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P.S. On Saturn

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Posted by Daniel Johnson on June 1, 2003 21:42:13 UTC

Yes, I've gotten a few shots of Saturn. It is a much more challengin subject than Jupiter because of its smaller size (the rings as seen from Earth fit just within Jupiter's disk, i.e. both are 50 arcseconds across, and the globe of Saturn is much smaller), and because it has much less variation in color. Also, it is dimmer, and that means longer exposures with more atmospheric fuzz. Still, I've gotten a few good photos that make my friends envious.
Mars, also, will be a challenging subject compared with Jupiter--it is only half Jupiter's apparent diameter, and even then only for a few months every several years. The closest approach of Mars to Earth in the history of civilization will be this summer, late August. It will be the best chance you have in a lifetime for Mars, though if you live another 20 years you'll have 2 or 3 opportunities ALMOST as good.

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