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View Full Version : The Storm on Saturn.. whos looking?



beethovenspiano
2011-Feb-08, 12:48 PM
Does anyone think it's weird that with tens of billions of dollars of professional equipment, the only images of this rare event are coming from dedicated amateurs? Even Cassini in orbit has only taken a couple of images and they dont show that much more than amateur pics ive seen online. :confused:

Thank goodness for amateur astronomers :clap:

NEOWatcher
2011-Feb-08, 01:27 PM
Does anyone think it's weird that with tens of billions of dollars of professional equipment, the only images of this rare event are coming from dedicated amateurs?
Not to me; because the big guns are most likely working on long term observations that wouldn't allow a break to re-aim to watch this.
Telescope time is very precious.


Even Cassini in orbit has only taken a couple of images and they dont show that much more than amateur pics ive seen online. :confused:
Even though it's not visually striking, there's plenty of other instruments picking up valuable readings.


Thank goodness for amateur astronomers :clap:
Agreed.

xession
2011-Feb-09, 10:56 PM
Cassini doesn't have a scan platform to easily rotate and view the storm at any given time. Trajectories are generally planned out months and years in advance so any type of immediate readjustment could cost the spacecraft a high amount of the limited fuel to readjust. As for ground observations, it essentially what NEOWatcher posted; they all have planned out goals and deviating from them can greatly reduce the scope of your intended research to view an event that will provide little more meaningful data than amateurs are able to.

Edit: I thought I would also note that the Cassini images also are quite a lot better than ground observations can provide.

Here is a stacked image I did a while back of the earlier observations by Cassini
14454

Meanwhile, ground observations are more closer to this:
http://www.universetoday.com/81774/bright-white-storm-raging-on-saturn/
http://astro.christone.net/saturn/index.htm