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Astrophotos: Occultation of Saturn

Saturn heading behind the Moon on May 14, 2014. Credit and copyright: Silveryway on Flickr.

Saturn heading behind the Moon on May 14, 2014. Credit and copyright: Silveryway on Flickr.

Observers in Australia and New Zealand had a special treat this week: watching Saturn disappear behind the Moon during an event called an occultation. (You can read all the details of how and why this happens here in our preview article.) Catching an event like this with a camera is tricky… the bright Moon can wash out the comparatively tiny (from our vantage point) planet Saturn. But here, several astrophotographers had success. Above is a nice view from Silveryway on Flickr.

See an animation of the event below from astroblogger Ian Musgrave:

An animated gif of the occulation of Saturn by the Moon on May 14, 2014. Credit and copyright: Ian Musgrave.

Ian Musgrave from Australia used a 4″ Newtonian telescope, with a “Point and Shoot” Canon IXUS attached with inifinty to infinity focussing, 3xZoom, and a 25mm eye piece. You can see his entire set of images on his website here.

Widefield view of the occultation of Saturn on May 14, 2014. Credit and copyright: Ian Musgrave.

Widefield view of the occultation of Saturn on May 14, 2014. Credit and copyright: Ian Musgrave.

Peter Lake, also from Australia not only took images of the event, but also did a live Hangout on G+.

“Live hangouts and driving a telescope live is a tricky business,” Peter wrote on his website. “I lost focus playing around trying to improve the image due to the thin cloud.” He added that the night sky wasn’t ideal that evening. “The full moon was shining through thin clouds, washing out a bit of the detail.”

Saturn getting ready to head behind the Moon. Credit and copyright: Peter Lake.

Saturn getting ready to head behind the Moon. Credit and copyright: Peter Lake.

You can watch a replay of Peter’s Hangout below:

Saturn and the Moon diffusion. The clouds drifted across the sky, Saturn and the Moon shone bright, the view from the UK. Credit and copyright: Sarah and Simon Fisher.

Saturn and the Moon diffusion. The clouds drifted across the sky, Saturn and the Moon shone bright, the view from the UK. Credit and copyright: Sarah and Simon Fisher.

Sarah and Simon Fisher from the UK captured this “diffused” view of Saturn close the Moon on the evening of May 13, 2014.

Want to get your astrophoto featured on Universe Today? Join our Flickr group or send us your images by email (this means you’re giving us permission to post them). Please explain what’s in the picture, when you took it, the equipment you used, etc.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • bugzzz May 16, 2014, 2:48 PM

    Fantastic. Love it.

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