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
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Circular No. 6204
Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams
INTERNATIONAL ASTRONOMICAL UNION
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)
BMARSDEN@CFA.HARVARD.EDU or DGREEN@CFA.HARVARD.EDU (science)
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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