , .3 seconds in (R)
Date/Time

November 25, 2004, 9:19 pm (V, B)
November 3, 2004, 5:32 (R)