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Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2006

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Saturn and Moons, Derek Aupperlee

Saturn and Moons

Named after the ancient Roman god of Agriculture, Saturn is the second largest planet in the Solar System. It is also the least dense of all the planets. In fact, its specific gravity is less than that of water. It is made up of 75% hydrogen and about 25% helium with trace amounts of water, methane, ammonia, and "rock". Saturn's core consists of a rocky core, a liquid metallic hydrogen layer, and a molecular hydrogen layer. It is about 1,279,800,000 km away. Galileo was the first to observe Saturn through a telescope in 1610. Saturn is so hot that it radiates more energy than it receives from the sun.

This is an over-exposed image of Saturn and three of it's moons: Rhea on the right, and Dione and Tethys on the left. The large vertical object cutting through the center of the planet is photographic "bleed" from the excess light. Rhea is compose mostly of ice and rock, as is Dione. Tethys is made up of mostly ice. Saturn's linear size is approximately 750,000 km.


Right Ascension (J2000) 08:28:54:20
Declination (J2000) + 19:48:07.0
Filters used Clear
Exposure time per filter 1 second
Date observed

March 13, 2006