#10: Early Saturn


Saturn using 3x barlow and Logitech webcam


This was a very short run on Saturn in the early morning. I got up earlier than usual and build up the rig outside in the dawn. Saturn was about to set when I was ready. I clipped the old compact Canon camera in front of the 10mm eyepiece with barlow lens attached. The kids took their chance to see Saturns rings on the display and I took the chance to take a few minutes of .mov video files.


As usual with this ‘work around technique’ I used to .mov files to extract .jpeg files from the video with a program called ‘Free Video to JPEG Converter’ because AutoStakkert is not able to import .mov files without any additional patches. Because those wouldn’t work on my PC, I was forced to take this ‘.jpg work around’. The big disadvantage of using my old compact camera in video mode is the lack of settings. I can’t control the exposure time/ shutter speed, the FPS, the ISO or gain… The result is therefore highly unpredictable. Stacking the images is thereby a miracle of mathematics every time I use it. The input frames look blurry and dark. No details can be distinguished. It’s even hard to tell, whether this is actually Saturn you are looking at. After stacking the rings and the round planet body is well recognizable. Even with the lack of finer structures (no Cassini division, grain and bluer everywhere) it was by far the best Saturn image I took till back then. Why ever, but I think I got lucky with seeing (atmospheric turbulences) and/ or auto settings in video mode. Surprisingly not only can you see a decent colour of Saturn but you can actually convince yourself, that there might be a Cassini division in the rings… nearly.

comparing Saturn versions

What so ever: I urgently needed a different setting for capturing planets. A modded webcam would be an option…

Greetings and clear skies,