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McDonald Observatory Saturn Observations


We got observations of Saturn on May 22 UT with the McDonald 36 inch telescope and CCD about 2 hours after ring plane crossing. We were at the observatory to observe Jupiter but stopped for this unique event and obtained images of Saturn through the same filters as we have been using for Jupiter (6184A, 7270A, and 8930A CH4; 6040A, 7639A and 8290A continuum). There were no rings visible. In the methane filters, only the South 1/2-2/3 of the planet was visible in the images. The North was dark. In the continuum things depended on filter. The north was visible in all but the south pole regon was dark at 8290. There was a dark band in the continuum images which was darker in the short wavelength bands. Also, there were brighter bands just north and south in the 6040 than the 8290. All these details are subjective impressions from 5:30am and the data have not yet been reduced.

Anita and Bill Cochran
McDonald Observatory

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