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Wildrik Botjes Planetarium
Physics & Astronomy Department

Astr110 Photography Projects, Fall 2004

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Saturn, Kyle Vermeulen


Saturn is the second largest planet in our solar system, and the sixth planet from the sun. Saturn is the farthest plant visible to the naked eye, thus has been know since early man. Written records of Saturn date as far back as the Assyrians, who believed Saturn was a star. Saturn was first seen through a telescope in 1610 by Galileo, who mistakenly thought the planet and it's rings was a combination of three planets. In 1655 Christiaan Huygens realized that Saturn is surrounded by a ring. More recently, on September 1, 1979, NASA's Pioneer 11 became the first man made object to reach Saturn, and the probe collected further data on the planet.

According to scientific evidence, Saturn formed more than four billion years ago. It is made up of mostly hydrogen and helium gasses, with a rocky core, a liquid metallic hydrogen layer and a molecular hydrogen layer. Saturn is incredibly hot, with a core temperature of 12,000 degrees Kelvin (21,150 degrees Fahrenheit). The golden-colored bands on Saturn are caused from a combination of heat rising and the powerful winds on the surface of the planet. The winds reach speeds of 1,800 kilometers per hour (1,118 mph)! Saturn has 31 moons.




Right Ascension (J2000) 07:54:12.3
Declination (J2000) 20:47:33
Filters used blue(B), green(V), and red(R)
Exposure time per filter .01 in V, .03 in B and R

November 25, 2004, 9:19 PM (VB)
November 3, 2004, 5:32 AM (R)