Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Storm on Saturn

For the past few months, a storm has been raging on Saturn.  Over time, the storm has been stretched into the white band seen in the mid northern (upper) latitudes.   This view, taken on March 12, 2011, shows the late stages of the storm.  It was taken using the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) wide field camera on the Hubble Space Telescope, with color data taken from earlier images of a previous storm by Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2), a camera since replaced by the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3).

Raw Data Courtesy NASA STScI,  Processed image Copyright Ted Stryk

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Reality and the "Supermoon"

I don't usually post images from my own telescope on this blog, but I will break with tradition tonight.   You have likely heard all the fuss about the "Supermoon."   The reality is is that it is a whopping fifteen kilometers closer to earth than its closest approach last year (four one-thousandth of one percent!).  That's it.  Other than a bit of trivia that provides a great excuse to go out and look at the oft-neglected moon, there is nothing more to it.  The end.

Below is a view of the moon on the evening of March 19, 2011 ("Supermoon" night), with a 10-inch telescope through a thin layer of clouds.  

Image Copyright Ted Stryk

Monday, March 07, 2011

Wanted: In Digital Format...and my 2011 LPSC poster presentation...

I am posting this in hopes that someone will see it and know where I might find the dataset I am looking for.   The image of Titan seen here is image G14.   It is the best of a sequence that included G15 and G16 (for each number, there are two images, a red channel image and a blue channel image).  If any of you have or know where I could find these (or any other Pioneer images) images in their native digital format (probably in the form of a printed out matrix), please let me know.
 While I'm at it, here is how the image looks with both channels separated and without any processing.  Again, what I am looking for is the digital data, not a better source to scan.
While I'm on the subject of Pioneer 10 and 11, here is the abstract I submitted for the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (which I will be attending this week).  It was written before my visit to Ames Research Center in January.  I did find some better material to scan and some fragments, but I did not find the digital data I had hoped to.  The most useful projects will likely be a high resolution mosaic using the closeup data from Pioneer 11 as it passed over Jupiter's North Pole and a sequence (perhaps to be made into a movie) of Jupiter rotating from above the North Pole as Pioneer 11 receded. Here is the poster I am presenting, which is a combination of older work and very preliminary processing.  

Each image is designated by a letter.  Here is a guide to the images based on those letters:

A.  Pioneer  11 image C5 (Jupiter) Scans
B.   Pioneer  11 image C7 (Jupiter) Scans
C.   Pioneer  11 images C1 and C2 (Jupiter) Scans
D.  Pioneer  11 images D1 and C2 (Jupiter) Scans
E.   Pioneer  11 image D16 (Jupiter) Scans
F.    Pioneer  11 image D19 (Jupiter) Scans
G.  Pioneer  11 image D7  (Io)  Digital.
H.  Pioneer  10 image A24 (Ganymede) Digital
I.      Pioneer  11 image D3 (Jupiter) Scans
J.     Pioneer  11 image F7 (Mimas transiting Saturn) Scans
K.   Pioneer  11 image F12 (Saturnian Rings) Digital
L.    Pioneer 10 image B38 (Jupiter with “Little Red Spot”) Scans
M.     Pioneer 10 image B39 (Jupiter with “Little Red Spot”) Scans
N. Pioneer 11 mosaic using data from images F33, F19, and F12-F5 (Saturn) Mix of digital data and scans.
O. Pioneer 10 image A2 (Jupiter – Great Red Spot) Scan

This is only the tip of the iceberg...

Scanned material and raw data courtesy NASA/Ames Research Center.  Processed images Copyright Ted Stryk.