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White Spots Observed on Saturn
IAU Circular 6204


Since the glare from Saturn's rings is reduced considerably during a ring plane crossing, features on the planet can be observed that is normally not possible at any other time. In the IAU Circular listed below, the team at Lick Observatory report on their observations of two white spots on Saturn.

Note: Permission has been obtained from Brian Marsden to place this IAU Circular on this home page. For more information on IAU Circulars, see the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams home page, and also look at CBAT's Circular Distribution Policy.

Circular No. 6204
Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams
Postal Address: Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
IAUSUBS@CFA.HARVARD.EDU or FAX 617-495-7231 (subscriptions)
Phone 617-495-7244/7440/7444 (for emergency use only)


S. J. O'Meara, Sky & Telescope, reports that visual observations by W. Sheehan, D. Graham, T. Dobbins, and himself with the Lick Observatory 0.91-m refractor show two white spots in the northern region of the equatorial zone. The larger, low-contrast spot of diameter about 4" transited the planet at Aug. 10.375 UT (corresponding to system-I longitude 333 deg). The smaller spot of diameter about 2" transited at Aug. 10.444 (longitude 31 deg). Observations made about 12 hr prior to crossing the ring plane on Aug. 10.5 showed the rings still visible to a distance from the planet of one Saturn diameter.

1995 August 11                 (6204)            Daniel W. E. Green

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