Daily Archives: April 13, 2014

Saturn in Blue and Gold

Image Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA

 Why is Saturn partly blue? The above picture of Saturn approximates what a human would see if hovering close to the giant ringed world. The above picture was taken in 2006 March by the robot Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn. Here Saturn’s majestic rings appear directly only as a thin vertical line. The rings show their complex structure in the dark shadows they create on the image left. Saturn’s fountain moonE nceladus, only about 500 kilometers across, is seen as the bump in the plane of the rings. The northern hemisphere of Saturn can appear partly blue for the same reason that Earth’s skies can appear blue — molecules in the cloudless portions of both planet’s atmospheres are better at scattering blue light than red. When looking deep into Saturn’s clouds, however, the natural gold hue of Saturn’s clouds becomes dominant. It is not known whysouthern Saturn does not show the same blue hue – one hypothesis holds that clouds are higher there. It is also not known why Saturn’s clouds are colored gold.

NASA APOD 13-Apr-14

Emission nebula IC 5068 in the constellation Cygnus

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IC 5068 is an emission nebula which is a region of hydrogen gas that faintly emits from energy imparted by nearby stars.   The nebula is located very close to the more famous Pelican Nebula and North American Nebula, all located in the constellation Cygnus.

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Stellarvue SV 152
Mounts: Paramount MX
Software: DC-3 Dreams ACP, PixInsight PixInsinght 1.8 RC7, Maxim DL, photoshop
Filters: Astrodon OIII, Astrodon H-alpha 5nm, AstronDon SII 5nm, Astrodon E-series LRGB

Author: Mike Miller

AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI
13 April 2014