Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A Thirty Year Old View of Saturn

In the near future, I plan to make some larger posts of reprocessed Pioneer Images.  For now, here is a view of Saturn from Pioneer 11.  It was taken on September 1, 1979, as the spacecraft approached the unlit side of the rings.

Processed image Copyright Ted Stryk, Raw Data Courtesy NASA/AMES


Tom said...

I'm always amazed when we compare those old images of Saturn and the planets taken from the Pioneer spacecraft and ground scopes (Palomar for example) with images take from backyards now. Even with a little $30 camera off Ebay, the images amateurs take really show how far we have come!
This is my best from my backyard observatory. :-)

Ted Stryk said...

That is a really nice image! That said, it is important to remember that Pioneer 11 didn't have a true camera, but rather a scanning photometer that slowly built up a crude image pixel by pixel. It was the best they could do at the time on a spinning spacecraft. Still, it is absolutely amazing to see what can be done with a cheap webcam!

Anonymous said...

Raw Data??

Did you manage to find the Pioneer F/G raw IPP data?

Anyhow, great work - bravo!

Ted Stryk said...

I got some fragments. I got an image of the rings, the silhouette of the rings, and part of the disk, and I was able to merge information from those images into this one to improve it. I also have a digital Pioneer 10 image of Ganymede and Pioneer 11 image of Io. For the most part, though, I am still looking.

Ted Stryk said...

I should add that by "raw data" in the credit, I mean scans of the NSSDC negatives, not just true raw data.