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Journal of the
Association of Lunar &
Planetary Observers
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, Number 2, Spring 2012
Now in Portable Document Format (PDF) for
Macintosh and PC-compatible computers
Online and in COLOR at http://www.alpo-astronomy.org
ISSN-0039-2502
Inside this issue
• Minutes of the ALPO
Board Meeting in Las
Cruces (Finally!)
• ALCon2012 news
• Update on the June 5
transit of Venus
• Lightcurves for main belt
minor planet 27 Euterpe
• Saturn apparition report,
plus ALPO section news
and much, much more!
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The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 1
Journal of the
Association of Lunar &
Planetary Observers
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No.2, Spring 2012
This issue published in March 2012 for distribution in both portable
document format (pdf) and also hardcopy format.
This publication is the official journal of the Association of Lunar &
Planetary Observers (ALPO).
The purpose of this journal is to share observation reports, opinions,
and other news from ALPO members with other members and the
professional astronomical community.
© 2012, Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO). The
ALPO hereby grants permission to educators, academic libraries and
the professional astronomical community to photocopy material for
educational or research purposes as required. There is no charge for
these uses provided that credit is given to The Strolling Astronomer,
the “JALPO” or the ALPO itself, as appropriate. All others must
request permission from the ALPO.
For membership or general information about the ALPO, contact:
Matthew Will
ALPO Membership Secretary/Treasurer
P.O. Box 13456
Springfield, Illinois 62791-3456
E-mail to: matt.will@alpo-astronomy.org
Visit the ALPO online at:
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org
In this issue
Inside the ALPO
Point of View: For All of You Armchair
Amateur Astronomers Out There — Books! .............2
News of General Interest ...........................................3
ALCon 2012 News ..................................................3
Call for ALPO Papers ..............................................3
Venus Volcano Watch .............................................4
Astronomy News and Updates from
Beyond International Year of Astronomy 2009 .........5
ALPO Interest Section Reports ..................................5
ALPO Observing Section Reports ..............................6
Corrections/Clarifications .........................................13
Feature Stories
ALPO Board Meeting Minutes, July 21, 2011
Las Cruces, New Mexico ........................................14
Book Review: The Kaguya Lunar Atlas ...................17
The Upcoming Transit of Venus in June 2012 .........18
A Shape Model of the Main-Belt Asteroid
27 Euterpe ..............................................................23
ALPO Observations of Saturn During the
2008 - 2009 Apparition ...........................................29
ALPO Resources
Board of Directors ....................................................71
Publications Staff .....................................................71
Interest Sections ......................................................71
Observing Sections ..................................................71
ALPO Publications ...................................................72
The Monograph Series ..........................................72
ALPO Staff E-mail Directory ...................................73
ALPO Observing Section Publications ...................73
Other ALPO Publications .......................................75
Back Issues of The Strolling Astronomer ...............75
Our Advertisers
Orion Telescopes & Binoculars ....... Inside Front Cover
Announcing the ALPO Lapel Pin ................................3
Catseye Collimation Systems/
Catsperch Observing Chairs....................................4
ALCon2012 ......................................Inside Back Cover
Sky Publishing ..............................Outside Back Cover
Page 2 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
Inside the ALPO
Member, section and activity news
Point of View
For All of You Armchair Amateur
Astronomers Out There — Books!
By Robert A. Garfinkle, FRAS, ALPO Book Review editor
I have a life long love of
books and other forms of
the written word. I read a lot
and the self-taught
knowledge [trivia?] drives
my family nuts when we
watch the TV show
Jeopardy together and I
constantly get a vast
majority of the questions
right. “Dad—You should go
on the show.” I’ve been
hearing that for years.
So where does the Jeopardy stuff lead to when writing an
opinion piece for this astronomical journal. My interest in
the night sky began with my father telling me about the
stars and the Moon. The question that I kept asking my
self is what exactly am I looking at. When I hit the end of
my Dad’s knowledge base, I began checking out books
from the public library, then started my own home library of
astronomy books (about 6,000 now). I also have a great
affinity for ancient history and some of the ancient writers
wrote about astronomy. I continued to gather astronomy
books to not only read for the pleasure of gaining
knowledge, but to assist in writing my Star-Hopping: Your
Visa to Viewing the Universe and my in-process major
lunar observers’ handbook (to be published by Springer).
Even with so many resources now available on the
Internet, I still want to grab a book from my library shelf to
find the information that I need. For me, there will always
be a place for astronomy books in my home, and I hope at
your abode as well. Keep looking up and keep reading.
Association of Lunar &
Planetary Observers (ALPO)
Board of Directors
Executive Director (Chair); Julius L. Benton, Jr.
Associate Director; Ken Poshedly
Member of the Board; Sanjay Limaye
Member of the Board; Donald C. Parker
Member of the Board; Ken Poshedly
Member of the Board; Michael D. Reynolds
Member of the Board; Richard W. Schmude, Jr.
Member of the Board; John E. Westfall
Member of the Board & Secretary/Treasurer;
Matthew Will
Founder/Director Emeritus; Walter H. Haas
Publications
Editor & Publisher, Ken Poshedly
Primary Observing Section &
Interest Section Staff
(See full listing in ALPO Resources)
Lunar& Planetary Training Section:
Timothy J. Robertson
Solar Section: Kim Hay
Mercury Section: Frank Melillo
Venus Section: Julius L. Benton, Jr.
Mercury/Venus Transit Section: John E. Westfall
Lunar Section:
Lunar Transient Phenomena; Anthony Cook
Lunar Meteoritic Impact Search; Brian Cudnik
Lunar Topographical Studies &
Selected Areas Program; Wayne Bailey
Mars Section: Roger Venable
Minor Planets Section: Frederick Pilcher
Jupiter Section: Richard W. Schmude, Jr.
Saturn Section: Julius L. Benton, Jr.
Remote Planets Section: Richard W. Schmude, Jr.
Comets Section: Gary Kronk
Meteors Section: Robert D. Lunsford
Meteorites Section: Dolores Hill
Computing Section: Larry Owens
Youth Section: Timothy J. Robertson
Historical Section: Richard Baum
Eclipse Section: Michael D. Reynolds
ALPO Website: Larry Owens
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 3
Inside the ALPO
Member, section and activity news
The ALPO Lapel Pin
ALCon 2012 News
Look to the inside back cover of this
issue for a full-page ad with the latest info
about this summer’s next astro get-
together when the ALPO joins the
Astronomical League in Chicago.
Note that the Midwest Astrophotography
and Imaging Conference (MWAIC) will be
held in conjunction with ALCon 2012 at
the Marriott Lincolnshire Resort near
Chicago. Also, one of the keynote
speakers will be our own Dr. Donald C.
Parker.
ALCon 2012 will be held Wednesday
through Saturday, July 4-7, while the
MWAIC will be held July 4-6.
Early registration deadline for the event is
June 1, but the deadline for getting the
preferred room rate ($69 per night plus
taxes) for accommodations is May 24.
Phone the Marriott directly at 1-888-
236-2427 to make your room
reservation and be sure to state that you
are with the Astronomical League to get
this special rate.
Various tours and other items are priced
separately.
Register either online at http://
alcon2012.astroleague.org/alcon-2012-2/
registration/ or print out the hard copy
registration form at http://
alcon2012.astroleague.org/wp-content/
uploads/2012/02/General-5.pdf and pay
with check by regular mail.
Visit the official ALCon2012 website for
scheduling news and paper presentation
times.
Call for ALPO Papers
Participants are encouraged to submit
research papers, presentations, and
experience reports concerning Earth-
based observational astronomy of our
solar system for presentation at the
event.
Suggested topics for papers and
presentations include the following:
New or ongoing observing programs
and studies of solar system bodies,
specifically, how those programs
were designed, implemented and
continue to function.
Results of personal or ALPO group
studies of solar system bodies
possibly including (but not limited to)
Venus cloud albedo events, dust
storms and the polar caps of Mars,
the various belts and Great Red Spot
of Jupiter, the various belts and ring
system of Saturn, variances in
activity of periodic meteor showers
and comets, etc.
News of General Interest
Announcing,
the ALPO Lapel Pin
Now you can display your affiliation with our fine organi-
zation proudly with the new, colorful ALPO Lapel Pin.
With bright raised gold lettering against a recessed gold
sandblast finish, each pin features the pupil of the ALPO
“eye” in fluorescent aqua blue. A “pinch” clasp at the rear
secures the pin in place. Pin dimensions are 1 1/8 in. by
9/16 in.
Free for those who hold or purchase ALPO Sponsor level
memberships.
Only $3.50 for those who hold or purchase Sustaining
level memberships
Only $8.50 for all other ALPO members.
Not available to non-ALPO members.
Price includes shipping and handling.
Send orders to: ALPO, PO Box 13456, Springfield, IL
62791-3456. E-mail to: matt.will@alpo-astronomy.org
More Real Astronomy in the ‘Mainstream Media’
While lots of folks like to criticize the so-called absence of “relevant” news these days,
every so often you will find actual and accurate science. One of the latest examples is a
gentle nudge to the general public that virtually no research is being done on a topic that
could have a dire impact (pun intended) on our continued existence. This time, it’s in
“Brewster Rockit: Space Guy”, a satirical, retro-futuristic comic strip that chronicles the
(mis)adventures of the lantern-jawed, lunkheaded, and sometimes childlike Brewster
Rockit, captain of the space station R.U. Sirius, and his crew of misfits. More at http://
www.gocomics.com/brewsterrockit/
Page 4 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
Inside the ALPO
Member, section and activity news
New or ongoing activities involving
astronomical instrumentation,
construction or improvement.
Challenges faced by Earth-based
observers including increased or lack
of interest, deteriorating observing
conditions brought about by possible
global warming, etc.
The preferred format is Microsoft
PowerPoint, though 35mm slides or
overhead projector slides are also
acceptable. The final presentation should
not exceed 20 minutes in length, to be
followed by no more than five (5) minutes
of questions (if any) from the audience.
May 15, 2012 is the deadline for
submitting the titles of papers to be
presented along with a four- or five-
sentence abstract of each paper and in
what format the presentation will be.
Address all ALPO materials to:
Julius L. Benton, Jr., Ph.D.
Association of Lunar and Planetary
Observers (ALPO)
c/o Associates in Astronomy
P.O. Box 30545
Wilmington Island
Savannah, GA 31410 USA
jlbaina@msn.com
Venus Volcano Watch
By Michael F. Mattei
micmattei@comcast.net
Beginning on 05 February, 2012 the
watch begins with the volcanoes on the
bright limb of the planet. Contact me
directly at the e-mail address above for a
list of times to be watching Venus for
cloud activity both on the terminator and
on the bright sun lit side. Watch for a
bulge on the terminator where the up
lifted sun lit clouds would show on the
dark side of the terminator, and on the
sun lit side watch for bulges of circular
cloud formation like the tops of cumulus
clouds. There are three volcanoes that
are believed to be active, they are, Maat
Mons, Ozza Mons and Sapas Mons. All
three are near the equator centered near
CM 165.
From research of cloud formations and
bright clouds on the dark side of the
terminator and circular sun lit clouds on
the bright side it may be possible to
determine if a volcano has erupted. A
correlation of these observations can be
made to locate volcanoes on the surface
of Venus. Observations should be made
at all times because there may be many
more volcanoes that could be active.
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 5
Inside the ALPO
Member, section and activity news
I would be happy to receive observations,
drawings, sketches, CCD images. Please
be sure the time is in UT and the location
of the observer.
See JALPO51, No. 1, page 21 for an
article of the events and what they look
like. You can find the article by going to
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/djalpo/51-1/
JALPO51-1%20-%20Free.pdf
Astronomy News and Updates
from Beyond International Year
of Astronomy 2009
By Kevin Govender, director,
Office of Astronomy for Develop-
ment, Intl Astronomical Union (IAU)
kg@astro4dev.org
www.astro4dev.org
Some news and updates from the
astronomy education and outreach
community:
Astronomy Phone and Table Apps
(Many Free)
An annotated overview of 98
astronomy applications for smart
phones and tablets has been
published in the on-line journal
"Astronomy Education Review."
Compiled by Andrew Fraknoi
(Foothill College), the list features a
brief description and a direct URL
for each app. It may be especially
useful for everyone who got a phone
or tablet for the holidays and is
looking for something fun or
educational to do with it. You can
access the article free of charge at:
http://dx.doi.org/10.3847/AER2011036
(The link to the full text is right under
the author's name). The listing
includes a variety of apps for
displaying and explaining the sky
above you (some using the GPS
function in your device); a series of
astronomical clocks, calculators, and
calendars; sky catalogs and observing
planners; planet atlases and globes;
citizens science tools and image
displays; a directory of astronomy
clubs in the U.S.; and even a graphic
simulator for making galaxies collide.
A number of the apps are free, and
others cost just a dollar or two. A
brief list of articles featuring
astronomy app reviews is also
included.
International Astronomical Union
General Assembly:
The IAU General Assembly takes
place every 3 years. This year the
28th General Assembly will take
place in Beijing, China. Special
sessions include SpS14
(Communicating Astronomy) and
SpS11 (Strategic Plan and OAD) as
well as many other exciting
developments in Astronomy. Early
registration and deadline for
abstracts are both 17th March 2012.
Please have a look at
www.astronomy2012.org
Universe Awareness:
- Become a Student Ambassador for
UNAWE: http://www.unawe.org/
updates/unawe-update-1212/
- Celebrating the Transit of Venus
2012 in Timor-Leste: http://
www.unawe.org/updates/unawe-
update-1221/
- Space Scoop (astronomy news
service for kids) now available in 14
different languages: http://
www.unawe.org/kids/unawe1213/
Web Services
Larry Owens, section coordinator
Larry.Owens@alpo-astronomy.org
Follow us on Twitter, become our friend
on FaceBook or join us on MySpace.
Section Coordinators: If you need an ID
for your section's blog, contact Larry
Owens at larry.owens@alpo-astronomy.org
For details on all of the above, visit the
ALPO home page online at www.alpo-
astronomy.org
Computing Section
Larry Owens, section coordinator,
Larry.Owens@alpo-astronomy.org
Important links:
To subscribe to the ALPOCS yahoo
e-mail list, http://groups.yahoo.com/
group/alpocs/
To post messages (either on the site
or via your e-mail program),
alpocs@yahoogroups.com
To unsubscribe to the ALPOCS
yahoo e-mail list, alpocs-
unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
Visit the ALPO Computing Section
online at www.alpo-astronomy.org/
computing
Lunar & Planetary
Training Program
Tim Robertson,
Section Coordinator
cometman@cometman.net
For information on the ALPO Lunar &
Planetary Training Program, go to
www.cometman.net/alpo/; regular postal
mail to Tim Robertson, 195 Tierra
Rejada Rd. #148, Simi Valley CA,
93065; e-mail to
cometman@cometman.net
ALPO Interest
Section Reports
Page 6 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
Inside the ALPO
Member, section and activity news
Eclipse Section
Mike Reynolds, section coordinator
alpo-reynolds@comcast.net
Please visit the ALPO Eclipse Section
online at www.alpo-astronomy.org/eclipse
Meteors Section
Report by Bob Lundsford,
section coordinator
lunro.imo.usa@cox.net
Visit the ALPO Meteors Section online at
www.alpo-astronomy.org/meteorblog/ Be
sure to click on the link to viewing
meteors, meteor shower calendar and
references.
Meteorites Section
Dolores Hill, section coordinator
dhill@lpl.arizona.edu
Visit the ALPO Meteorite Section online
at www.alpo-astronomy.org/meteorite/
Comets Section
Gary Kronk, section coordinator
kronk@cometography.com
Visit the ALPO Comets Section online at
www.alpo-astronomy.org/comet
Solar Section
Kim Hay, section coordinator
kim.hay@alpo-astronomy.org
At the time this report was compiled, we
were in CR2120 (Carrington Rotation
120), which ran from February 7 to
March 4, 2012. More information and
the charts for upcoming Carrington
Rotations can be found at www.alpo-
astronomy.org/solarblog
On January 24 at about 15:00 UT, a
coronal mass ejection (CME) hit the
Earth’s magnetic field and produced
aurora’s seen all over Europe,
Greenland, Iceland, Canada and Alaska,
as well as in the upper part of the U.S.
On January 27, at 18:37 UT, an X2
class occurred, producing aurora’s as
well.
More information on this can be found at
www.spaceweather.com
February continued with auroral activity
on February 18. In mid-February,
Sunspot AR1422 was growing in size
and was expected to produce some M-
class flares. Images taken on February 20
by Theo Ramakers of Social Circle (near
Atlanta), Georgia, USA, show the C2.1
and C4.1 flares, plus dark filaments. For
more images by Theo, see http://
ceastronomy.org/tramakers
Though we are in the middle of Cycle
24, the Sun continues to produce events.
On February 17, the SDO (Solar
Dynamic Observatory http://
sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/ ) caught and imaged a
tornado on the sun (http://www.npr.org/
blogs/thetwo-way/2012/02/17/147071253/
video-a-tornado-on-the-
sun?ft=1&f=1001&utm_medium=referral&ut
m_source=pulsenews ). Amateurs also
caught the Tornado; Theo processed 50
images to gain this animation. http://
ceastronomy.org/tramakers/?p=1232
The ALPO Solar Section archives
sketches and images in any wavelength
of the Sun. We currently have 6
observers sending in their data for
archiving. The past CR2118 can be seen
online at www.alpo-astronomy.org/solarblog
The past CR (Carrington Rotation
Number) reports have been taken off-line
to be newly processed and will be
uploaded once more when finished.
Processing the Carrington Reports does
take some time, and I am streamlining
the process a bit to make it a bit easier to
do and get them all back online quickly.
After collecting the submitted images,
they are entered into a spreadsheet and
renamed to the filenames you see online.
The past CR’s went through many
renditions of the “ACDSee” program
and text editors in order to create the
html files, I am now using “Picasa 3” to
pull the images online and also create a
pdf file for the text information for the
observations.
“Picasa 3” is an image organizer and
image viewer for organizing and editing
digital photos, plus an integrated photo-
sharing website, originally created by a
company named Lifescape in 2002 and
is owned by Google since 2004.
If you would like to include your images
or sketches for archival purposes, please
send to kim.hay@alpo-astronomy.org.
Images/sketches should be no more than
250 kb in size, with the CR number, UT
time, date and observing information. If
you would like to talk solar stuff and
show your images online for all, join in
on the Solar-ALPO Yahoo Group.
ALPO Observing
Section Reports
Figure 2. Details of visible active regions
AR1419, 1420, 1421 and 1422 shown in
Figure 1 image by ALPO member Theo
Ramakers. This image taken February
20, 2012, at 14:56UT. All other info same
as Figure 1.
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 7
Inside the ALPO
Member, section and activity news
We are always looking for members to
submit an article to the JALPO on solar
work. Please send to myself
(kim.hay@alpo-astronomy.org) and to Ken
Poshedly (ken.poshedly@alpo-
astronomy.org)
Remember to visit the ALPO Solar
Section webpage at www.alpo-
astronomy.org/solarblog for information
and updated observations.
For information on solar observing –
including the various observing forms
and information on completing them –
go to www.alpo-astronomy.org/solar
Mercury Section
Report by Frank J. Melillo,
section coordinator
frankj12@aol.com
As we entered into 2012, hopefully we
will see more observations of Mercury
from our ALPO members. It has been
slow lately, but now we have a
MESSENGER spacecraft around
Mercury for at least another year to cover
much of the surface. The 2011
apparition report will be written up and
you can see John Boudreau continued to
take more high resolution image of the
surface of Mercury. Yes, Mercury’s
surface, not just a phase. And Carl
Roussell continues with his skilled
drawings.
You will see one example of Boudreau’s
image of September 13, 2011. This is
perhaps the best image yet. It can be
easily compared with MESSENGER’s
snapshot of the same surface. One dark
feature, Solitudo Amphrodites (formerly
known as the “Skinakas Basin”), bright
and other dark regions and especially
rayed craters are all seen in Boudreau’s
image that are detectable in the
MESSENGER snapshot. It is just
awesome!
You will see many more of Boudreau’s
images and from others during the 2011
apparition write up.
Visit the ALPO Mercury Section online
at www.alpo-astronomy.org/mercury
Venus Section
Report by Julius Benton,
section coordinator
jlbaina@msn.com
Venus is situated in the western sky after
sunset at apparent visual magnitude -4.1,
rapidly approaching Greatest Elongation
East on March 27, 2012. During the
2011-12 Eastern (Evening) Apparition,
Venus is passing through its waning
phases (a progression from fully
illuminated through crescentic phases) as
observers witness the leading hemisphere
of Venus at the time of sunset on Earth.
In mid-January, the gibbous disk of
Venus will be nearly 14” across and
80.0% illuminated.
The Table of Geocentric Phenomena in
Universal Time (UT) is presented here for
An update on the June 2012 transit of
Venus appears later in this issue.
Figure 1. Whole Sun image in hydrogen-alpha by ALPO member Theo Ramakers at Social
Circle, Georgia, USA, on February 20, 2012, at 14:47UT during CR (Carrington Rotation)
2120 with visible active regions AR1419, 1420, 1421 and 1422 shown here. Equipment
details: Coronado "SolarMax 40" 40 mm (1.6 in.) aperture solar telescope &
DMK41AU02.AS astronomy camera using "IC Capture" software; image processed with
Registax 6, then finalized in Photoshop. Transparency 4 out of 5; Seeing 4/5. Image
inverted (negative) with north at top.
Page 8 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
Inside the ALPO
Member, section and activity news
the convenience of observers for the
2011-12 Eastern (Evening) Apparition.
Observers have already begun
contributing images and drawings of
Venus, and many more will surely follow
in the months to come. Readers are
reminded that high-quality digital images
of the planet taken in the near-UV and
near-IR, as well as other wavelengths
through polarizing filters, continue to be
needed by the Venus Express (VEX)
mission, which started systematically
monitoring Venus at UV, visible (IL) and
IR wavelengths back in May 2006. This
Professional-Amateur (Pro-Am) effort
continues, and observers should submit
images to the ALPO Venus Section as
well as to the VEX website at:
http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/
index.cfm?fobjectid=38833&fbodylongid
=1856.
Regular Venus program activities
(including drawings of Venus in
Integrated Light and with color filters of
known transmission) are also valuable
throughout the period that VEX is
observing the planet, which continues
into 2011-12. Since Venus has a high
surface brightness, it is potentially
observable anytime it is far enough from
the Sun to be safely observed.
The observation programs conducted by
the ALPO Venus Saturn Section are
listed on the Venus page of the ALPO
website at http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/
venus as well as in considerable detail in
the author's ALPO Venus Handbook
available from the ALPO Venus Section.
Observers are urged to carry out digital
imaging of Venus at the same time that
others are imaging or making visual
drawings of the planet (i.e., simultaneous
observations).
Although regular imaging of Venus in
both UV, IR and other wavelengths is
extremely important and highly
encouraged, far too many experienced
observers have neglected making visual
numerical relative intensity estimates and
reporting visual or color filter impressions
of features seen or suspected in the
atmosphere of the planet (e.g.,
categorization of dusky atmospheric
markings, visibility of cusp caps and cusp
bands, measurement of cusp extensions,
monitoring for the Schröter phase effect
near the date of predicted dichotomy,
and looking for terminator irregularities).
Routine use of the standard ALPO Venus
observing forms will help observers know
what needs to be reported in addition to
supporting information such as telescope
aperture and type, UT date and time,
magnifications and filters used, seeing
and transparency conditions, etc.
The ALPO Venus Section urges
interested readers worldwide to join us in
our projects and challenges ahead.
Individuals interested in participating in
the programs of the ALPO Venus
Section are encouraged to visit the
ALPO Venus Section online http://
www.alpo-astronomy.org/venusblog/
Lunar Section
Lunar Topographical Studies /
Selected Areas Program
Report by Wayne Bailey,
program coordinator
wayne.bailey@alpo-astronomy.org
The ALPO Lunar Topographical Studies
Section (ALPO LTSS) received a total of
98 new observations from 14 observers
during the October-December quarter.
These included one Banded Crater
program observation, four Ray
observations, and two sets of elevation
measurements. Twelve contributed
articles were published.
The Focus-On series in The Lunar
Observer newsletter continued with an
article on Mare Humorum. Upcoming
Focus-On subjects include Copernicus,
Archimedes, and the Pyrenees
Mountains.
Geocentric Phenomena of the 2011-2012 Eastern (Evening) Apparition
of Venus in Universal Time (UT)
Superior Conjunction 2011 Aug 16 (angular diameter = 9.6 arc-seconds)
Greatest Elongation East 2012 Mar 27 (46º east of the Sun)
Predicted Dichotomy 2012 Mar 29.34 (exactly half-phase)
Greatest Brilliancy 2012 Apr 28 (mv = – 4.6)
Inferior Conjunction 2012 Jun 05 (angular diameter = 58.3 arc-seconds)
Digital image of the gibbous planet Venus
as imaged on January 18, 2012 at 19:38
UT by Orlando Benìtez Sànchez of the
Canary Islands. Equipment includes a
23.5 cm (9.25 in.) SCT and ultraviolet
filter S = 7.0, Tr = 6.0. Apparent diameter
of Venus is 14.2 arc-seconds, phase (k)
0.781 (78.1% illuminated), and visual
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 9
Inside the ALPO
Member, section and activity news
Visit the following online web sites for
more info:
The Moon-Wiki: the-
moon.wikispaces.com/Introduction
Chandrayaan-1 M3: pds-
imaging.jpl.nasa.gov/portal/
chandrayaan-1_mission.html
•LROC: lroc.sese.asu.edu/EPO/LROC/
lroc.php
ALPO Lunar Topographical Studies
Section moon.scopesandscapes.com/
alpo-topo
ALPO Lunar Selected Areas
Program moon.scopesandscapes.com/
alpo-sap.html
ALPO Lunar Topographical Studies
moon.scopesandscapes.com/alpo-topo
The Lunar Observer (current issue)
moon.scopesandscapes.com/tlo.pdf
The Lunar Observer (back issues)
moon.scopesandscapes.com/
tlo_back.html
Banded Craters Program:
moon.scopesandscapes.com/alpo-
bcp.html
The Lunar Discussion Group:
tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/Moon-
ALPO/
Lunar Meteoritic Impacts
Brian Cudnik,
program coordinator
cudnik@sbcglobal.net
September 2011 - February 2012 lunar
meteor activity has been rather sparse
owing to a series of not so favorable
configuration events between the Moon,
the Earth and the meteoroid streams of
the more substantial annual showers.
The Moon was at last quarter during the
recent Leonids peak of November 18,
and, as such, was too close to the radiant
to offer a significant enough part of its
Table courtesy of William Dembowski
Lunar Calendar for Second Quarter of 2012 – All Times UT
Apr. 03 22:00 Moon 8.3 degrees SSW of Mars
Apr. 06 19:19 Full Moon
Apr. 07 10:00 Moon 6.0 degrees SSW of Saturn
Apr. 07 17:00 Moon at Perigee (358,313 km – 222,645 miles)
Apr. 10 21:06 Extreme South Declination
Apr. 12 08:00 Moon 1.3 degrees SSW of Pluto
Apr. 13 10:50 Last Quarter
Apr. 16 10:00 Moon 5.7 degrees NNW of Neptune
Apr. 18 21:00 Moon 7.0 degrees NNW of Mercury
Apr. 19 03:00 Moon 5.2 degrees NNW of Uranus
Apr. 21 07:19 New Moon (Start of Lunation 1105)
Apr. 22 09:01 Moon at Apogee (406,420 km – 252,538 miles)
Apr. 22 19:00 Moon 2.5 degrees N of Jupiter
Apr. 25 05:36 Extreme North Declination
Apr. 25 02:00 Moon 5.7 degrees S of Venus
Apr. 29 09:57 First Quarter
May 01 07:00 Moon 7.3 degrees SSW of Mars
May 04 20:00 Moon 6.2 degrees S of Saturn
May 06 03:34 Moon at Perigee (356,953 km – 221,800 miles)
May 06 03:35 Full Moon
May 08 06:18 Extreme South Declination
May 09 20:00 Moon 1.5 degrees ESE of Pluto
May 12 21:47 Last Quarter
May 13 19:00 Moon 5.9 degrees NNW of Neptune
May 15 22:00 Moon 1.1 Degree ESE of asteroid 2-Pallas
May 16 13:00 Moon 5.2 degrees NNW of Uranus
May 19 16:14 Moon at Apogee (406,450 km – 252,556 miles)
May 20 04:00 Moon 2.1 degrees NNW of Mercury
May 20 14:00 Moon 1.8 degrees N of Jupiter
May 20 23:47 New Moon (Start of Lunation 1106)
May 22 11:12 Extreme North Declination
May 22 22:00 Moon 4.7 degrees S of Venus
May 28 20:15 First Quarter
May 29 05:00 Moon 6.5 degrees SSW of Mars
June 01 01:00 Moon 6.2 degrees SSW of Saturn
June 03 13:21 Moon at Perigee (358,482 km – 222,750 miles)
June 04 11:11 Full Moon (Partial Eclipse of the Moon)
June 04 17:06 Extreme South Declination
June 06 02:00 Moon 1.2 degrees SSW of Pluto
June 10 01:00 Moon 5.9 degrees NNW of Neptune
June 11 10:42 Last Quarter
June 12 18:00 Moon 1.2 Degree NNE of asteroid 2-Pallas
June 12 22:00 Moon 5.1 degrees NNW of Uranus
June 16 01:25 Moon at Apogee (405,790 km – 252,146 miles)
June 17 06:00 Moon 1.4 degrees NW of Jupiter
June 18 17:36 Extreme North Declination
June 18 00:00 Moon 2.1 degrees N of Venus
June 19 15:02 New Moon (Start of Lunation 1107)
June 21 17:00 Moon 5.5 degrees S of Mercury
June 26 11:00 Moon 5.4 degrees SSW of Mars
June 27 03:29 First Quarter
June 28 08:00 Moon 6.1 degrees SSW of Saturn
Page 10 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
Inside the ALPO
Member, section and activity news
surface area for monitoring by Earth-
based observers. That leaves only minor
showers and sporadic backgrounds to
provide the projectiles for meteoroid
impact flashes, and these are few and far
between.
As a result, I have not received any
reports during the reporting period of
successful observations of lunar
meteoroid impact candidates. The
ALPO-LMIS will continue to coordinate
observations whenever possible, focusing
primarily on the annual showers and the
upcoming LADEE (Lunar Atmosphere
and Dust Environment Explorer) mission,
scheduled to launch in May of this year,
More information about the mission itself
can be found at this website: http://
www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LADEE/main/
. I am in contact with lead publicity
officer and mission scientist Brian Day
and we are coordinating an effort to
closely monitor the Moon during the
favorable August 2013 Perseids
encounter with the Moon in support of
this mission. More information, as I
receive it, will be posted via the ALPO-
LMIS section reports, the LMIS website,
and the “yahoogroups!” list server.
Please visit the ALPO Lunar Meteoritic
Impact Search site online at www.alpo-
astronomy.org/lunar/lunimpacts.htm.
Lunar Transient Phenomena
Dr. Anthony Cook,
Program Coordinator
tony.cook@alpo-astronomy.org
Twitter LTP alerts are now available at
http://twitter.com/lunarnaut
Finally, please visit the ALPO Lunar
Transient Phenomena site online at http://
alpo-astronomy.org/lunar/ltp.html
Mars Section
Roger Venable, section coordinator
rjvmd@hughes.net
Mars is now past its March 3rd
opposition and is ideally placed for
observation in the evening. Several
observers say that aphelic apparitions
such as the present one are more
interesting than perihelic ones, and this
one has been very interesting.
Highlights have included the excellent
visibility of the albedo features of the
Northern Hemisphere, the regression of
the North Polar Hood and the North
Polar Cap (NPC,) and the very cloudy
condition of the planet. A dust streak
across the NPC was imaged by Efrain
Morales Rivera on February 11 and
again on the 12. This deposition
occurred some 30 degrees of Ls later
than the NPC dust detected in the 2009-
2010 apparition. The breakup of what is
left of the seasonal cap has been
documented by many observers, both
visually and by images (see the image.)
The image by Melillo (see the image) is
typical of the cloud-studded images that
have been received.
Some albedo features appear to have
changed from their appearances from
previous apparitions. For example,
Trivium Charontis is nearly undetectable,
while Cerberus appears merely as two
small dark spots rather than the more
typical east-west streak at the south
border of Elysium. At the northern tip of
Syrtis Major, the western side of that
dark feature appears lighter than usual,
and in some images a lighter streak
seems almost to separate it from the rest
of Syrtis Major.
What do you see? Keep sending me your
descriptions, drawings, and images -- I
am rjvmd@hughes.net . The Mars
Mars images from February 2012. South is up. Top left: The NPC showing irregularities on
its outer edge as the seasonal cap sublimates. Central meridian (CM) = 94º. RGB
composite image by Don Parker on February 20, 2012, at 06:32 UT, using a Schmidt-
Cassegrain telescope of 35 cm aperture at f/44, a DMK 21AU618.AS camera and
Astrodon filters; seeing 3 to 5, transparency 5. Top right: The NPC showing asymmetry,
with sublimation having occurred further northward on its right than on its left, and part of
the left edge seeming to have become separate from the central part of the cap. CM =
353º. RGB composite image by John Sussenbach on February 19, 2012, at 23:38 UT,
using a Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope of 28 cm aperture at f/30, a Flea3 camera, and
Astrodon filters; sky conditions not given. Bottom left: Bright clouds in Chryse at far left and
in Arcadia below center; with clouds at Olympus Mons to the upper right of Arcadia,
Pavonis Mons above Arcadia, and Tempe to the left of Arcadia; and other fainter clouds,
also. Color image by Frank Melillo on February 19, 2012, at 07:24 UT, using a Schmidt-
Cassegrain telescope of 25 cm aperture and a Toucam Pro II camera; seeing 5 to 6.
Bottom right: An explanatory, comparison image from Guide 8, matching the time of
Frank's image at bottom left.
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 11
Inside the ALPO
Member, section and activity news
Observers Group has had a stream of
pleasant interaction and discussion of
observations, and you are invited to
participate. Join us at
tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/
marsobservers . This forum also provides
a good resource for you to store your
images online.
Visit the ALPO Mars Section online at
www.alpo-astronomy.org/mars
Minor Planets Section
Frederick Pilcher,
section coordinator
pilcher@ic.edu
In Minor Planet Bulletin Vol. 39, No. 1,
2012 January - March, R. D. Stephens,
B. D. Warner, R. Megna, and D. Coley
report a spin/shape model for a
historically difficult asteroid, 27 Euterpe.
This model was further complicated
because albedo spots, rarely found on
asteroids, are evident.
Through arrangement between Minor
Planet Bulletin editor Richard Binzel and
JALPO editor Ken Poshedly, this article
is being reprinted in this issue of your
ALPO Journal.
G. Tancredi, S. Bruzzone, S. Roland, R.
Salvo, and M. Martinez have found for
5088 Tancredi a precise rotation period
and H and G parameters from their
lightcurves over a 42 day interval.
Lightcurves with derived rotation periods
are published for 54 other asteroids,
numbers 185, 414, 518, 668, 688,
903, 918, 1077, 1103, 1305, 1406,
1413, 1820, 1858, 2008, 2052, 2083,
2141, 2150, 2272, 2306, 2567, 2573,
2731, 2931, 3031, 3248, 3385, 4125,
4930, 5571, 6952, 7660, 7750, 7933,
16256, 16959, 17822, 18890, 27568,
31898, 32928, 32953, 33356, 35055,
39890, 42265, 54234, 62117, 67404,
70030, 140428, 153591, 282081.
Some of these provide secure period
determinations, some only tentative
ones. Some are of asteroids with no
previous lightcurve photometry, others
are of asteroids with previous period
determinations which may be consistent
or inconsistent with the earlier values.
The Minor Planet Bulletin is a refereed
publication and that it is available online
at http://www.minorplanet.info/
mpbdownloads.html. Annual voluntary
contributions of $5 or more in support of
the publication are welcome.
In addition, please visit the ALPO Minor
Planets Section online at http://
www.alpo-astronomy.org/minor
Jupiter Section
Richard W. Schmude, Jr.,
section coordinator
schmude@gdn.edu
The most important development on
Jupiter has been the thin NEB. The NEB
is only about one-half as wide as normal.
In fact, the NEB is currently thinner than
it has been since at least 1994. The
NEB is so narrow, that dark barges are
outside of it. It will be interesting to see
how the NEB develops over the next few
months. Please keep imaging Jupiter.
This ALPO section coordinator is
currently reviewing the proofs of the
2010-2011 Jupiter apparition report.
He will start work on the 2011-2012
report in a few months. The writer is also
working with another scientist on a
paper about Jupiter's brightness and
color. That paper covers measurements
taken since the 1960s and has been
submitted to the professional journal
Icarus.
Please continue making images of
Jupiter. I am also interested in methane
band images and visual intensity
estimates.
Visit the ALPO Jupiter Section online at
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/jupiter
Galilean Satellite
Eclipse Timing Program
John Westfall,
program coordinator
johnwestfall@comcast.net
If you have not yet submitted your
timings of the eclipses of the Galilean
satellites for the past apparition (2010-
2011), we would be happy to receive
them. We have placed on the ALPO
Jupiter Section webpage a schedule of
satellite eclipses for the 2011-2012
Apparition of Jupiter.
As stated in previous reports for this
ALPO observing section, three
circumstances have come together to
allow us to view something we see only
rarely – both the beginnings and endings
of the same eclipses of Europa. For the
great majority of the time, we can see
only disappearances of the satellite
before opposition, and only
reappearances after opposition (indeed,
some literature incorrectly states that this
is always the case).
The first condition that helps create this
series of events is that Jupiter is closer
than average to the Sun, having reached
perihelion on 2011 March 17 (4.9494
A report on the Main-Belt Asteroid 27
Euterpe appears later in this issue.
Completely Visible Eclipses of
Europa by Jupiter, 2012
Series 3 (18 eclipses)
TT Date Begin End
Aug 06 hh mm
07 28
hh mm
09 51
Aug 09 20 45 23 08
Aug 13 10 02 12 25
Aug 16-17 23 19 01 42
Aug 20 12 36 14 59
Aug 24 01 53 04 16
Aug 27 15 10 17 33
Aug 31 04 27 06 50
Sep 03 17 44 20 07
Sep 07 07 01 09 24
Sep 10 20 18 22 41
Sep 14 09 35 11 58
Sep 17-18 22 52 01 15
Sep 21 12 09 14 32
Sep 25 01 26 03 49
Sep 28 14 43 17 06
Oct 02 04 00 06 24
Oct 05 17 18 19 41
Page 12 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
Inside the ALPO
Member, section and activity news
AU from the Sun). The second situation
is that the Earth is well north of Jupiter’s
equator (and thus the orbital planes of
the Galilean satellites; 3.89° north on
2011 October 01). Finally, the Sun also
is north of the Jupiter’s equator (3.57°
north on 2012 March 10). This allows us
to peek past the planet and, before
opposition, see both eclipse
disappearances and reappearances; the
last very close to Jupiter’s limb. After
opposition, we have the opposite, with
the disappearances next to Jupiter’s limb
and the reappearances well away from
the planet.
There are 18 remaining occurrences
when we will be able to see these
complete (beginning and ending) eclipses
of Europa during the time period 2012
August 06 thru Oct 05.
We hope that some of our readers will
watch and time some of these events.
(Normally, we must time Europa’s eclipse
reappearances months after we time its
disappearances.) The table that
accompanies this report gives the dates
and terrestrial times (TT) of these events.
(Subtract about one minute to convert TT
to UT.)
New and potential observers are invited
to participate in this worthwhile ALPO
observing program.
Contact John Westfall via regular mail at
P.O. Box 2447, Antioch, CA 94531-
2447 USA or e-mail to
johnwestfall@comcast.net to obtain an
observer’s kit, also available on the
Jupiter Section page of the ALPO
website.
Saturn Section
Julius Benton, section coordinator
jlbaina@msn.com
With an apparent visual magnitude +0.7
at the beginning of March, Saturn is
reasonably well-placed for observing later
during the evening hours. The planet's
northern hemisphere and north face of
the rings are now visible as the ring tilt
toward Earth increases throughout the
next several years, with regions south of
the rings becoming progressively less
favorable for viewing. Right now the
rings are inclined about +15.0° toward
Earth. The following geocentric
phenomena for 2011-12 apparition are
presented for the convenience of
readers:
The table of geocentric phenomena for
the 2011-12 apparition is presented for
the convenience of readers who wish to
plan their Saturn observing activities.
Observers have been submitting
impressive images of the planet in recent
weeks now that it is more favorably
placed for viewing. The emergence of a
massive storm in the region of Saturn's
North Tropical Zone (NTrZ) caught the
attention of ALPO observers during the
2010-11 apparition, appearing in early
December 2010 and regularly observed
and imaged ever since. The NTrZ white
"complex" was the brightest feature seen
on the planet in quite a few years,
showing considerable brightening over
time, then undergoing rapid evolution
and differentiation into bright and dusky
structures along its length. The storm
progressively widened in latitude and
underwent considerable longitudinal
growth, eventually encircling the globe by
the end of the last apparition. Cassini
images also dramatically showed how the
storm rapidly evolved with time.
Observations during the current
apparition clearly show the
morphologically complex remnants of
the enormous NTrZ storm. It is
important for observers to carefully
document how the appearance of this
feature changes throughout the 2011-12
apparition. Indeed, as the inclination of
Saturn's northern hemisphere toward the
Sun increases, with subsequently greater
solar insolation affecting these regions,
conditions remain favorable for activity to
develop similar to the NTrZ white storm.
Color filter techniques can be used by
visual observers to determine which
visual wavelengths produce the best
views of the NTrZ in the aftermath of the
storm as well as other similar features
that might emerge. Continued consistent
digital imaging at visual, infrared, UV,
and methane (CH4) wavelength bands is
particularly important.
The observation programs conducted by
the ALPO Saturn Section are listed on
the Saturn page of the ALPO website at
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/ as well
as in considerable detail in the author’s
book, Saturn and How to Observe It,
available from Springer, Amazon.com,
etc., or by writing to the ALPO Saturn
Section for further information.
Observers are urged to carry out digital
imaging of Saturn at the same time that
others are imaging or visually watching
Saturn (i.e., simultaneous observations).
Although regular imaging of Saturn is
extremely important and highly
encouraged, far too many experienced
observers have neglected making visual
numerical relative intensity estimates,
which are badly needed for a continuing
comparative analysis of belt, zone, and
A report on Saturn during its 2008-2009
apparition appears later in this issue.
Geocentric Phenomena for the 2011-2012 Apparition of Saturn
in Universal Time (UT)
Conjunction 2011 Oct 13d
Opposition 2012 Apr 15d
Conjunction 2012 Oct 25d
Opposition Data:
Equatorial Diameter Globe 19.0 arc-seconds
Polar Diameter Globe 16.9 arc-seconds
Major Axis of Rings 43.0 arc-seconds
Minor Axis of Rings 28.6 arc-seconds
Visual Magnitude (mv)0.2 m
v (in Virgo)
B = +13.7º
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 13
Inside the ALPO
Member, section and activity news
ring component brightness variations
over time. So, this type of visual work is
strongly encouraged before or after
imaging the planet.
The ALPO Saturn Section appreciates
the dedicated work by so many observers
who regularly submit their reports and
images. Cassini mission scientists, as
well as other professional specialists, are
continuing to request drawings, digital
images, and supporting data from
amateur observers around the globe in an
active Pro-Am cooperative effort.
Information on ALPO Saturn programs,
including observing forms and
instructions, can be found on the Saturn
pages on the official ALPO Website at
www.alpo-astronomy.org/saturn
All are invited to also subscribe to the
Saturn e-mail discussion group at Saturn-
ALPO@yahoogroups.com
Remote Planets Section
Richard W. Schmude, Jr.,
section coordinator
schmude@gdn.edu
Jim Fox has sent in over three dozen
high-quality brightness measurements of
Uranus and Neptune. Based on Jim's
measurements, Uranus has brightened by
about one to two percent since 2010.
The planet appears to be following a
seasonal trend in brightness whereby it is
dimmest when the equator faces us and
is brightest when its polar regions face
us.
This section coordinator also measured
the brightness of Uranus in October and
December of 2011. He used the red and
infrared filters. The data show that
Uranus was several percent brighter in
December than October. One possible
explanation is the large bright cloud that
was imaged on that planet in mid-
October. Uranus, however, was not
brighter in December through the B and
V filters.
I am planning to submit the 2011-2012
remote planets report to the editor
sometime this summer. The 2010-
2011 report was published in JALPO54-
1 (Winter 2012).
A reminder that the book Uranus,
Neptune and Pluto and How to
Observe Them is now available from
Springer at www.springer.com/
astronomy/popular+astronomy/book/
978-0-387-76601-0 or elsewhere (such
as www.amazon.ca/Uranus-Neptune-
Pluto-Observe-Them/dp/0387766014)
to order a copy.
Visit the ALPO Remote Planets Section
online at http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/
remote.
Correction/Clarification
By Tom Dobbins
The references cited in my recent article
“Clouds and Chimera, Self-Deception
and Serendipity” omitted two seminal
documents that I co-authored with
William Sheehan, namely William
Sheehan and Thomas A. Dobbins,
“Lowell and the Spokes of Venus,” Sky
& Telescope, July 2002, pp. 99-103 and
William Sheehan and Thomas Dobbins,
“Charles Boyer and the Clouds of
Venus,” Sky & Telescope June 1999,
56-60. My exclusion of these references
is embarrassing but quite innocent. When
I was writing the draft during the summer
of 2010, I was in the throes of moving
from Ohio to Florida. My issues of Sky &
Telescope had been boxed and were
awaiting shipment to my new home.
Unable to access the issue dates and
page numbers of these articles, I planned
to insert these references when I
completed and submitted the article.
After a lapse of a year and a half, I simply
forgot to do so. Sheehan’s contributions
to this subject matter should have been
recognized but were not, which I deeply
regret and wish to correct.
Recent digital image showing the appearance of the NTrZ region in the aftermath of the
impressive storm discovered last year. The bright storm remnants quite noticeably still
encircle the globe of Saturn at this latitude. Image was taken on February 7, 2012 at
18:08UT by Trevor Barry observing from Australia using a 40.6 cm (16.0 in.)
Newtonian in visible light (RGB) in good seeing (S = 6.5 using the standard ALPO scale).
Apparent diameter of Saturn’s globe is 17.7” with a ring tilt of +15.. CMI = 268.6°, CMII
= 318.1°, CMIII = 321.9°. S is at the top of the image.
Page 14 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
Minutes provided by Matt Will,
ALPO Secretary / Treasurer
Call to Order
On July 21, 2011, at 8:39 p.m. MDT
(Mountain Daylight Time), ALPO Executive
Director and Board Chairman, Richard W.
Schmude called the ALPO Board to order in
the Breakfast Room of the Comfort Inn, in
Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Attendance
ALPO Board members, Walter Haas
(Founder), Ken Poshedly, Richard Schmude
(Chairman), John Westfall, and Matthew Will
were present. Robert Garfinkle, the ALPO
Book Review Editor was invited to sit in on
the Board meeting. Board members, Julius
Benton, Don Parker, Michael Reynolds, and
Sanjay Limaye could not attend this year's
conference were therefore absent from the
meeting. No phone service was available to
tie them into by phone. Matthew Will acted as
Julius Benton's proxy and Richard Schmude
acted as Don Parker's proxy.
Issue One: Approval of the
Board Meeting Minutes of
2010 (Introduced by
Matthew Will)
Board meeting minutes for our 2010 ALPO
Board meeting were approved by all the
present Board members.
Issue Two: Location for
the ALPO to Convene in
2012 (Introduced by
Richard Schmude)
Executive Director Richard Schmude
announced that Carroll Iorg, president of the
Astronomical League had extended an
invitation to the ALPO to meet with it next
year at the 2012 ALCon, in Highland Park,
Illinois. The local host society, the Chicago
Astronomical Society will be hosting this
meeting as it celebrates its 50th Anniversary.
We haven't had a meeting in the Midwest
since 2008 or a meeting with the League in
what will be three years. So this was an easy
decision for the ALPO Board to make.
Richard Schmude made the motion for the
ALPO to meet with the Astronomical League
in Highland Park next year and Ken Poshedly
seconded. The Board vote in favor of meeting
in Highland Park, Illinois, in 2012, was 7
votes to 0 with the five present Board
members voting with Matt Will acting as Julius
Benton's proxy and Richard Schmude acting
as Don Parker's proxy.
Issue Three: Membership
and Finances (Introduced
by Matthew Will)
ALPO Secretary and Treasurer Matthew Will
reported to the ALPO Board the ALPO’s
finances for the preceding year in the annual
report submitted to the Board last February.
An interim report concerning this year’s
activities was issued earlier this month. The
ALPO has $4191.93 in the Springfield
account and $3100.15 in the Las Cruces
account as of June 30, 2011. The current
value of the ALPO Endowment is
$26,128.32.
The ALPO is spending more money than it is
taking in from the Journal. While voluntary
contributions at higher membership levels
help us shoulder the burden for production
and organizational cost, the ALPO finances
are still in a deficit. It would be wise at this
time, to consider a modest membership dues
increase to keep from posing some potential
finance problems in producing the Journal.
The membership dues increases are listed
later in the minutes as Issue Four. While
fundraising as a topic directed toward
increasing the ALPO Endowment was
discussed later in the meeting, Ken Poshedly
brought up the possibility of supplementing
funding for the Journal with grants. Ken
mentioned one possibility of seeking a grant
from NASA and other scientific governmental
or non-governmental organizations. John
Westfall commented that the National Science
Foundation might be another source for a
grant. Bob Garfinkle suggested that the
Feature Story:
ALPO Board Meeting Minutes, July 21, 2011 Las Cruces, New Mexico
Group photo at the Saturday evening dinner. Standing left to right: Ken Poshedly, Wayne Bailey, Phil Budine, Richard Schmude, John West-
fall, Roger Venable, Gene Cross and Daniel H. Harris. Seated left to right: Derald Nye, Walter Haas, Cecil Post, and Janet Stevens. Standing
in background at far right: Elizabeth Westfall and Joan Post.
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 15
private sector could contribute some funding
as well, as such companies as American
Express have done this sort of thing in the
recent past. Matthew Will said that he had
done some research involving grants for the
Endowment and cautioned that there were
complications to consider in such an
approach, but taking a fresh look at potential
income of this nature should be reviewed.
Both Ken and Matt will work together to
research the grants angle.
The ALPO membership dropped off a bit
from the start of this year where we were at
421 members to 392 members with the
release of this summer's issue of the Journal.
The ALPO Secretary is now mailing
brochures and sample copies of the Journal
to the educational community (planetariums,
science centers, and other educational
institutions) in an effort to raise our profile in
these circles and possibly attract both new
members and people that could help in
promoting our organization. ALPO materials
have been distributed to a couple of non-
ALPO meeting venues earlier this spring and
summer to attract new members.
Issue Four: Membership
Dues Increase (Introduced
by Matthew Will)
As stated above under Issue Three,
entertaining a modest dues increase now
reverses our deficit and prevents a more
dramatic increase in dues in the future. So the
time may be right to consider a modest dues
increase for calendar year 2012. Below is the
proposal from the Membership Secretary.
The Membership Secretary suggested that the
dues increase would begin on January 1,
2012. After a brief discussion, Matt Will made
the motion for the membership dues increase
and John Westfall seconded. The motion
passed 7 votes to 0. An announcement will be
made in the next two issues of the Journal
about this increase, encouraging members to
early renewal under old membership rates
before January 1st.
Issue Five: Fundraising
For the Endowment
(Introduced by Matthew
Will)
Matthew Will discussed the need for
fundraising regarding the ALPO Endowment.
The purpose of the Endowment is to provide
funding for a future central headquarters or
office for the ALPO. The ALPO Endowment
has been growing very slowly. At the same
time, there has been an interest among some
ALPO members in contributing to the ALPO
beyond the Sustaining and Sponsors
memberships. Earlier this year, Matt proposed
to the Board that memberships beyond the
Sponsor level could be created that would
encourage members to give more. This could
be set up in such a way that members would
have the option of paying at these higher
levels by check or online by credit card. A
separate web page on the ALPO Web Site
could explain in some detail our plans for
growing the Endowment and how the funds
would be utilized, since members contributing
additional funds beyond their regular dues,
would want to know the purpose for raising
these funds. Finally, as a thank you to
contributors, the ALPO would offer some free
items that are normally paid for by members
such as lapel pins and printed back issues. At
some higher level of giving, the ALPO would
leverage its notoriety in the book publishing
business by offering a free book published by
an ALPO staff member. All of this is tentative.
The Board wished to see the final product
before this effort is launched. Matt, plans to
produce most, if not all the elements for this
fundraising plan for presentation to the Board
before the end of the year. Matt is also
developing a work plan for assisting persons
that would want to contribute charitable
bequests. Corporate sponsorships are also
being looked at as well as grants, that were
discussed earlier. Matt Will made the motion
to commence with the “membership”
fundraising plan, with Board review before
this plan commences. Richard Schmude
seconded. The Board voted 7 to 0 in favor of
the motion.
Issue Six: Staff Changes
(Introduced by Richard
Schmude and
Matthew Will)
The ALPO Board reviewed acting staff
appointments for possible promotion to
permanent status. There were no acting staff
members that needed to be considered for
promotion to permanent staff. There were,
however, two staff members that had not
renewed their ALPO memberships. In
accordance with our standing rules and our
guidance to staff in the Staff Guidelines, staff
members that don't answer repeated renewal
notices are subject to automatic dismissal if
there is no response four weeks after the third
renewal notice is sent. John Sandford and
Robert Ulrich of the Publications Section have
been dropped from the ALPO Staff since
renewal notices have gone unanswered. The
Board wishes to thank John and Robert for
their past participation in the Publication
Section and in helping to edit the Journal.
Issue Seven: ALPO
Website (Introduced by
Matthew Will)
The ALPO Board wishes to express its
sincerely thanks and gratitude to Larry
Owens, the ALPO Web Master, for his work
in rejuvenating the ALPO website by updating
and reformatting all section web pages and
other related materials on our website. Larry's
work has given the ALPO web pages some
uniformity and consistency in appearance and
has given the ALPO a “professional quality”
look. However, there are still issues that have
to be resolved concerning out-of-date material
maintained on staff pages that link to section
pages on the ALPO website. After some
discussion, the consensus from the Board was
that some consideration should be given to
moving staff materials not already on the
ALPO website, to our web site. This might
help in cleaning up obviously out-of-date
material that hasn't been removed. Larry will
be consulted about the possibility of going
forward on this in the near future. Matt plans
to talk to Larry about this. Matt will also
discuss with Larry a plan for utilizing the
ALPO website as a gateway for section
archiving of observational data. Larry had
proposed a plan of sorts earlier in the year,
however, this is all subject to Larry's schedule
and what he is free to do for the ALPO, in
addition to his usual duties in supporting our
website.
Issue Eight: Section
Inactivity (Introduced by
Ken Poshedly)
Ken Poshedly discussed issues concerning the
inactivity of some sections. Earlier this spring
the ALPO Board voted to close the Lunar
Domes Survey due to inactivity with this
program and to forward any and all materials
related to this program to the Lunar
Topographical Studies Program. The Board
thanks Marvin Huddleston for coordinating
Revised Dues Structure (Effective January 1, 2012)
Type of Membership Old Rates New Rates
One Year Paper Domestic $30 $33
Two Year Paper Domestic $54 $60
One Year Paper International $37 $40
Two Year Paper International $68 $74
One Year Digital $12 Unchanged
Two Year Digital $20 Unchanged
Sustaining Member $60 $65
Sponsor $120 $130
Page 16 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
this program since 2002. Current concerns
are focused on the Meteorite Section and
activity within this section. After some
discussion, Ken Poshedly made a motion to
ask Dolores Hill, the coordinator for the
section, if this section has still active, in other
words, are members participating in
programs under this section. If so, then to ask
Robert Lunsford, coordinator of the Meteors
Section, if the Meteorites Section can be
incorporated into the Meteors Section, as a
subsection or separate program. Richard
Schmude seconded. The Board vote was 7 to
0 in favor of the motion.
Issue Nine: The Future of
the ALPO Board
(Introduced by John
Westfall)
John Westfall opened discussion about the
future of the ALPO Board. John observed the
current membership of the Board was getting
on in years. In all probability, most if not all
current Board members will not be on the
Board twenty years from now. John stated
that the ALPO Board needs to recruit new
Board members as positions open up and in a
manner that insures continuity of leadership
and in sustaining the mission of the ALPO. In
that regard, the Board should be thinking
about where the ALPO as an organization will
be in the future. Matt Will had commented
that part of the reason for the central
headquarters or office project was to
eventually entice other persons outside of the
ALPO that might have a broader range of
expertise in helping to manage and
administrate the ALPO. Both Ken and Matt
expressed concerns in finding successors if
and when either one of them had to vacate
their present positions. Although no motions
were made, John said that this is something
we have to seriously think about in the
coming years.
Issue Ten: New Officers
(Introduced by Richard
Schmude)
In accordance with a longstanding agreement
with the Board members the rotation for the
positions of Executive Director and Associate
Executive Director continue. Julius Benton
will become our new Executive Director for
the next two years and Ken Poshedly will be
the new Associate Executive Director.
Matthew Will continues on as both Secretary
and Treasurer.
Richard Schmude made a motion to affirm
the approval of these proposed officers
serving for the next two years and John
Westfall seconded the motion. The vote was
an affirmative seven to zero.
Issue Eleven: Observer's
and Service Awards
(Introduced by Richard
Schmude)
The ALPO has two awards to honor persons
providing outstanding work for our programs.
The ALPO Walter H. Haas Observer's Award
is given yearly when the ALPO meets each
summer and conferred on an amateur
astronomer for excellence in observational
Solar System astronomy. The selection of this
award is performed by an independent
committee that rotates its membership each
year, and is currently chaired by Donald C.
Parker. The award consist of an engraved
plaque and a two-year complimentary
membership in the ALPO.
This year's recipient is John Boudreau of
Saugus, Massachusetts. John is an expert
CCD imager of planetary bodies. In particular,
John is a major contributor of Mercury
observations for the ALPO Mercury Section.
John has done wonderful work with his C11
SCT telescope, taking planetary images that
have graced the pages of our Journal. Lately,
John has become a true luminary on the
subject of Mercury, co-authoring an article
about the planet with William Sheehan and
Alessandro Manara in the March 2011 issue
of Sky and Telescope magazine. Thanks for
your continued work, John, and your support
of the ALPO!
The Peggy Haas Service Award is presented
to an ALPO member for providing
outstanding service to our organization.
Selection for this award is done solely at the
discretion of the ALPO executive director.
The award is not considered to be a yearly
award, but rather when the presenter deems
it appropriate to recognize the awardee.
The recipient of the 2011 Peggy Haas
Service Award is Julius Benton at the time of
this year's conference. Julius has performed
many duties over many years as an ALPO
member. Julius has been our ALPO Saturn
Section coordinator for the past 40 years,
beginning in May of 1971, and is also our
ALPO Venus Section coordinator, serving in
that role since December of 1972. He had been serving as
Lunar Selected Areas Program coordinator for more than
20 years before that program was merged into the Lunar
Topographical Studies Program.
Julius has been an ALPO Board member since August
1994 and is now our current executive director, having
previously served for two terms in that position in the years
2000-2002 and 2005-2007.
Julius has done an exemplary job in performing the
services of all the positions he has held and has
demonstrated the best of what the ALPO has to offer
through his knowledge, keen interest, and enthusiasm that
he conveys in his apparition reports, correspondence with
other amateurs, and presentations he does for interested
individuals. Thanks Julius for making the ALPO the very
best it can be!
Adjournment
With no other business to conduct, Richard Schmude made
a motion to adjourn the Board meeting. Ken Poshedly
seconded. The motion passed with present Board
members voting in the affirmative with Board meeting
adjourning at 10:33 p.m. MDT on July 21, 2011.
Julius L. Benton, recipient of the 2011
ALPO Peggy Haas Service Award. Julius
currently serves as both the ALPO Venus
Section Coordinator and the ALPO Sat-
urn Section Coordinator, and has served
as the organization’s executive director
at various times.
John Boudreau, recipient of the 2011
ALPO Walter H. Haas Observer’s Award
for his outstanding imaging work with
Mercury and other planetary bodies.
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 17
Review by Wayne Bailey, PhD, FRAS
ALPO Lunar Topographical Studies &
Selected Areas Program Coordinator
wayne.bailey@alpo-astronomy.org
The Kaguya Lunar Atlas by Motomaro
Shirao & Charles A. Wood, 2011, pub-
lished in New York by Springer (ISBN
978-1-4419-7284-2); 173 pages, hard-
cover; list price $39.95.
The Japanese lunar orbiter Kaguya (also
known as SELENE, the SELenological
and ENgineering Explorer) began
science observations in 2007. It initially
operated at 100 km altitude, with its
altitude reduced successively to 50 km,
then 10 km until it impacted the surface
on June 10, 2009, prior to losing
attitude control. The current atlas is a
product of the High-Definition Television
(HDTV), whose primary purpose was to
engage the public in lunar science. The
HDTV viewed off-nadir, with both wide-
angle and telephoto cameras viewing
fore and aft along the orbit track, giving
an astronaut-view type of image. These
images are higher resolution than Earth-
based telescopic images and some
previous lunar orbiters, but not as high as
those of the nadir-viewing cameras
carried by Kaguya and other recent
spacecraft.
The first thing to point out is that this
atlas is not a comprehensive map of
lunar features, in the sense of Rukl’s
Atlas of the Moon. Instead, it is a
collection of 100 images of specific lunar
features (77 nearside) from a unique
viewpoint. However, global lunar
topography is presented in six small-scale
hemispheric images (East, West, Near,
Far, North & South) from the Kaguya
Laser Altimeter.
The book contains two parts. Part I
presents information about the Kaguya
spacecraft and mission, the HDTV
cameras, and a general discussion of the
lunar surface. I found the discussion in
Chapter 2 concerning the challenges and
techniques of processing the TV images
particularly interesting. Creating a
panoramic perspective view by
combining successive video frames is
challenging because the view angle
remains constant, but orbital motion
changes the camera location. We usually
view a panorama by turning our head
(i.e., changing the view direction while in
a fixed position). The method used to
create this atlas is described, as well as an
alternate technique that produces a push-
broom type, constant angle view.
Chapter 4 is a nice, very readable,
introduction to the lunar surface, but
doesn’t include anything new for those
who are already familiar with the Moon.
These four chapters are important
though, since they provide background
for the images in Part II.
Part II is a collection of 100 images,
preceded by introductory material that
describes the location and orientation
labels, and the sequencing of images in
the atlas. The image labels seemed self-
explanatory to me, but this is nice
material to have anyway. I was curious
about one thing that I didn’t find
addressed here: Why are the images
divided into three chapters? Not of any
significance, but I’m curious. Each image
includes a description of the features
visible and their interpretation.
The combination of unique viewpoint of
the images and the accompanying
discussion, make this a book that should
be on the bookshelf of every student of
the Moon.
Overall, I’d recommend this book to
anyone that is at all interested in the
Moon. Scientifically, the off-nadir view
complements the usual nadir view. For
the observer, the discussion
accompanying each image provides a
guide to interpreting your own
observations of these or other features.
And finally, the impressive images also
make it suitable as a coffee table book.
***********************
Book reviews appropriate for the
ALPO are welcome for publication in
this journal. Please send your reviews
to the ALPO Book Review Editor, Bob
Garfinkle at ragarf@earthlink.net.
Book Review
The Kaguya Lunar Atlas
Page 18 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
By John Westfall, coordinator
ALPO Mercury/Venus Transit Section
johnwestfall@comcast.net
Why the Excitement?
What, another transit of Venus? Didn’t
we have one just eight years ago?
Yes, there was a transit of Venus in June
2004, still fresh in the memories of those
who watched it. However, after the 2012
event is over we have to wait 105 years
for the next one. Thus, the June 5-6,
2012 transit is the last viewing
opportunity for all persons living today
(except for a few very young children and
those optimistic about medical
breakthroughs). They are indeed rare;
humanity has witnessed only six transits
of Venus: in 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874,
1882 and 2004.
What Will Happen When
and Where
In Universal Time (UT), the transit begins
on June 5th, 2012 and ends on June
6th. More precisely, for the imaginary
geocentric observer, Table 1 lists the
five significant events during the transit
and the times they take place.
The “shadow” of Venus moves so rapidly
over the Earth that no matter where you
are located, if you can see the transit at
all, the event times for you will differ by
no more than 7 minutes from the
geocentric times. The ALPO Mercury/
Venus Transit Section web page gives
predicted contact times for selected cities
throughout the visibility area. In addition,
to find the precise event times for your
exact location (by city or by latitude and
longitude), visit the website http://
aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/Transit.php.
Figure 1 shows the path Venus will take
as it crosses the disk of the Sun, lasting
about 6h 40m from Contact I to Contact
IV.
As with all fleeting astronomical events,
the transit will not be visible throughout
the world. In terms of area (if not
people), about a third of our planet will
see the entire event, another third will
see part of it, and the remaining third will
have to wait until 2117. Fortunately,
North and Central America, northwest
South America, most of Africa, almost all
of Europe, and all of Asia and Australasia
will have a chance (depending on
weather) – the great majority of the
human race. Figure 2 maps the zones
of the six different types of visibility. If
you choose to travel to a location where
you can see the entire transit, another
factor to consider is the probability of
clear skies (Figure 3). Remembering
that the weather on transit day may well
differ from the long-term statistics, it
appears that northern Australia (or
perhaps the leeward sides of some
Pacific islands) is the most favorable area
for those wishing to see the event from
beginning to end, while the Middle East
and the southwest United States are
promising areas for those content to see
just part of the event.
Watching Safely
While crossing the Sun’s disk, Venus will
cover only about 0.1 percent of the solar
surface. In other words, you should take
the same viewing precautions you would
were you observing sunspots or a partial
solar eclipse. To avoid injuring your
eyesight or your equipment, you have
your choice of three safe methods to do
this.
The first method is to shield your
eyes by viewing through a specially
designed solar filter, covering your
eyes (if viewing naked-eye) or the
entire aperture of your telescope
(with the finder similarly filtered or
covered), binoculars (both lenses) or
camera (including any separate view-
finder). The point is to cut down the
visible, infrared and ultraviolet light
by a factor of at least 100 thousand
times. For naked-eye viewing,
eclipse glasses” can be had cheaply
or you can use a #14 welding filter.
For more than 1-power magnifica-
tion, though, you’ll need something
of better optical quality – either
metal-on-glass, metal-on-mylar or
black polymer.
A second alternative is to view the
transit by projecting the Sun’s image
through binoculars or a telescope
onto a white surface. The farther the
image from the eyepiece, the greater
the magnification, although the
image then becomes fainter. To get
Feature Story: Venus
The Upcoming Transit of Venus in June 2012
All Readers
Your comments, questions, etc.,
about this report are appreciated.
Please send them to:
ken.poshedly@alpo-astronomy.org
Online Features
Left-click your mouse on:
The authors e-mail address in blue
text to contact the author of this
article.
The references in blue text to jump
to source material or information
about that source material (Inter-
net connection must be ON).
Observing Scales
Standard ALPO Scale of Intensity:
0.0 = Completely black
10.0 = Very brightest features
Intermediate values are assigned
along the scale to account for
observed intensity of features
ALPO Scale of Seeing Conditions:
0 = Worst
10 = Perfect
IAU directions are used in all
instances.
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 19
better contrast, try to shade the pro-
jection surface as much as possible
from sunlight and skylight. This
method is a bit more dangerous than
using a full-aperture solar filter
because the beam of sunlight emerg-
ing from the eyepiece is hot enough
to damage the eyepiece, burn some-
one, start a fire, and immediately
blind anyone attempting to look
directly through the eyepiece. With
reflecting telescopes, there is the
additional risk of overheating and
damaging the secondary mirror dur-
ing prolonged viewing.
A third alternative is to use a tele-
scope specifically designed for solar
observation. Two instruments that
project images in integrated (white)
light are the Sunspotter Solar Tele-
scope (© Learning Technologies,
Inc.) and the Solarscope (© Solar-
scope, LLC). Another approach is a
direct-viewing narrow-band telescope
like the Personal Solar Telescope
(PST), most often centered on the H-
α line (656.28 nm).
Understanding that the form of observing
must be restricted to one of the safe
methods listed above, there is
considerable choice in the type of
equipment, as proven by observers
during the 2004 transit. The most basic
approach is the safely filtered naked eye.
Many observers, along with members of
the general public, thus watched Venus
creep across the face of the Sun during
the 19th-century transits or that of 2004.
This writer used this method to view the
Venus transit of 2004.
Still, magnification helps, even if just a
pair of binoculars (safely filtered or
utilized to project an image). With a small
telescope, perhaps a 60-mm aperture
instrument or more, at 50-100X, you
can time the contacts of Venus’s limb
with that of the Sun and probably see the
notorious black drop phenomenon. To
see the elusive aureole, though, we
recommend at least 150-mm aperture
and 150X or greater.
Table 1. Schedule of Events, Transit of Venus, 2012 (Geocentric)*
Event Universal Time Position AngleDescription
Contact I June 5, 22h 09m 41s 040. Ingress, exterior contact
Contact II June 5, 22h 27m 29s 038.2° Ingress, interior contact
Least Angular DistanceJune 6, 01h 29m 36s ------ Venus farthest into disk
Contact III June 6, 04h 31m 43s 292.7° Egress, interior contact
Contact IV June 6, 04h 49m 31s 290.1° Egress, exterior contact
* Data are from: United States, Nautical Almanac Office (2011). The Astronomical Almanac for the Year 2012. Washington: U.S. Government
Printing Office. p. A97. Note that the values are calculated for the diameter of the solid body of Venus (57.80”), rather than that of its cloud-
tops (58.26”).
Measured counterclockwise from celestial north. 554.4” or 0.586 solar semidiameters.
Figure 1. The path of Venus across the Sun during the June 05-06, 2012 transit. Geocentric
view – the apparent path may shift north or south by up to one-third a Venus diameter,
depending on the observer’s location. Celestial north at top.
Page 20 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
The transit will offer many photographic
opportunities, using anything from a
telephoto lens to a telescope-mounted
video or CCD camera. Remember that
even a simple camera will need a safe
solar filter to be placed over its lens and
over its viewfinder lens if there is one.
Prior to the transit, experiment with
different ISO (light sensitivity) values and
exposure times to decide on the best
combination for the event itself. For
examples of transit of Venus
photography, hundreds of photographs
of the 2004 Venus transit can be found
on the ESO website, listed under “More
Transit Information” below. The same
section lists websites and publications
about transits of Venus that provide
further observing information.
What to Watch
You can also observe one interesting
phenomenon involving the planet Venus
both before and after the actual transit
date; that is, for about two weeks on
either side of June 5-6. During that
period of time, Venus’s apparent size is
large, but it takes the form of a narrow
crescent. Unlike, for example, the
crescent Moon, Venus’s outline then
extends for more than the theoretical l80
degrees – a phenomenon called the
elongation of the horns (also known as
the “cusp extension”), caused by
scattering of light in the planet’s upper
atmosphere and one of the earliest
proofs that the planet had an
atmosphere. Figure 4 shows the
appearance of this phenomenon. During
this four-week period, Venus is within
about 20 degrees of the Sun and thus is
difficult to observe in a dark sky.
However, if you choose instead to
observe the planet during daytime, you
obviously have to exercise extreme
caution not to accidentally turn the
telescope upon the Sun itself.
A much more rare phenomenon has
sometimes been reported when Venus
displays a crescent phase – an elusive
faint illumination of the planet’s night
side, called the ashen light. During this
apparition, Venus will appear as a
narrow crescent, less than 25-percent
sunlit, from early May through early July
2012. You should report any
observations, positive or negative, of
either the elongation of the horns, or of
the ashen light, to the ALPO Venus
Section Coordinator, Dr. Julius L.
Benton, Jr., jlbaina@msn.com . Use the
Venus Visual Observation form which
follows this article.
The actual 2012 transit of Venus begins
when the planet’s limb first touches that
of the Sun, called Contact I. Venus then
takes about 17 minutes to reach Contact
II, when it has fully entered the Sun’s
disk, and the interval between the two
contacts is called ingress.
After crossing the northern portion of
the Sun’s disk, about six hours later,
Venus’s limb again touches that of the
Sun, marking Contact III. Venus’s egress
takes another 17 minutes, with the entire
event completed at Contact IV.
Of course, of the portion of the Earth
where the transit is visible, some areas
will witness all four contacts, while other
areas will see only two or even just one.
Accurately timing these contacts was an
important activity in the 18th and 19th
centuries because differences in the times
as seen from different terrestrial locations
allowed the solar parallax to be calculated
– the key to the scale of the entire solar
system. Although that particular
application is no longer needed, many
Figure 2. Visibility zones for the transit of Venus on June 05-06, 2012. In local time, in areas of partial visibility, the transit occurs on June 5th
east of the International Date Line and on June 6th to its west.
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 21
observers of the 2004 transit of Venus
made such timings as an educational
exercise and in order to investigate the
sources of error in the historic
observations. The same type of program
will be conducted in 2012; see http://
transitofvenus.nl/wp/getting-involved/
measure-the-suns-distance for further
information.
The periods of ingress and egress are the
most interesting portions of the transit,
chiefly because it is then that the
phenomenon of the planet’s aureole
(“ring of light”) takes place. This is when
the portion of Venus outside the Sun’s
disk is outlined by an extremely bright,
but extremely narrow, arc of sunlight
refracted by the planet’s atmosphere.
The aureole is quite different in nature
from the aforementioned elongation of
the horns, and is challenging to observe –
one needs good optics, good seeing
(steady atmosphere) and good
transparency (clear skies). It was
glimpsed at the two 18th century
transits, seen more clearly with the
improved telescopes used in the 19th
century transits, but never photographed
until the 2004 event (Figure 5).
At the end of ingress, near Contact II, or
near Contact III at the beginning of
egress, it is unlikely that you will see a
clean break between the limbs of Venus
and the Sun. Instead there is a blurring
between the two limbs, often forming a
filament of darkness seemingly attached
to the planet (Figure 6). Its appearance,
called the “black drop,” was a surprise
when first seen by the 18th century
observers, has been reported at every
transit since then, and seen at transits of
Mercury as well as of Venus. Although
sometimes described as mysterious, the
black drop is nothing more than a simple
blurring effect caused by imperfect optics
(no telescope has infinite resolution),
atmospheric seeing and limb darkening
at the extreme solar limb. Any blurring
due to the atmosphere of Venus is
negligible compared with the other
factors – note that airless Mercury also
exhibits a black drop during its transits.
The interval between Contact II and III is,
frankly, less interesting than during
ingress and egress, although there is an
outside chance of the planet passing near
or even over a sunspot. The Venus
Figure 3. Worldwide mean long-term probability of sunshine during daylight hours for the month of June. Sources: [1] Leemans, Rik and
Cramer, Wolfgang P. (1991). The IIASA database for mean monthly values of temperature, precipitation, and cloudiness on a global
terrestrial grid. IIASA Publication RR-91-18. Laxenburg, Austria: International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. [2] Rudloff, Willy
(1981). World-climates: With tables of climatic data and practical suggestions. Stuttgart: Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft mbH. [3]
Ruffner, James A. and Bair, Frank E., Eds. (1987). The weather almanac. 5th ed. Detroit: Gale Research.
Figure 4. Venus 1.83° from the Sun on
June 19, 1964, showing the elongation-
of-the-horns phenomenon. Photograph
by B. A. Smith with a 12-in. (30-cm)
reflector with a red filter. North at top.
Page 22 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
transit event takes place
near solar maximum,
and the proximity of
the pitch-black disk of
Venus to a sunspot
would demonstrate
than even the umbra of
a spot is far from black.
In addition, you could
photograph the Sun at
regular intervals during
the transit to plot the
passage of the planet
across its disk. Another
possible project would
be to team up with
another observer, far
distant from your
location, in order to
take simultaneous
photographs to
illustrate the parallactic
shift of the planet;
when mounted
properly, the paired
photographs would
bring home the actual
three-dimensional
nature of the
phenomenon.
Dissemination
and
Coordination
Your observations,
whether in the form of
timings, drawings, film
photographs or digital
images, are far more
valuable when shared,
and more valuable still
when part of an
organized program.
The ALPO Mercury/
Venus Transit
Coordinator (John
Westfall.
johnwestfall@comcast.
net, P.O. Box 2447,
Antioch, CA 94531-
2447) welcomes all
forms of observation of
this coming event. In
addition, check the
several programs
described on http://
www.transitofvenus.nl .
More Transit Information
Printed Sources
Espenak, Fred and Anderson, Jay
(2012). “The June transit of Venus.” Sky
& Telescope, 123 (1; January): 70-75.
Maor, Eli (2000). June 8, 2004: Venus in
transit. Princeton: Princeton University
Press.
Maunder, Michael and Moore, Patrick
(2000). Transit: when planets cross the
sun. London: Springer-Verlag London
Ltd.
Sellers, David (2001). The transit of
Venus: the quest to find the true
distance to the sun. Leeds: MagaVelda
Press.
Sheehan, William P. and Westfall, John
E. (2004). The transits of Venus.
Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.
Transit Websites
Association of Lunar and Planetary
Observers, Mercury/Venus Transit
Section: http://alpo-astronomy.org
Fred Espenak’s website at NASA’s
Goddard Spaceflight Center: http://
sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/transit/
venus0412.html
A useful website by Chris Bueter, http://
www.transitofvenus.org , has links to
many other transit-related websites.
European Southern Observatory (ESO),
Educational Office, website http://
www.eso.org/outreach/eduoff/vt-2004
HM Nautical Almanac Office: http://
astro.ukho.gov.uk/nao/transit/V_2012
Steven van Roode’s Transit of Venus
site: http://www.transitofvenus.nl
A U.S. Naval Observatory website that
provides local event predictions: http://
aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/Transit.php
Eclipse/transit weather expert Jay
Anderson for weather prospects: http://
home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~jander/
tov2012/tovintro.htm
Figure 5. The aureole, outlining the portion of Venus still
outside the Sun’s disk during ingress during the transit of June
08, 2004. Taken by the TRACE (Transition Region and Coronal
Explorer) spacecraft in white light. The portion of the image
outside the solar limb has been enhanced. North at top.
Figure 6. Venus near Contact III during the June 08, 2004
transit, taken in white light by the TRACE spacecraft showing
the black drop effect. North at top.
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 23
Submitted by Frederick Pilcher,
ALPO Minor Planets Section coordi-
nator
pilcher@ic.edu
Paper by:
R. Stephens, Center for Solar System
Studies / MoreData!, rste-
phens@foxandstephens.com
B. D. Warner, Palmer Divide Observa-
tory /MoreData!, brian@MinorPlantOb-
server.com
R. Megna, Center for Solar System
Studies, rmegna@planetary-
sciences.org
D. Coley, Center for Solar System
Studies, dcoley@planetarysciences.org
Abstract
We obtained dense rotational
lightcurves for the main-belt asteroid 27
Euterpe during four apparitions in 2000,
2009, 2010 and 2011. The analysis
indicates retrograde rotation and
suggests, but does not confirm, that
Euterpe has albedo features making the
determination of an unambiguous spin
vector and model shape difficult.
Euterpe’s apparent nearly spherical
shape, low inclination, and pole within
about 35 degrees of the plane of the
solar system, caused two pole and
shape solutions to be present, differing
by about 180° in longitude. We found
solutions of (83°, -39°, 10.40825 ±
0.00003 h) and (261°, -30°, 10.40818 ±
0.00003 h). The approximate error in
the pole solutions is ± 10 degrees.
Results
The main-belt asteroid 27 Euterpe has
long been an enigma to observers. Its
apparent nearly non-elongated shape
and low amplitude frustrated the
attempts of many observers to determine
a rotational period. It wasn’t until 2000
that Stephens (Stephens et al. 2001)
published an accurate period for Euterpe.
Euterpe has also been suspected of
having albedo features. Bus (Bus and
Binzel, 2002) reports disparities in
spectra and ECAS reported colors for
Euterpe.
Mostly unfiltered observations were
obtained by the authors using small
telescopes (0.30 to 0.35 m) with SBIG or
FLI CCD cameras. Processing, lightcurve
analysis, and lightcurve inversion were
done using MPO Canopus, which
incorporates the Fourier analysis
algorithm (FALC) developed by Harris
(Harris et al., 1989), and MPO LCInvert.
In our analysis, we use the dense
lightcurve data from apparitions in 2000,
2009, 2010 and 2011 to find a probable
period. Figures 1 – 3 show previously
unpublished lightcurves from 2009,
2010 and 2011. Figures 4 and 5 shows
the PAB longitude and latitude
Distributions of the dense (blue) and
sparse (red) data used to form the final
Online Readers
Left-click your mouse on the e-mail address in blue text to contact the author of
this article, and selected references also in blue text at the end of this paper for
more information there.
Feature Story: Minor Planets
A Shape Model of the Main-Belt Asteroid 27 Euterpe
This report first appeared in The
Minor Planet Bulletin, Vol. 39, No.
1. The purpose of this republication
is to demonstrate the good work
being done by the ALPO Minor
Plants Section and recruit others to
likewise participate. While five-dol-
lar contributions are most welcome,
you may access the The Minor
Planet Bulletin at no charge online
at http://www.minorplanet.info/
mpbdownloads.html. Please note
that the hardcopy version of the
Journal of the Assn. of Lunar &
Planetary Observers (JALPO) does
not allow for color in these reports.
To see this report with color
images, please visit online at
www.alpo-astronomy.org/djalpo
Finally, Euterpe 27 was discovered
by J. R. Hind on November 8,
1853, and named after Euterpe,
the Muse of music in Greek mythol-
ogy.
Figure 1: Lightcurve from 2009 March.
Page 24 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
model. We started with the synodic
periods from the dense lightcurves to find
a sidereal period using LCInvert. This
was then applied in a pole search that
generated 264 solutions using discrete,
fixed longitude-latitude pairs but allowing
the sidereal period to “float.”
The results of this initial search are
shown in Figure 7. Dark blue indicates
the lower values of log (chi-square) in the
range of solutions. Colors progress
towards bright red with increasing log
(chi-square) with the highest value
indicated by maroon (dark red). From
Figure 7, two general solutions near
latitude B = -30° are easily seen (see
Hanus and Durech, 2011, for a
discussion of guidelines to determine the
validity of the “best solution” within a
given solution set).
The two intermediate solutions where
then refined by running the search again
using one of the two solutions as a
starting point and allowing the longitude
and latitude as well as the sidereal period
to float. For final modeling, we included a
sparse data set of USNOFlagstaff to
complement the dense lightcurve data
sets, but giving a much smaller weighting
to the USNO data.
The modeling was complicated by initial
“dark facet” sizes exceeding 1%, which
can indicate the possibility of albedo
variations (Durech et al., 2009). When
the weighting was raised to 2.0 before
modeling, the final dark facet size fell well
below 1%. This leaves the issue of albedo
variations somewhat in question.
Our final results show two possible
solutions, both with retrograde rotation.
The preferred solution is (83°, -39°,
10.40825 h) with an alternate solution
of (261°, -30°, 10.40818 h). Given the
low orbital inclination (1.6°) and the
nature of the lightcurve inversion
process, it is common to find a double
solution with the two usually differing by
180° in longitude. The error for the
poles is ±10° while the period solutions
have errors on the order of 2-3 units in
the last decimal place.
Further supporting our preference for
the (83°, -39°) solution is that the derived
shape (Figure 8) is a close match to the
1993 occultation profile obtained by
Dunham (1996), when nine observed
chords yielded a 124 x 75 km (77 x 47
mile) ellipse. In order to reconcile radar
observations with the occultation profile,
Magri et al. (1998) modeled Euterpe as a
triaxial ellipsoid of a/b = 1.15 ± 0.15
and b/c = 1.3 ± 0.3, or 127 x 110 x 85
km (79 x 68 x 53 miles).
In 2011 August, we obtained
observations through standard V and R
filters to determine if any color changes
to the rotational phase could be found.
Figure 10 shows that no color variations
were detected within V-R 0.02 mag.
The dense lightcurve data from all
apparitions have been uploaded to the
ALCDEF database (see Warner et al.,
2011) on the Minor Planet Center’s web
site (http://minorplanetcenter.net/
Light_curve).
Figure 3: Lightcurve from 2011 August.
Figure 2: Lightcurve from 2010 July.
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 25
References
Bus, S., and Binzel, R. (2002). “Phase II
of the Small Main-Belt Spectroscopic
Survey.” Icarus 158, 106-145.
Dunham, D. W. 1993 October 9
occultation of 8.3-mag. SAO 128735 by
(27) Euterpe. http://
www.anomalies.com/iota/more/
euterpe,htm.
Durech, J., Kaasalainen, M., Warner, B.
D., Fauerbach, M., Marks, S. A.,
Fauvaud, S., Fauvaud, M., Vugnon, J.-
M., Pilcher, F., Bernasconi, L., and
Behrend, R. (2009). “Asteroid models
from combined sparse and dense
photometric data.” Astron. Astrophys.
493, 291-297.
Hanuš, J. and Durech, J. (2011). “New
Asteroid Models Based on Combined
Dense and Sparse Photometry.” Astron.
Astrophys., submitted.
Harris, A.W., Young, J.W., Bowell, E.,
Martin, L.J., Millis, R.L., Poutanen, M.,
Scaltriti, F., Zappala, V., Schober, H.J.,
Debehogne, H., and Zeigler, K.W.,
(1989). “Photoelectric Observations of
Asteroids 3, 24, 60, 261, and 863.”
Icarus 77, 171-186.
Magri, C., Ostro, S., Rosema, K.,
Thomas, M., Mitchell, D., Campell, d.
Chandler, J., Shapiro, I, Giorgini, J., and
Yeomans, D. (1998). “Results of Arecibo
and Goldstone Radar Observations of
37 objects during 1980-1995.” Icarus
140, 379-407.
Minor Planet Center (2011). ALCDEF
Lightcurve Database. http://
minorplanetcenter.net/light_curve.
Pravec, P., Harris, A.W., Scheirich, P.,
Kušnirák, P., Šarounová, L., and 15
colleagues. (2005). “Tumbling
Asteroids.” Icarus 173, 108-131.
Stephens, R., Malcolm, G., Koff, R.,
Brincat, S., and Warner, B. D. (2001).
“New Period Determination for 27
Euterpe: A Collaborative Project.” Minor
Planet Bul. 27, 27-28.
Warner, B.D., Stephens, R.D., and
Harris, A.W. (2011). “Save the
Lightcurves.” Minor Planet Bul. 38, 3.
Figure 4. PAB Longitude Distribution of the dense (blue) and sparse (red) data used in the model.
Page 26 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
Figure 5. PAB Latitude Distribution of the dense (blue) and sparse (red) data used in the model.
Figure 6. Phase curve of the sparse data from USNO of the Pre- (red) and Post- (blue)
Opposition Data.
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 27
Figure 7. Plot of the log (chi-square) values. Dark blue represents the lowest chi-square value.
Figure 8. The shape model with the lowest chi-square value.
Page 28 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
Figure 10. Plot of Cousins V and R observations with V observations zero point shifted 0.47
magnitude to see if any color changes due to rotational phase could be detected. None
were seen to the limit of the noise.
Figure 9. Fit of the data points vs. the model for 2011 August 25.
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 29
By Julius L. Benton, Jr.,
Coordinator, ALPO Saturn Section
E-mail: jlbaina@msn.com
Abstract
The ALPO Saturn Section received 379
visual observations and digital images
during the 2008-09 apparition (from
October 17, 2008 through August 14,
2009) which were contributed by 44
observers in the United States, Puerto
Rico, Canada, China, France, Germany,
Iran, Australia, Japan, The Netherlands,
Philippines, Portugal, Spain, and United
Kingdom. Instruments used to carry out
the observations ranged from 9.0 cm
(3.5 in.) up to 38.0 cm (15.0 in.) in
aperture. Recurring short-lived dark
features were observed or imaged
throughout much of the observing
season in the South Equatorial Belt
(SEB), as well as dusky festoons in the
EZs just after opposition, and small dark
condensations were suspected in the
North Equatorial Belt (NEB) and North
Temperate Belt (NTeB). Observers
imaged the recurring presence of small
white spots in the South Tropical Zone
(STrZ), South Equatorial Belt Zone
(SEBZ), and Equatorial Zone (EZ)
during the apparition, while a rare white
spot was also imaged in the North Polar
Region (NPR). A few recurring central
meridian (CM) transit timings were
This paper includes a gallery of Saturn
images submitted by a number of
observers.
Please note that when a visual observer
records or suspects a specific feature on
Saturn, it is important to secure future
observations quickly if we wish to obtain
the period of rotation. For this purpose
we encourage observers to use these
facts: In System I (EZ plus NEB or SEB),
7 rotations are accomplished in close to 3
Earth-days, while in System II (rest of
planet), 9 rotations require close to 4
such days.
A complete set of Saturn Observing
Forms are available for downloading at
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/
publications/ALPO Section
Publications/SaturnReportForms -
All.pdf
See the ALPO Resources Section, ALPO
Observing Section Publications of this
Journal for hardcopy availability.
Feature Story:
ALPO Observations of Saturn
During the 2008 - 2009 Apparition
Table Geocentric Phenomena in Universal Time (UT) for Saturn
During the 2008-2009 Apparition
Conjunction 2008 Sep 04d
Opposition 2009 Mar 08d
Sun passes through Ring Plane SN2009 Aug 10d
Earth passes through Ring Plane SN2009 Sep 04d
Conjunction 2009 Sep 17d
Opposition Data
Visual Magnitude +0.5
Constellation Leo
B-2.6°
B’ -2.5°
Globe Equatorial Diameter 19.6”
Polar Diameter 17.6”
Rings Major Axis 44.6”
Minor Axis 2.0”
All Readers
Your comments, questions, etc.,
about this report are appreciated.
Please send them to: ken.posh-
edly@alpo-astronomy.org for publi-
cation in the next Journal.
Online Features
Left-click your mouse on:
The authors e-mail address in blue
text to contact the author of this
article.
The references in blue text to jump
to source material or information
about that source material (Inter-
net connection must be ON).
Observing Scales
Standard ALPO Scale of Intensity:
0.0 = Completely black
10.0 = Very brightest features
Intermediate values are assigned
along the scale to account for
observed intensity of features
Ring B has been adopted (for most
apparitions) as the standard on the
numerical sequence. The outer
third is the brightest part of Ring B,
and it has been assigned a con-
stant intensity of 8.0 in integrated
light (no filter). All other features on
the globe and in the rings are esti-
mated using this standard of refer-
ence.
ALPO Scale of Seeing Conditions:
0 = Worst
10 = Perfect
Scale of Transparency Conditions:
Magnitude of the faintest star visi-
ble near Saturn when allowing for
daylight and twilight
IAU directions are used in all
instances (so that Saturn rotates
from west to east).
Page 30 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
Table 2. 2008-09 Apparition of Saturn: Contributing Observers
Observer Location No. of Observations Telescopes Used
1. Abel, Paul G. Leichester, UK 12 20.3 cm (8.0 in.) NEW
2. Adelaar, Jan Arnhem, Netherlands 9 23.5 cm (9.25 in.) SCT
3. Akutsu, Tomio Cebu City, Philippines 19 35.6 cm (14.0 in.) SCT
4. Allen, Ethan Sebastopol, CA 2 35.6 cm (14.0 in.) SCT
5. Arditti, David Middlesex, UK 12 35.6 cm (14.0 in.) SCT
6. Benton, Julius L. Wilmington Island, GA 27 15.2 cm (6.0 in.) REF
7. Bosman, Richard Enschede, Netherlands 428.0 cm (11.0 in.) SCT
8. Boucheau, John Saugus, MA 2 28.0 cm (11.0 in.) SCT
9. Brimacombe, Joseph Cairns, Australia 135.6 cm (14.0 in.) SCT
10. Casquinha, Paolo Palmela, Portugal 16 35.6 cm (14.0 in.) SCT
11. Chang, Daniel Hong Kong, China 125.4 cm (10.0 in.) SCT
12. Chavez, Rolando Powder Springs, GA 1 35.6 cm (14.0 in.) SCT
13. Chester, Geoff Alexandria, VA 4
120.3 cm (8.0 in.) SCT
30.5 cm (12.0 in.) REF
14. Delcroix, Marc Tournefeuille, France 26 25.4 cm (10.0 in.) SCT
15. Edwards, Peter West Sussex, UK 228.0 cm (11.0 in.) SCT
16. Ghomizadeh, Sadegh Tehran, Iran 2 35.6 cm (14.0 in.) SCT
17. Go, Christopher Cebu City, Philippines 27 28.0 cm (11.0 in.) SCT
18. Haas, Walter H. Las Cruces, NM 1 31.8 cm (12.5 in.) NEW
19. Haberman, Bob San Francisco, CA 325.4 cm (10.0 in.) SCT
20. Heard, Kearon Suffolk, UK 1 20.3 cm (8.0 in.) CAS
21. Hill, Rik Tucson, AZ 3
12 9.0 cm (3.5 in.) MAK
35.6 cm (14.0 in.) SCT
22. Ikemura, Toshihiko Osaka, Japan 9 38.0 cm (15.0 in.) NEW
23. Jakiel, Richard Douglasville, GA 530.5 cm (12.0 in.) SCT
24. Lawrence, Pete Selsey, UK 1 35.6 cm (14.0 in.) SCT
25. Mattei, Michael Littleton, MA 135.6 cm (14.0 in.) SCT
26. Maxson, Paul Phoenix, AZ 56 25.4 cm (10.0 in.) DAL
27. Melillo, Frank J. Holtsville, NY 225.4 cm (10.0 in.) SCT
28. Melka, Jim St. Louis, MO 6 30.5 cm (12.0 in.) SCT
29. Niechoy, Detlev Göttingen, Germany 920.3 cm (8.0 in.) SCT
30. Owens, Larry Alpharetta, GA 3 35.6 cm (14.0 in.) SCT
31. Peach, Damian Norfolk, UK 28 35.6 cm (14.0 in.) SCT
32. Pellier, Christophe Bruz, FR 7 25.4 cm (10.0 in.) CAS
33. Phillips, Jim Charleston, SC 8
320.3 cm (8.0 in.) REF
25.4 cm (10.0 in.) REF
34. Phillips, Michael A. Swift Creek, NC 5 20.3 cm (8.0 in.) SCT
35. Ramakers, Theo Social Circle, GA 15 23.5 cm (9.25 in.) SCT
36. Robbins, Sol C. Fair Lawn, NJ 2 15.2 cm (6.0 in.) REF
37. Roussell, Carl Hamilton, ON, Canada 815.2 cm (6.0 in.) REF
38. Sanchez, Jesus Cordoba, Spain 1
126.0 cm (10.2 in.) CAS
28.0 cm (11.0 in.) SCT
39. Santacana, Guido San Juan, Puerto Rico 215.2 cm (6.0 in.) REF
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 31
submitted for a few of these features.
The inclination of Saturn’s ring system
toward Earth, B, attained a maximum
value of –4.2° on May 13, 2009. The
Earth passed through the ring plane on
September 4, 2009 (B = 0.0°) marking
the first edgewise orientation of the
rings since 1995, albeit extremely
unfavorable for observers since the ring
passage occurred only about two weeks
before conjunction with the Sun.
Because of the diminished ring tilt in
2008-09, observers were able to see
and image many of Saturn’s traditional
global feature in both hemispheres. In
subsequent apparitions, until the next
edgewise orientation in March 2025, it
will be the Northern Hemisphere of the
planet and North face of the rings that
will be increasingly inclined toward
Earth for visual observations and
imaging. A summary of visual
observations and digital images of
Saturn contributed during the apparition
are discussed, including the results of
continuing efforts to image the bicolored
aspect and azimuthal brightness
asymmetries of the rings.
Accompanying the report are
references, drawings, photographs,
digital images, graphs, and tables.
Introduction
This report is a result of an analysis of
379 visual observations, descriptive
notes, and digital images contributed to
the ALPO Saturn Section by 44
observers from October 17, 2008
through August 14, 2009, referred to
hereinafter as the 2008-09 “observing
season” or apparition of Saturn. Several
drawings and images are included with
this summary, integrated as much as
feasible with topics discussed in the text,
with times and dates all given in
Universal Time (UT).
Table 1 provides geocentric data in
Universal Time (UT) for the 2008-09
apparition. The numerical value of B, or
the Saturnicentric latitude of the Earth
referred to the ring plane (+ when north),
ranged between the extremes of -4.2º
(May 13, 2009) and -1.3º (August 14,
2009). It should be pointed out that the
value of B was 0.0º on September 4,
2009, the date of edgewise presentation
of the ring plane toward Earth, but there
were no observations of the event
because Saturn was too near the Sun
(only 13 days before conjunction). The
value of B', the saturnicentric latitude of
the Sun, varied from -4.7º (October 17,
2008) to 0º.0 (August 14, 2009).
Table 2 lists the 44 individuals who all
together submitted 379 reports to the
ALPO Saturn Section this apparition,
along with their observing sites, number
of observations, telescope aperture, and
type of instrument. Figure 1 is a
histogram showing the distribution of
observations by month, where it is can be
seen that 43.5% were made prior to
opposition, 1.1% at opposition (March
8, 2009), and 55.4% thereafter.
40. Sharp, Ian West Sussex, UK 5 28.0 cm (11.0 in.) SCT
41. Viladrich, Christian Paris, France 135.6 cm (14.0 in.) SCT
42. Walker, Sean Manchester, NH 1 35.6 cm (14.0 in.) SCT
43. Warren, Joel Amarillo, TX 320.3 cm (8.0 in.) SCT
44. Wesley, Anthony Murrumbateman, Australia 9 36.8 cm (14.5 in.) NEW
TOTAL OBSERVATIONS 379
TOTAL OBSERVERS 44
Instrumentation Abbreviations:
NEW = Newtonian, CAS = Cassegrain, SCT = Schmidt-Cassegrain, MAK= Maksutov-Cassegrain
REF = Refractor, DAL = Dall-Kirkham
Table 2. 2008-09 Apparition of Saturn: Contributing Observers (Continued)
Observer Location No. of Observations Telescopes Used
Distribution of Observations by Month
The 2008-09 Apparition of Saturn
0 102030405060708090
August
July
Jun
May
Apr
Mar
Feb
2009 Jan
Dec
Nov
2008 Oct
Month of Observation
Number of Observations
Figure 1
Page 32 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
Although there usually is a tendency for
observers to view Saturn more frequently
around the date of opposition when the
planet is well-placed high in the evening
sky, coverage was more evenly
distributed throughout the 2008-09
apparition (92.6% of all observations
took place from November 2008
through May 2009). Observers are
always encouraged to begin drawing and
imaging Saturn as soon as the planet
becomes visible in the eastern sky before
sunrise right after conjunction. Our goal
is to carry out regular observational
surveillance of the planet for as much of
its mean synodic period of 378d as
possible (this period refers to the elapsed
time from one conjunction of Saturn with
the Sun to the next, which is slightly
longer than a terrestrial year).
Figure 2 and Figure 3 show the ALPO
Saturn Section observer base and the
international distribution of all
observations submitted during the
apparition. The United States accounted
for 45.5% of the participating observers
and 43.8% of the submitted
observations. With 54.5% of all
observers residing in Puerto Rico, Canada,
China, France, Germany, Iran, Australia,
Japan, The Netherlands, Philippines,
Portugal, Spain, and United Kingdom,
whose total contributions represented
56.2% of the observations, international
cooperation continued to be excellent
this observing season.
Figure 4 graphs the number of
observations this apparition by
instrument type. Roughly one-fourth
(25.6%) of all observations were made
with telescopes of classical design
(refractors, Newtonian, and Cassegrains).
Classical designs with superb optics and
precise collimation frequently produce
high-resolution images with excellent
contrast, a likely reason why they have
often been the instruments of choice for
visual studies of the Moon and planets. In
recent apparitions, however, since a
variety of adapters are readily available to
attach digital imagers to them, the
utilization of comparatively compact and
portable Schmidt-Cassegrains and
Maksutov-Cassegrains has been growing.
It has been repeatedly established that
such instruments outfitted with quality
well-collimated optics produce very fine
images of Saturn.
Telescopes with apertures of 15.2 cm
(6.0 in.) or larger accounted for 99.2% of
the observations contributed this
apparition. Even so, there are numerous
historical instances where considerably
smaller instruments of good quality
ranging from 10.2 cm (4.0 in.) to 12.7
cm (5.0 in.) have been quite useful for
many aspects of our Saturn observing
programs.
The ALPO Saturn Section appreciates all
of the data, descriptive reports, digital
images, and visual drawings submitted by
the dedicated observers listed in Table 2
for the 2008-09 apparition, without
which this report would not have been
possible. Readers desiring to participate
in the observing programs for Saturn
using visual methods (i.e., drawings,
intensity and latitude estimates, and CM
transit timings) and digital imaging
techniques are encouraged to do so in
upcoming observing seasons as we
continue our quest for maintaining
international cooperative studies of
Saturn. All methods of recording
observations are considered crucial to the
success of our programs, whether there
is a preference for sketching Saturn at
the eyepiece or simply writing descriptive
reports, making visual numerical relative
intensity or latitude estimates, or
pursuing digital imaging. It should be
noted that, in recent years, too few
experienced observers are making
routine visual numerical relative intensity
estimates, which are badly needed for a
continued comparative analysis of belt,
zone, and ring component brightness
fluctuations over many apparitions. The
Saturn Section, therefore, appeals to
observers to set aside a few enough time
while at the telescope to record intensity
estimates (visual photometry) in
integrated light and with standard color
filters. The ALPO Saturn Section is
always pleased to receive observations
from novices, and the author is always
delighted to offer assistance as one
becomes acquainted with our programs.
The Globe of Saturn
The 379 observations submitted to the
ALPO Saturn Section during 2008-09
were used in preparing this summary of
this apparition’s activities. Drawings,
digital images, tables, and graphs are
included so readers may refer to them as
they study the content of this report. For
drawings or images utilized as examples
of the more notable features or
phenomena occurring within Saturn’s
belts and zones, contributors are
identified in the text along with dates and
times of those specific observations for
easy reference back to the relevant tables
that list instrumentation employed,
seeing, transparency, CM data, and so
forth. In addition, captions associated
with illustrations provide useful
information.
Observers By Nationality
The 2008-09 Apparition of Saturn
0 5 10 15 20 25
Canada
China
France
Germany
Iran
Australia
Japan
Netherlands
Philippines
Portugal
Spain
Puerto Rico
United Kingdom
United States
Participating Observers
Figure 2
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 33
Features on the globe of Saturn are
described in south-to-north order and can
be identified by referring to the
nomenclature diagram shown in Figure
5. If no reference is made to a global
feature in our south-to-north discussion,
the area was not reported by observers
during the 2008-09 apparition. It has
been customary in past Saturn apparition
reports to compare the morphology and
brightness of atmospheric features
between observing seasons, and this
practice continues with this report so
readers are aware of very subtle, but
nonetheless recognizable, variations that
may be occurring seasonally on the
planet.
Small intensity fluctuations of Saturn’s
atmospheric features (see Table 3) may
be simply due to the varying inclination
of the planet's rotational axis relative to
the Earth and Sun, although photometric
work in the past has shown that tiny
oscillations of roughly 0.10 in the visual
magnitude of Saturn over nearly a
decade likely occur. Transient and longer-
Table 3. Visual Numerical Relative Intensity Estimates and Colors for the 2008-09 Apparition of Saturn
Globe/Ring Feature # Estimates 2008-09 Mean Intensity
& Standard Error Intensity Variance
Since 2007-08 Mean Derived Color
Zones
SPR 72.43 ± 0.16 -1.13 Dark Gray
STeZ 8 5.25 ± 0.15 +0.13 Dull Yellowish-White
STrZ 8 5.88 ± 0.12 -0.39 Yellowish-White
SEBZ 7 4.93 ± 0.07 +0.26 Dull Yellowish-Gray
EZs 97.06 ± 0.05 -0.46 Bright Yellowish-White
EZn 9 6.59 ± 0.15 -0.63 Pale Yellowish-White
NTrZ 85.75 ± 0.13 +0.37 Dull Yellowish-White
NTeZ 6 5.08 ± 0.08 Dull Yellowish-White
NPR 25.00 ± 0.00 +0.28 Light Gray
Belts
SEB (whole) 93.89 ± 0.13 +0.30 Dark Grayish-Brown
SEBs 8 4.05 ± 0.04 +0.32 Dark Grayish-Brown
SEBn 93.52 ± 0.42 -0.47 Dark Grayish-Brown
NEBw 9 3.82 ± 0.12 -0.11 Dark Grayish-Brown
NTeB 14.00 ± 0.00 Dark Grayish-Brown
Rings
A (whole) 86.75 ± 0.15 +0.50 Yellowish-White
A0 or B10 4 0.50 ± 0.43 -0.19 Grayish-Black
B (outer 1/3)9 8.00 ± 0.00 STD 0.00 Brilliant White
B (inner 2/3)9 7.00 ± 0.00 -0.03 Bright Yellowish-White
Crape Band 2 1.50 ± 0.35 -1.10 Very Dark Gray
Sh G or R 7 0.00 ± 0.00 -0.15 Black shadow
Sh R of G 70.00 ± 0.00 -0.36 Black shadow
Notes:
For nomenclature see text and Figure 5. A letter with a digit (e.g., A0 or B10) refers to a location in the ring specified
in terms of units of tenths of the distance from the inner edge to the outer edge. Visual numerical relative intensity
estimates (visual surface photometry) are based upon the ALPO Intensity Scale, where 0.0 denotes complete black
(shadow) and 10.0 refers to the most brilliant condition (very brightest Solar System objects). The adopted scale for
Saturn uses a reference standard of 8.0 for the outer third of Ring B, which appears to remain stable in intensity for
most ring inclinations. All other features on the Globe or in the rings are compared systematically using this scale,
described in the Saturn Handbook, which is issued by the ALPO Saturn Section. The “Intensity Variance Since 2007-08”
is in the same sense of the 2007-08 value subtracted from the 2008-09 value, “+” denoting an increase (brightening)
and “-” indicating a decrease (darkening). When the apparent change is less than about 3 times the standard error, it
is probably not statistically significant.
Page 34 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
lasting atmospheric features seen or
imaged in various belts and zones on the
globe may also play a role in subtle
apparent brightness fluctuations. Regular
photoelectric photometry of Saturn, in
conjunction with carefully-executed visual
numerical relative intensity estimates, is
encouraged.
The intensity scale routinely employed by
Saturn observers is the standard ALPO
Standard Numerical Relative Intensity
Scale, such that 0.0 denotes a total black
condition (e.g., complete shadow) and
10.0 is the maximum brightness of a
feature or phenomenon (e.g., an
unusually bright EZ or dazzling white
spot). This numerical scale is normalized
by setting the outer third of Ring B at a
“standard” intensity of 8.0. The
arithmetic sign of an intensity change is
determined by subtracting a feature's
2007-08 intensity from its 2008-09
value. Suspected variances of 0.10 mean
intensity points are usually considered
insignificant, while reported changes in
intensity that do not equal or exceed
roughly three times the standard error
are probably not important.
It is always worthwhile to evaluate digital
images of Saturn contributed by ALPO
observers using different apertures and
filter techniques. The goal is to
understand the level of detail seen and
how it compares with visual impressions
of the globe and rings, including any
correlation with spacecraft imaging and
results from professional observatories.
So, in addition to routine visual studies,
such as drawings and visual numerical
relative intensity estimates, Saturn
observers should systematically image the
planet every possible clear night to try to
document individual features on the
globe and in the rings, their motion and
morphology (including changes in
intensity and hue), to serve as input for
grouping with images taken by
professional ground-based observatories
and spacecraft monitoring Saturn at
close range. Furthermore, comparing
images taken over several apparitions for
a given hemisphere of Saturn’s globe
provides information on seasonal
changes long suspected by observers
making visual numerical relative intensity
estimates. Images and systematic visual
observations by amateurs are being used
as initial alerts of interesting large-scale
features on Saturn that professionals
may not already know about but can
subsequently examine further with
considerably larger specialized
instrumentation.
Particles in Saturn's atmosphere reflect
different wavelengths of light in very
distinct ways, which causes some belts
and zones to appear especially
prominent, while others look very dark,
so imaging the planet with a series of
Observations By Nationality
The 2008-09 Apparition of Saturn
0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140
Canada
China
France
Germany
Iran
Australia
Japan
Netherlands
Philippines
Portugal
Spain
Puerto Rico
United Kingdom
United States
Number of Observations
Figure 3
Distribution of Observations by
Optical Design of Telescope
The 2008-09 Apparition of Saturn
0 50 100 150
Cassegrain
Dall-Kirkham
Schmidt-
Cassegrain
Maksutov-
Cassegrain
Newtonian
Refractor
Figure 4
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 35
color filters may help shed light on the
dynamics, structure, and composition of
its atmosphere. In the UV and IR regions
of the electromagnetic spectrum, it is
possible to determine additional
properties as well as the sizes of aerosols
present in different atmospheric layers
not otherwise accessible at visual
wavelengths, as well as useful data about
the cloud-covered satellite Titan. UV
wavelengths shorter than 320nm are
effectively blocked by the Earth’s
stratospheric ozone (O3), while H2O-
vapor and CO2 molecules absorb in the
IR region beyond 727nm, and the
human eye is insensitive to UV light short
of 320nm and can detect only about
1.0% at 690nm and 0.01% at 750nm in
the IR (beyond 750nm visual sensitivity is
essentially nil). Although most of the
reflected light from Saturn reaching
terrestrial observers is in the form of
visible light, some UV and IR
wavelengths that lie on either side and in
close proximity to the visual region
penetrate to the Earth’s surface, and
imaging Saturn in these near-IR and
near-UV bands has in the past provided
some remarkable results. The effects of
absorption and scattering of light by the
Table 4. White Spots in the STrZ During the 2008-09 Apparition of Saturn
Date
(UT) UT
Start UT
End CM Start CM End
yyyy
mm dd hh:mm hh:mm I
(°)II
(°)III
(°)I
(°)II
(°)III
(°)Obs Obs
Stn Inst
(cm) Inst
Type STrNotes
2008 12 07 6:37 6:47 1.7 333.4 292.3 7.5 339.0 297.9 Peach UK 35.6 SCT STrZ White
Spot
2008 12 07 7:13 7:24 22.8 353.7 312.6 29.2 359.9 318.8 Arditti UK 35.6 SCT STrZ White
Spot
2008 12 10 19:48 20:53 118.5 335.5 290.2 156.6 12.2 326.8 Akutsu PHIL 35.6 SCT 6.0 3.0 STrZ White
Spot in
RGB
2008 12 10 19:59 20:30 125.0 341.7 296.4 143.1 359.2 313.9 Ikemura JAP 38.0 NEW
Subtle
STrZ White
Spot in
RGB
2009 02 14 22:51 23:54 154.9 35.9 270.8 191.9 71.4 306.3 Pellier FRA 25.4 CAS 8.0 4.5
STrZ White
Spot (more
prominent
in red filter)
2009 03 02 15:10 15:21 74.8 169.3 25.3 81.2 175.5 31.5 Akutsu PHIL 35.6 SCT 6.0 3.5 STrZ White
Spot
2009 03 03 0:59 60.1 141.4 356.9 Adelaar NETH 23.5 SCT STrZ White
Spot
2009 03 03 0:33 0:50 44.9 126.8 342.3 54.9 136.4 351.9 Pellier FRA 25.4 CAS 5.0 5.0 STrZ White
Spot
2009 04 19 3:22 227.7 227.7 26.4 Maxson USA 25.4 DALL STrZ White
spot?
2009 04 23 1:40 1:58 305.0 178.2 332.1 315.6 188.3 342.3 Melka USA 30.5 NEW 6.0 5.0 STrZ White
Spot(s)
2009 05 26 20:00 9.8 232.5 345.7 Peach UK 35.6 SCT Diffuse
STrZ Wh
Spot
2009 06 03 20:26 298.6 262.3 5.9 Delcroix FRA 25.4 SCT 4.5 4.0 STrZ White
Spot
2009 06 11 20:32 215.7 280.8 14.7 Delcroix FRA 25.4 SCT 6.0 4.0 STrZ White
Spot
2009 07 08 7:57 245.6 175.7 237.7 Wesley AUST 36.8 NEW
STrZ White
Spots
Page 36 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
planet’s atmospheric gases and clouds at
various heights and with different
thicknesses are often noticeable. Indeed,
such images periodically show differential
light absorption by particles with
dissimilar hues intermixed with Saturn’s
white NH3 clouds.
Estimates of Latitude of Global
Features
Observers should try to utilize the handy
visual method developed by Haas over
60 years ago to perform estimates of
Saturnian global latitudes every
apparition. It is easy to employ.
Observers simply estimate the fraction of
the polar semidiameter of the Saturn's
globe subtended on the central meridian
(CM) between the limb and the feature
whose latitude is desired. As a control on
the accuracy of this method, observers
should include in their estimates the
position on the CM of the projected ring
edges and the shadow of the rings. The
actual latitudes can then be calculated
from the known values of B and B¢ and
the dimensions of the rings, but this test
cannot be effectively applied when B and
B¢ are near their maximum attained
numerical values. Experienced observers
have used this visual technique for many
years with very reliable results, especially
since filar micrometers are hard to find
and tend to be very expensive, not to
mention sometimes tedious to use. Few
observers submitted estimates of
Saturnian latitudes during 2008-09, and
it would be very good if more observers
would employ this simple and convenient
method in future apparitions. A detailed
description of the technique can be found
in the author’s book entitled Saturn and
How To Observe It, published by
Springer and available from booksellers
worldwide.
Southern Regions of the Globe
During the 2008-09 apparition B
attained a maximum value of only -4.2°,
and although observers could view
regions of the Southern Hemisphere of
Saturn to good advantage, visibility of
areas near the extreme South limb (e.g.,
SPR) was affected due to the decreasing
tilt of the rings toward our line of sight.
After reducing visual numerical relative
intensity estimates received this
apparition, the mean brightness of the
Southern Hemisphere features of Saturn
showed no significant change since
2007-08. Some visual observers strongly
suspected, however, that several belts
and zones in the Southern Hemisphere
showed signs of a continued subtle
decline in overall brightness over the last
several observing seasons.
From mid-November 2008 through early
July 2009, quite a few observers visually
suspected (using color filter techniques)
or digitally imaged small white spots in
the STrZ, SEBZ, and EZ that seemed to
evolve with time. Dark condensations
and various other dusky features within
the SEBs and SEBn were sketched or
imaged on several occasions from mid-
February through mid-June 2009. Wispy
festoons in the EZs were also depicted in
submitted drawings on a few occasions in
February and April 2009. These
phenomena are discussed in the
forthcoming paragraphs dealing
Figure 5. Saturn nomenclature, where A = Ring A, B = Band or Ring B or saturnicentric
latitude of Earth, C = Ring C or Cap, E = Equatorial, f = following (celestial east), G =
Globe, n = north component, N = North, p = preceding (celestial west), P = Polar, R =
Ring(s) or Region, s = south component, S = South, Te = Temperate, Tr = Tropical, Z =
Zone. The ring Ansae (not labeled) are the easternmost and westernmost protrusions of
the Ring System. Note that “Gap” is also called “Division” or “Complex.” South is at the top
in this inverted view, similar to the orientation seen through an inverting telescope in
Earth's Northern Hemisphere.
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 37
separately with each region of Saturn’s
globe. White spots, usually caused by
upward convection of NH4 (ammonia) in
Saturn’s atmosphere, showed subtle but
recognizable morphological changes over
time. The structure of zonal wind profiles
in the STrZ, SEBZ, and EZ seem to
contribute to the emergence and
behavior of such discrete features. High-
resolution imaging documented several
white spots and dark features in these
regions for a few rotations of Saturn, but
re-identification and subsequent tracking
of the same features proved difficult, thus
no CM transit timings were provided to
facilitate derivation of drift rates of these
transient phenomena.
There have been discussions over the last
several apparitions that suspected slight
increases or decreases in atmospheric
activity on Saturn could be a
consequence of the planet’s seasonal
insolation cycle, but measurements in the
past suggest only a slow thermal
response to solar heating at Saturn’s
perihelion distance of ~9.0 AU from the
Sun. So, as time elapses with succeeding
apparitions following Saturn’s perihelion
passage back in 2003, observers should
still maintain a watchful eye on the
planet’s Southern Hemisphere, since a
lag in the planet’s atmospheric thermal
response could roughly mimic what we
experience on Earth; that is, the warmest
days do not arrive on the first day of
summer but occur several weeks later.
Any similar effect on Saturn would be
extremely subtle, however, and probably
not noticed for quite a number of years.
South Polar Region (SPR)
Based on visual numerical relative
intensity estimates submitted during the
2008-09 apparition, the dark gray SPR
may have been a little darker in
appearance than in 2007-08 (by a subtle
mean visual intensity value of −1.13).
Despite the suspicion of a slight
brightening of this region back in 2004-
05, the weak darkening trend believed to
be underway every apparition since the
2001-02 observing season may have
continued in 2008-09. No drawings by
visual observers or digital images of the
SPR revealed discrete activity in this
region during the apparition. The South
Polar Cap (SPC) was not reported by
observers making visual numerical
relative intensity estimates in 2008-09,
nor was this feature easy to discern in
most digital images, likely due to of the
increasingly smaller ring tilt to our line of
sight. A dark gray South Polar Belt (SPB)
encircling the SPR was not reported by
visual observers during the apparition,
but this feature was apparent in at least a
few digital images received [refer to
Illustration No. 001].
South South Temperate Zone
(SSTeZ)
The SSTeZ was seldom reported by
visual observers during this observing
season, with no visual numerical relative
intensity estimates being contributed. Its
detection visually required the best seeing
conditions and larger apertures, but
several digital images revealed a narrow
SSTeZ devoid of any recognizable activity
[refer to Illustration No. 002].
South South Temperate Belt (SSTeB)
The very dark gray SSTeB was rarely
sighted by contributing observers during
2008-09. No one provided intensity
estimates of this always ill-defined belt,
but the narrow belt was revealed on
Figure 6. Three images furnished by Christopher Go using a 28.0 cm (11.0 in.) SCT on
November 22, 2008, March 8, 2009, and May 23, 2009, to illustrate the changing position of
the shadow of the globe of Saturn on the rings (Sh G on R) prior to and following opposition.
Page 38 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
Table 5. White Spots in the SEBZ During the 2008-09 Apparition of Saturn
Date
(UT) UT
Start UT
End CM Start CM End
yyyy mm
dd hh:mm hh:mm I
(°)II
(°)III
(°)I
(°)II
(°)III
(°)Obs Obs
Stn Inst
(cm) Inst
Type STr Notes
2008 11 16 14:14 14:19 178.9 98.7 82.6 181.8 101.5 85.4 Allen USA 35.6 SCT 4.0 4.0
SEBZ White
Spot
(especially
noticeable in
red filter)
2008 12 01 5:09 284.1 91.5 57.8 Niechoy GER 20.3 SCT SEBZ White
Spot near
CM
2008 12 07 7:13 7:24 22.8 353.7 312.6 29.2 359.9 318.8 Arditti UK 35.6 SCT SEBZ White
Spot
2008 12 07 6:37 6:47 1.7 333.4 292.3 7.5 339.0 297.9 Peach UK 35.6 SCT SEBZ White
Spot
2008 12 13 20:40 21:26 162.0 281.0 232.0 189.0 306.9 257.9 Akutsu PHIL 35.6 SCT 6.0 3.0 SEBZ White
Spot at CM
2008 12 20 21:20 21:26 336.0 227.9 170.4 339.5 231.3 173.8 Akutsu PHIL 35.6 SCT 7.0 3.0 SEBZ White
Spot
2008 12 22 5:09 15.3 224.5 165.4 Casquinha PORT 35.6 SCT SEBZ White
Spot
2009 01 08 19:30 20:02 114.6 115.2 34.9 133.3 133.3 52.9 Akutsu PHIL 35.6 SCT 7.0 3.0 SEBZ White
Spot (RGB)
2009 01 27 18:22 18:50 278.1 26.5 283.4 294.5 42.3 299.1 Akutsu PHIL 35.6 SCT 7.5 3.0 SEBZ White
Spot
2009 01 27 18:39 19:11 288.1 36.1 292.9 306.8 54.2 311.0 Go PHIL 28.0 SCT 7.5 5.0 SEBZ White
Spot
2009 02 16 3:30 4:46 82.9 285.3 158.8 127.5 328.2 201.6 Casquinha PORT 35.6 SCT
SEBZ White
Spot and
EZn White
Spot
2009 02 19 23:46 89.1 167.3 36.2 Delcroix FRA 25.4 SCT 7.5 4.0
SEBZ White
Spot
suspected in
image
2009 02 28 0:19 0:42 23.5 202.6 61.8 37.0 215.6 74.7 Delcroix FRA 25.4 SCT 6.0 3.0
SEBZ Wh
Spot in IR
and faintly
noticeable in
RGB
2009 02 28 0:04 1:34 14.7 194.2 53.3 67.5 244.9 104.0 Pellier FRA 25.4 CAS 5.0 6.0 SEBZ Wh
Spot in IR
2009 03 02 15:10 15:21 74.8 169.3 25.3 81.2 175.5 31.5 Akutsu PHIL 35.6 SCT 6.0 3.5 SEBZ White
Spot
2009 03 03 0:59 60.1 141.4 356.9 Adelaar NETH 23.5 SCT SEBZ White
Spot
2009 03 18 22:40 168.5 96.1 292.4 Peach UK 35.6 SCT SEB White
spot
2009 04 05 13:27 13:45 282.2 0.9 175.9 292.8 186.1 Go PHIL 28.0 SCT 7.5 5.0 SEBZ White
spot
2009 05 02 20:38 21:20 290.6 207.5 439.7 315.2 231.2 13.3 Delcroix FRA 25.4 SCT 4.5 4.0
SEBZ Wh
Spot
suspected in
R+IR
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 39
Table 6. Dark Features in the SEB During the 2008-09 Apparition of Saturn
Date
(UT) UT
Start UT
End CM Start CM End
yyyy mm
dd hh:mm hh:mm I
(°)II
(°)III
(°)I
(°)II
(°)III
(°)Obs Obs
Stn Inst
(cm) Inst
Type STrNotes
2009 02 17 5:33 5:44 279.4 86.8 318.9 285.9 93.0 325.1 Roussell CAN 15.2 REF 5.0 3.0
Suspect
ed dark
elongati
ons in
SEBs
and
SEBn
2009 02 19 23:46 90.9 169.0 37.9 Delcroix FRA 25.4 SCT 7.5 4.0
SEBs
dark
spot
possible
in image
2009 03 01 4:25 4:36 292.2 73.4 291.2 298.6 79.6 297.4 Roussell CAN 15.2 REF 5.0 3.5
Suspect
ed small
dark
condens
ations in
SEBn
and
SEBs
2009 03 13 22:58 23:34 277.2 6.0 208.3 298.4 26.3 228.6 Delcroix FRA 25.4 SCT 5.0 3.0
Dark
spots
suspect
ed in
SEBn
(could
be
noise)
2009 03 20 23:01 69.5 292.0 125.9 Peach UK 35.6 SCT SEBn
dusky
streak
2009 03 21 0:34 124.0 344.5 178.3 Abel UK 20.3 NEW Dusky
features
in SEBn
2009 04 18 21:20 22:08 15.5 23.6 182.6 43.6 50.7 209.6 Delcroix FRA 25.4 SCT 5.0 3.0
Possible
dark
spot in
SEBn
2009 06 02 20:15 20:22 168.0 164.2 269.0 172.1 168.2 273.0 Delcroix FRA 25.4 SCT 4.5 4.0
SEBn
dark
spot or
just
noise?
2009 06 11 20:32 215.7 280.8 14.7 Delcroix FRA 25.4 SCT 6.0 4.0 SEBn
dark
spot
Page 40 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
Table 7. White Spots in the EZ During the 2008-09 Apparition of Saturn
Date (UT) UT
Start UT
End CM Start CM End
yyyy mm
dd hh:mm hh:mm I
(°)II
(°)III
(°)I
(°)II
(°)III
(°)Obs Obs
Stn Inst
(cm) Inst
Type STr Notes
2008 12 22 5:20 6:08 21.8 230.7 171.6 49.9 257.7 198.6 Delcroix FRA 25.4 SCT
EZn White
Spot most
obvious in R
+ IR
2009 01 04 2:25 4:00 96.0 248.9 174.2 151.7 302.4 227.7 Pellier FRA 25.4 CAS 8.5 5.0
EZn White
Spot most
notable in
R+IR
2009 01 07 2:10 2:14 100.3 156.6 78.4 102.7 158.9 80.7 Casquinha PORT 35.6 SCT EZn White
Spot
2009 01 08 19:30 20:02 114.6 115.2 34.9 133.3 133.3 52.9 Akutsu PHIL 35.6 SCT 7.0 3.0 EZn White
Spot (red
filter)
2009 01 17 18:13 108.9 180.5 89.5 Wesley AUST 36.8 NEW EZn White
Spot in Red
2009 01 23 17:08 18:03 97.1 336.4 238.1 129.4 7.4 269.1 Akutsu PHIL 35.6 SCT 6.0 4.0 EZn Wh Spot
2009 01 23 17:32 111.2 350.0 251.7 Go PHIL 28.0 SCT 7.0 5.0 EZn Wh Spot
2009 02 01 6:41 129.0 91.7 353.0 Owens USA 35.6 SCT EZn White
Spot
2009 02 13 5:24 5:48 136.6 73.3 310.3 150.7 86.9 323.8 Melka USA 30.5 NEW EZn White
Spot
2009 02 14 0:24 0:30 85.1 356.2 232.3 88.6 359.6 235.7 Arditti UK 35.6 SCT EZn Wh Spot
barely visible
in red image
2009 02 14 1:32 124.9 34.6 270.6 Adelaar NETH 23.5 SCT EZn Wh Spot
near CM
2009 02 14 22:51 23:54 154.9 35.9 270.8 191.9 71.4 306.3 Pellier FRA 25.4 CAS 8.0 4.5
EZn White
Spot (more
prominent in
red filter)
2009 02 16 3:30 4:46 82.9 285.3 158.8 127.5 328.2 201.6 Casquinha PORT 35.6 SCT EZn White
Spot
2009 02 19 23:46 89.1 167.3 36.2 Delcroix FRA 25.4 SCT 7.5 4.0 EZn White
Spot
2009 02 22 15:15 15:20 162.6 155.4 21.1 165.6 158.3 23.9 Akutsu PHIL 35.6 SCT 4.5 3.0 EZn White
Spot in IR
image
2009 02 28 23:52 23:57 132.1 279.5 137.5 135.0 282.3 140.3 Peach UK 35.6 SCT EZn White
Spot
2009 03 01 0:10 142.6 289.6 147.6 Peach UK 35.6 SCT
EZn White
Spot;
absolutely
superb
image RGB
2009 03 12 11:37 12:24 113.6 249.9 94.0 141.1 276.4 120.4 Akutsu PHIL 35.6 SCT 2.5 3.5 EZn white
spot at CM
2009 03 12 11:51 13:08 121.8 257.7 101.8 166.9 301.2 145.2 Go PHIL 28.0 SCT 7.5 5.0 EZn white
spot at CM
2009 03 12 23:06 23:39 157.6 278.4 121.9 176.9 297.0 140.5 Sanchez SPA 26.0 CAS EZn white
spot at CM
2009 03 15 22:48 22:55 160.1 184.4 24.4 164.2 188.4 28.3 Delcroix FRA 25.4 SCT 5.0 3.0 EZn white
spot
2009 03 18 22:23 22:47 158.5 86.5 282.8 172.6 100.0 296.3 Delcroix FRA 25.4 SCT 5.0 3.0 EZn white
spot near CM
2009 03 18 22:40 168.5 96.1 292.4 Peach UK 35.6 SCT EZn white
spots
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 41
several high-resolution digital images
[refer also to Illustration No. 002].
South Temperate Zone (STeZ)
The dull yellowish-white STeZ was
detected frequently by visual observers in
2008-09, as well as being apparent on
most digital images submitted. Compared
with the previous observing season, the
STeZ was essentially unchanged in
overall intensity this apparition (mean
factor of +0.13). The STeZ appeared
uniform in intensity as it crossed the
globe of Saturn, which was also the case
with digital images, and no white spot
activity in the STeZ was reported [refer to
Illustration No. 003]
South Temperate Belt (STeB)
The usually dull grayish-brown STeB was
detected by visual observers using larger
apertures in 2008-09, although there
were no intensity estimates submitted.
High-resolution digital images showed
this dusky feature during the apparition
as devoid of discrete activity [refer to
Illustration No. 004].
South Tropical Zone (STrZ)
Visual observers usually reported the
yellowish-white STrZ during the 2008-09
apparition. It was considered to be
perhaps a shade dimmer in mean
intensity this observing season when
compared with 2007-08 (slight variation
of -0.39), exceeded only in brightness by
the EZs and EZn, and roughly
comparable to the NTrZ. Visual
impressions suggested no variations in
overall morphology during the
apparition, but there were a considerable
number of images received of small STrZ
white spots, especially notable at red
wavelengths, between December 7,
2008 and July 8, 2009 (see Table 4).
The first image of an STrZite spot was
submitted December 7, 2008 at 6:47UT
by Damian Peach [refer to Illustration
No. 005A], while less than an hour later
David Arditti recorded a near
simultaneous image of the same feature
at 7:13UT [refer to Illustration No.
005B]. Another pair of near
simultaneous images of a white STrZ
spot were captured at 20:53UT on
2009 03 21 23:02 23:09 194.4 24.6 217.3 198.5 28.6 221.3 Delcroix FRA 25.4 SCT 4.0 3.0 EZn white
spot
2009 03 29 4:04 161.9 119.2 303.2 Maxson USA 25.4 DALL EZn white
spot
2009 04 02 21:18 185.5 350.4 168.7 Adelaar NETH 23.5 SCT EZn white
spot?
2009 04 02 20:55 21:28 172.0 337.4 155.8 191.3 356.1 174.3 Peach UK 35.6 SCT EZn white
spot
2009 04 05 20:56 21:09 185.5 254.1 68.8 193.1 261.4 76.1 Peach UK 35.6 SCT EZn white
spot
2009 04 06 20:37 21:08 298.7 335.4 148.9 316.9 352.8 166.3 Peach UK 35.6 SCT EZn white
spot
2009 04 09 5:38 6:26 144.5 104.5 275.1 172.6 131.5 302.1 Melka USA 30.5 NEW EZn white
spot
2009 04 22 22:04 178.4 56.4 210.5 Sharp UK 28.0 SCT 6.5 EZn white
spot
2009 05 19 20:05 223.3 311.9 73.6 Peach UK 35.6 SCT EZn White
Spot
2009 06 11 20:32 215.7 280.8 14.7 Delcroix FRA 25.4 SCT 6.0 4.0 EZn Wh Spot
Table 7. White Spots in the EZ During the 2008-09 Apparition of Saturn (Continued)
Date (UT) UT
Start UT
End CM Start CM End
yyyy mm
dd hh:mm hh:mm I
(°)II
(°)III
(°)I
(°)II
(°)III
(°)Obs Obs
Stn Inst
(cm) Inst
Type STr Notes
Table 8. Dark Features in the EZ During the 2008-09 Apparition of Saturn
Date (UT) UT
Start UT
End CM Start CM End
yyyy mm
dd hh:mm hh:mm I
(°)II
(°)III
(°)I
(°)II
(°)III
(°)Obs Obs
Stn Inst
(cm) Inst
Type STr Notes
2009 02 17 21:35 21:45 123.5 269.3 140.6 129.4 274.9 146.3 Niechoy GER 20.3 SCT 3.0 3.0 Festoons
in EZn
2009 04 02 19:51 20:17 134.4 301.4 119.7 149.7 316.0 134.4 Niechoy GER 20.3 SCT 3.5 3.0 Festoons
in EZn
2009 04 11 20:20 21:24 190.2 65.8 233.3 227.8 101.9 269.4 Niechoy GER 20.3 SCT 3.0 3.0 Festoons
in EZn
2009 04 21 20:06 20:28 344.9 257.8 53.3 357.8 270.3 65.7 Niechoy GER 20.3 SCT 3.0 3.0 Festoons
in EZn
Page 42 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
December 10, 2008 at by Tomio Akutsu
[refer to Illustration No. 006A] and by
Toshihiko Ikemura at 20:30UT [refer to
Illustration No. 006B]. On March 3,
2009, near simultaneous digital images
of STrZ white spots were contributed by
Christophe Pellier at 00:50UT [refer to
Illustration No. 007A] and by Jan
Adelaar at 00:59UT [refer to Illustration
No. 007B]. Subsequent images of this
feature continued to flow in to the ALPO
Saturn Section from quite a few other
observers for at least another four
months. Consider the high-resolution
image taken by Damian Peach on May
26, 2009 at 20:00UT depicting a
somewhat more diffuse white STrZ spot,
suggesting that the feature detected back
in December had slowly evolved over
time [refer to Illustration No. 008].
South Equatorial Belt (SEB)
The dark grayish-brown SEB was
routinely reported by visual observers in
2008-09, subdivided into dark grayish-
brown SEBn and SEBs components
(where n refers to the North Component
and s to the South Component), with the
SEBZ lying in between them during good
seeing conditions and with larger
apertures. Taken as a whole, the SEB
was the darkest belt of Saturn’s southern
hemisphere, appearing to visual
observers as ever so slightly lighter in
2008-09 than in 2007-08 (by +0.30
mean intensity points), and virtually the
same intensity as its counterpart in the
northern hemisphere, the NEBw. The
SEBn was usually the darker of the two
components visually. Visual observers
who made relative numerical intensity
estimates considered the SEBn a bit
darker by a mean factor of -0.47 since
2007-08, and the SEBs perhaps a shade
brighter by +0.32 mean intensity since
the immediately preceding apparition.
Most digital images of Saturn submitted
during 2008-09 showed the SEB as a
very prominent belt occasionally as a
singular feature, but most often
subdivided into SEBs and SEBn
components with the lighter SEBZ lying
in between [refer to Illustration No. 009].
The SEBn appeared slightly wider and
darker than the SEBs in most of the
contributed images, consistent with the
majority of visual impressions. The dull
yellowish-gray South Equatorial Belt
Zone (SEBZ) showed very little change in
overall intensity since 2007-08, where a
+0.26 mean intensity increase between
apparitions is considered rather
insignificant.
From mid-November 2008 through mid-
June 2009 observers imaged one or
more small, diffuse white spots within the
SEBZ that seemed to elongate somewhat
with time, but the overall appearance and
brightness of these features did not
change significantly during this period.
Ethan Allen was the first ALPO Saturn
observer to submit an image showing a
small SEBZ white spot on November 16,
2008 at 14:14UT [refer to Illustration
No. 010]. On December 1, 2008 Detlev
Niechoy submitted a sketch of what he
described as an SEBZ white spot at
225X in integrated light (no filter) and
good seeing at 05:09UT [refer to
Illustration No. 011]. Near simultaneous
images of the SEBZ white spot in red
light were submitted at 6:47UT on
December 7, 2008 by Damian Peach
[refer to Illustration No. 012A] and David
Arditti at 7:13UT [refer to Illustration No.
012B]. Similar images recorded on the
same date and virtually the same time
were furnished by Tomio Akutsu on
January 27, 2009 at 18:22UT [refer to
Illustration No. 013A] and Christopher
Go at 18:39UT [refer to Illustration No.
013B. Lastly, simultaneous images of the
SEBZ white spot were provided by
Christophe Pellier on February 28, 2009
at 00:04UT [refer to Illustration No.
014A] and Marc Delcroix at 00:19UT
[refer to Illustration No. 014B]. Table 5
gives a complete listing, with supporting
data and short comments, of the small
white spots imaged in the SEBZ during
2008-09. Other than the
aforementioned drawing submitted by
Detlev Niechoy on November 16, 2008,
visual observers rarely suspected any
white spots in the SEBZ during the
observing season. Simultaneous visual
observations concurrent with imaging
may help identify the threshold of
visibility of such features in upcoming
apparitions.
Table 9. Dark Features in the NEB During the 2008-09 Apparition of Saturn
Date (UT) UT
Start UT
End CM Start CM End
yyyy mm
dd hh:mm hh:mm I
(°)II
(°)III
(°)I
(°)II
(°)III
(°)Obs Obs
Stn Inst
(cm) Inst
Type STrNotes
2009 03 13 22:58 23:34 277.2 6.0 208.3 298.4 26.3 228.6 Delcroix FRA 25.4 SCT 5.0 3.0
Dark spot
suspected
in NEBs
(could be
noise)
Table 10. Dark Features in the NTeB During the 2008-09 Apparition of Saturn
Date (UT) UT
Start UT
End CM Start CM End
yyyy mm
dd hh:mm hh:mm I
(°)II
(°)III
(°)I
(°)II
(°)III
(°)Obs Obs
Stn Inst
(cm) Inst
Type STr Notes
2009 03 01 4:25 4:36 292.2 73.4 291.2 298.6 79.6 297.4 Roussell CAN 15.2 REF 5.0 3.5
Suspected
small dark
features in
NTeB.
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 43
Recurring visual accounts of suspected
dusky markings and festoon activity
within the SEB were received from mid-
February until mid-June 2009. Most of
these were described as dusky markings
or festoons along the northern edge of
the SEBs, sometimes extending into the
SEBZ, as well as similar dark features
protruding from the SEBn into the EZs,
or simply dark knots or disturbances
within either the SEBs or SEBn in
varying seeing conditions. For example,
consider the dark features in the SEBs
and SEBn sketched by Carl Roussell at
200-300X in fair seeing from 5:33 to
5:44UT on February 17, 2009 [refer to
Illustration No. 015]. Compare the SEBn
dark feature in the image captured by
Damian Peach at 23:01UT on March
20, 2009 [refer to Illustration No. 016A]
and the drawing made less than two
hours later on March 21st at 00:34UT by
Paul Abel at 312X in integrated light (no
filter) [refer to Illustration No. 016B].
Table 6 lists all of the reports of dark
spot activity in the SEB during 2008-09.
Equatorial Zone (EZ)
With the rings of Saturn at minimal
inclination to our line of sight during
2008-09, the southern and northern
halves of the Equatorial Zone (i.e., the
EZs and EZn, respectively), could be seen
and imaged to good advantage. Based on
intensity estimates and digital imaging
this observing season, the southern half
of the bright yellowish-white Equatorial
Zone (EZs) was slightly brighter than the
pale yellowish-white EZn by mean factor
of +0.47, and the EZs was the brightest
zone on Saturn’s globe during 2008-09.
Visual numerical relative intensity data
seems to suggest a possible diminution in
prominence of the EZs by a factor of -
0.46 and the EZn by a factor of -0.63
since 2007-08.
Starting about the third week of
December 2008 and continuing until
mid-June 2009, discrete white spot
activity was imaged regularly within the
EZn. Marc Delcroix was the first Saturn
observer to image a tiny EZn white spot
in red light on December 22, 2008 at
5:56UT [refer to Illustration No. 017].
On January 4, 2009, the EZn white spot
was quite prominent at red wavelengths
in a set of images provided by
Christophe Pellier at 02:25UT [refer to
Illustration No. 018]. Simultaneous
observations were submitted on January
23rd by Tomio Akutsu at 17:08UT [refer
to Illustration No. 019A] and by
Christopher Go at 17:32UT [refer to
Illustration No. 019B] recorded the EZn
white spot while also recording a transit
of Titan across the disk of Saturn. More
simultaneous imaging was accomplished
on February 14th by David Arditti [refer
to Illustration No. 020A] at 00:24UT and
Jan Adelaar [refer to Illustration No.
020B] at 01:32UT, and as before, the
EZn white spot was more obvious at red
wavelengths. On March 12th Tomio
Akutsu at 11:37UT [refer to Illustration
No. 021A] and Christopher Go at
11:51UT recorded simultaneous images
of the still rather compact EZn white spot
[refer to Illustration No. 021B]. A final
Table 13. Visual Observations of the Bicolored Aspect of Saturn's Rings During the 2008-09 Apparition
Filter
Observer UT Date and Time Telescope X S Tr Bl IL Rd
Roussell 2009 Mar 03 10:00 - 10:10 REF 15.2 cm (6.0 in.) 325 4.0 3.5 E = =
Notes: Telescope types are as in Table 2. Seeing is the 0-10 ALPO Scale, and Transparency is the limiting visual magnitude in the vicinity
of Saturn as described on the first page of this report. Under “Filter,” Bl refers to the blue W47 or W80A filters, IL to integrated light (no
filter), and Rd to the red W25 or W23A filters. E means the East ansa was brighter than the W, W that the West ansa was brighter, and =
means that the two ansae were equally bright. East and West directions are as noted in the text.
Table 12. The Opposition (Seeliger) Effect During the 2008-09 Apparition
Observer UT Date and Time Telescope B S Tr
Ramakers 2009 Mar 08 03:47 – 03:56 23.5 cm (9.25 in.) SCT 2.6º 4.0 6.0
Go 2009 Mar 08 15:06 – 15:53 28.0 cm (11.0 in.) SCT 2.6º 9.0 5.5
Table 11. White Spots in the NPR During the 2008-09 Apparition of Saturn
Date (UT) UT
Start UT
End CM Start CM End
yyyy mm
dd hh:mm hh:mm I
(°)II
(°)III
(°)I
(°)II
(°)III
(°)Obs Obs
Stn Inst
(cm) Inst
Type STr Notes
2009 05 02 20:38 21:20 290.6 207.5 439.7 315.2 231.2 13.3 Delcroix FRA 25.4 SCT 4.5 4.0
NPR Wh
Spot
suspected
in R+IR
Page 44 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
Table 14. Satellite Phenomena During the 2008-09 Apparition of Saturn
Date (UT) UT
Start UT
End CM Start CM End
yyyy mm
dd hh:m
mhh:m
mI
(°)II
(°)III
(°)I
(°)II
(°)III
(°)Obs Obs
Stn Instr
(cm) Inst
Type STr NOTES
2008 12 07 7:13 7:24 22.8 353.7 312.6 29.2 359.9 318.8 Arditti UK 35.6 SCT Dione in
transit; Titan
also in image
2008 12 07 6:37 6:47 1.7 333.4 292.3 7.5 339.0 297.9 Peach UK 35.6 SCT Dione in
transit
2008 12 20 21:20 21:26 336.0 227.9 170.4 339.5 231.3 173.8 Akutsu PHIL 35.6 SCT 7.
03.
0Dione and
shadow
2008 12 24 5:26 274.0 58.2 356.7 Casquinha PORT 35.6 SCT Rhea near
ring plane in
image
2009 01 04 3:41 4:18 140.6 291.7 217.0 162.3 312.6 237.9 Casquinha PORT 35.6 SCT Tethys and
shadow
2009 01 04 3:26 131.8 283.3 208.6 Peach UK 35.6 SCT Tethys
shadow in
EZn
2009 01 04 3:31 3:45 134.7 286.1 211.4 142.9 294.0 219.3 Pellier FRA 25.4 CAS 8.
55.
0Tethys and
shadow
2009 01 07 19:50 1.9 34.4 315.3 Go PHIL 28.0 SCT 7.
04.
0Titan Transit
2009 01 09 3:34 3:59 38.4 28.2 307.5 53.0 42.3 321.5 Casquinha PORT 35.6 SCT Dione
shadow
transit
2009 01 23 17:08 18:03 97.1 336.4 238.1 129.4 7.4 269.1 Akutsu PHIL 35.6 SCT 6.
04.
0Titan in transit
2009 01 23 17:32 111.2 350.0 251.7 Go PHIL 28.0 SCT 7.
05.
0Titan in transit
2009 02 08 16:33 16:48 266.9 350.2 232.6 275.7 358.6 241.1 Akutsu PHIL 35.6 SCT 7.
53.
0Titan transit
2009 02 08 18:00 18:22 317.9 39.2 281.6 330.8 51.6 294.0 Go PHIL 28.0 SCT 7.
04.
0Titan transit
(egress)
2009 02 14 1:32 124.9 34.6 270.6 Adelaar NETH 23.5 SCT Rhea in
transit
2009 02 14 0:24 0:30 85.1 356.2 232.3 88.6 359.6 235.7 Arditti UK 35.6 SCT Rhea and
shadow in
transit
2009 02 14 3:00 3:10 176.5 84.2 320.1 182.4 89.9 325.8 Casquinha PORT 35.6 SCT Rhea in
transit
2009 02 18 14:57 15:44 14.5 136.9 7.4 42.1 163.4 33.9 Go PHIL 28.0 SCT 5.
54.
0
Rhea and
shadow in
transit
2009 02 24 11:19 11:42 273.0 206.5 69.9 286.5 219.5 82.9 Maxson USA 25.4 DALL Titan shadow
transit (Titan
is just off limb)
2009 02 24 14:13 15.1 304.6 167.9 Wesley AUST 36.8 NEW Titan and
Dione in
transit
2009 02 27 8:24 8:36 183.6 24.1 244.0 190.6 30.8 250.8 Maxson USA 25.4 DALL Dione and
shadow
2009 03 03 15:06 196.8 259.1 113.9 Go PHIL 28.0 SCT 5.
54.
0
Tethys transit
(extremely
vague)
2009 03 05 14:31 14:56 65.0 63.5 275.9 79.7 77.6 290.0 Go PHIL 28.0 SCT 5.
54.
0
Tethys transit
(extremely
vague)
2009 03 08 15:06 15:53 98.7 359.4 208.2 126.2 26.0 234.7 Go PHIL 28.0 SCT 9.
05.
0
Dione and
Enceladus in
transit
2009 03 12 11:37 12:24 113.6 249.9 94.0 141.1 276.4 120.4 Akutsu PHIL 35.6 SCT 2.
53.
5
Titan and
shadow
transit
2009 03 12 11:51 13:08 121.8 257.7 101.8 166.9 301.2 145.2 Go PHIL 28.0 SCT 7.
55.
0
Titan and
shadow
transit
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 45
2009 03 12 10:11 10:19 63.1 201.4 45.5 67.8 205.9 50.0 Maxson USA 25.4 DALL Titan and
shadow
transit
2009 03 17 13:57 14:30 97.5 69.1 267.1 116.8 87.7 285.6 Go PHIL 28.0 SCT 8.
53.
5Rhea transit
2009 03 18 13:37 13:50 210.1 149.9 346.6 217.7 157.2 354.0 Go PHIL 28.0 SCT 8.
53.
5
Dione and
Enceladus
transit
2009 03 20 13:41 14:19 101.1 336.2 170.6 123.4 357.7 192.0 Go PHIL 28.0 SCT 8.
53.
5
Titan eclipse
sequence and
Tethys Transit
2009 03 22 13:32 14:17 344.5 155.3 347.2 10.9 180.6 12.5 Akutsu PHIL 35.6 SCT 8.
53.
5
Tethys in
transit across
globe
2009 03 26 19:03 316.0 350.1 176.9 Ghomizadeh IRAN 35.6 SCT Rhea and
shadow in
transit
2009 04 03 23:57 43.0 172.1 349.1 Viladrich FRA 35.6 SCT Dione and
shadow
transit
2009 04 05 13:27 13:45 282.2 0.9 175.9 292.8 11.0 186.1 Go PHIL 28.0 SCT 7.
55.
0Titan eclipse
sequence
2009 04 09 5:38 6:26 144.5 104.5 275.1 172.6 131.5 302.1 Melka USA 30.5 NEW Rhea shadow
transit
2009 04 13 11:16 11:55 119.9 303.1 108.6 142.8 325.1 103.6 Go PHIL 28.0 SCT 7.
02.
5Titan shadow
transit
2009 04 14 22:11 268.2 44.4 208.2 Adelaar NETH 23.5 SCT Dione transit
2009 04 22 2:45 3:17 218.9 122.8 277.9 237.6 140.9 296.0 Maxson USA 25.4 DALL
Dione and
shadow
transiting
globe
2009 04 22 20:41 129.7 9.6 163.8 Peach UK 35.6 SCT Rhea and
shadow on
globe
2009 04 22 19:50 20:08 99.8 340.8 135.1 110.4 351.0 145.2 Sharp UK 28.0 SCT 6.
5 Rhea and
shadow on
globe
2009 04 23 2:41 340.8 212.6 6.5 Maxson USA 25.4 DALL Shadow of
Dione
2009 04 23 1:40 1:58 305.0 178.2 332.1 315.6 188.3 342.3 Melka USA 30.5 NEW 6.
05.
0Shadow of
Dione
2009 04 29 3:06 7:10 21.1 58.5 205.1 164.1 196.1 342.5 Maxson USA 25.4 DALL Titan and
shadow
transit
2009 05 15 3:18 6:06 216.0 96.4 223.7 314.5 191.1 318.3 Maxson USA 25.4 DALL Titan and
Shadow
Transit
2009 05 19 20:05 223.3 311.9 73.6 Peach UK 35.6 SCT Rhea in
transit
2009 05 19 22:01 22:59 291.3 17.3 138.9 325.3 50.0 171.5 Abel UK 20.3 NEW
Sequence of
drawings of
Rhea and
shadow in
transit
2009 05 28 20:16 267.6 65.3 176.1 Peach UK 35.6 SCT Rhea
approaching
transit
2009 05 28 20:47 285.8 82.8 193.6 Delcroix FRA 25.4 SCT 4.
54.
0
Rhea and
Enceladus in
transit
2009 05 28 20:57 291.6 88.4 199.2 Bosman NETH 28.0 SCT Rhea in
transit
Table 14. Satellite Phenomena During the 2008-09 Apparition of Saturn (Continued)
Date (UT) UT
Start UT
End CM Start CM End
yyyy mm
dd hh:m
mhh:m
mI
(°)II
(°)III
(°)I
(°)II
(°)III
(°)Obs Obs
Stn Instr
(cm) Inst
Type STr NOTES
Page 46 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
pair of simultaneous images were
contributed on April 2nd by Jan Adelaar
at 21:18UT [refer to Illustration No.
022A] and Damian Peach at 21:28UT
[refer to Illustration No. 022B], showing
that the EZn white spot had expanded
slightly and seemed more longitudinally
elongated than in the past. In an image
furnished by Damian Peach on May 19th
at 20:05UT [refer to Illustration No.
023], the EZn white spot was pretty
similar to its appearance back in early
April. Based on the observational work
by the ALPO team of observers for the
span observations between December
2008 and mid-June 2009, the EZn white
spot evolved rather slowly
morphologically with perhaps a gradual
brightening trend. Visual observers did
not report white spot activity in the EZ
during 2008-09.
Drawings submitted by Detlev Niechoy in
February and April 2009 depicted
festoon activity in the EZn. Consider his
drawing made at 20:28UT on April 21st
at 290X, which shows festoons
emanating from the south edge of the
NEB in good seeing [refer to Illustration
No. 024]. There were no digital images
submitted showing dusky features in the
EZn during the observing season.
2009 05 31 3:10 5:18 38.7 122.5 230.6 113.7 194.7 302.6 Maxson USA 25.4 DALL Titan shadow
transit
2009 05 31 4:41 6:32 92.1 173.8 281.8 157.1 236.4 344.3 Hill USA 9.0 MAK 7.
0 Titan transit
sequence
Table 14. Satellite Phenomena During the 2008-09 Apparition of Saturn (Continued)
Date (UT) UT
Start UT
End CM Start CM End
yyyy mm
dd hh:m
mhh:m
mI
(°)II
(°)III
(°)I
(°)II
(°)III
(°)Obs Obs
Stn Instr
(cm) Inst
Type STr NOTES
Figure 7. Represents graphically the circumstances of the edgewise presentation of the rings in 2008-09, showing the changing position of
the Earth and Sun relative to Saturn's ring plane throughout the apparition. The points where the Sun and Earth both cross the ring plane
headed north are shown in the diagram (i.e., the times when the rings were theoretically edgewise to each body).
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 47
The typically narrow light gray Equatorial
Band (EB) was not reported by visual
observers during the apparition, but it
was sporadically captured using digital
imagers during the observing season. It is
quite apparent in the excellent image
contributed by Christopher Go on April
10, 2009 at 12:37UT [refer to
Illustration No. 025].
Northern Portions of the Globe
With Saturn’s rings evolving toward
edgewise orientation as the 2008-09
apparition concluded, regions of the
planet’s northern hemisphere such as the
NEB, NTrZ and NPR were more
favorably exposed to observers who
made drawings and captured images.
Now that the Earth is situated north of
the rings, and will be for more than a
decade henceforth, studies of Saturn’s
northern hemisphere become
advantageous as regions of the southern
hemisphere progressively become hidden
from view by the rings. With 2008-09
technically an edgewise apparition, albeit
unfavorable for reasons stated earlier in
this report, it was nevertheless possible
to draw comparisons of analogous
features between Saturnian hemispheres.
Observers began to see and image
limited activity such as dark features in
the North Equatorial Belt (NEB) and
North Temperate Belt (NTeB) in March
2009, as well as a transient white spot in
the North Polar Region (NPR) in early
May.
North Equatorial Belt (NEB)
Unlike its counterpart in the South in
2008-09, the dark grayish-brown NEB
was reported by visual observers most of
the time as a singular feature,
undifferentiated into North and South
components. Visual numerical relative
intensity estimates were always made of
the NEB as a whole (NEBw), and it was
basically the same in overall mean
intensity since 2007-08 (a difference of -
0.11 mean intensity is insignificant).
Even though intensity estimates were not
provided, visual observers with larger
instruments sometimes described the
NEB as split into a narrower NEBs and a
wider NEBn, with a fairly broad yellowish
Northern Equatorial Belt Zone (NEBZ)
situated in between. Imaging often
revealed the NEBs and NEBn during the
observing season separated by the
NEBZ. The NEBn was virtually always
the darker and wider of the two
components [refer to Illustration No.
026]. A singular report of a dark spot
within the NEBs was received from Marc
Delcroix on March 13th at 22:58-
General Caption Note for Illustrations 1-43. B = saturnicentric latitude of the
Earth; B' = saturnicentric latitude of the Sun; CMI, CMII and CMIII = central
meridians in longitude Systems I, II and III; IL = integrated light; S = Seeing on
the Standard ALPO Scale (from 0 = worst to 10 = perfect); Tr = Transparency
(the limiting naked-eye stellar magnitude). Telescope types as in Table 2; fea-
ture abbreviations are as in Figure 5. In all figures, south is at the top and IAU
east is to the left.
Illustration 001. 2009 May 23 12:02UTUT. Digital image by Christopher Go using a 28.0 cm
(11.0 in.) SCT, with RGB + IR blocking filter. S = 7.5 Tr = 4.0. CMI = 77.0°, CMII = 47.2°,
CMIII = 164.5°, B = –4.3°, B´ = 1.5. South Polar Belt (SPB) is visible encircling the SPR in
this image.
Illustration 002. 2009 Apr 20 20:24UT. Digital image by Damian Peach employing a 35.6
cm (14.0 in.) SCT with RGB filters + IR blocker. S and Tr not specified. CMI = 231.2°, CMII
= 176.0°, CMIII = 332.7, B = –4.1°, B´ = 2.0°. SSTeB is apparent in this excellent image.
Page 48 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
23:34UT in red light (see Table 9), but
the feature was so faint it was hard to
discern on the contributed image.
North Tropical Zone (NTrZ)
Visual observers did not describe this
feature during the 2008-09 apparition,
and it was infrequently visible on even
the best submitted high resolution digital
images.
North Temperate Belt (NTeB)
The light grayish-brown NTeB was
reported by only one visual observer, Carl
Roussell, who remarked that small dark
condensations were suspected visually at
04:25UT on March 1, 2009 [refer to
Illustration No. 027]. The NTeB was
captured on many digital images
contributed during 2008-09, but there
was no activity in this belt detected on
images submitted this apparition.
North Temperate Zone (NTeZ)
This yellowish-white zone was reported
by visual observers during 2008-09,
roughly comparable to the STeZ in mean
intensity. Digital images showed this
zone generally devoid of discrete
phenomena during the apparition.
North North Temperate Belt (NNTeB)
The dull gray NNTeB was hard to detect
on even the best images taken in good
seeing conditions in 2008-09, and visual
observers did not report it.
North North Temperate Zone (NNTeZ)
During 2008-09 the dull yellowish-gray
NNTeZ was not reported visually nor was
it clearly perceptible on images taken
with larger apertures during the
observing season.
North Polar Region (NPR)
Even under the best conditions, visual
observers had trouble discerning the NPR
as a distinct region in the far North of
Saturn’s globe during 2008-09. Probably
because it was always so vague and
poorly defined at the eyepiece, there
were no intensity estimates sent to the
ALPO Saturn Section. Digital images
routinely showed what appeared to be
the dusky southernmost edge of the
NPR, but detail was seldom seen within
it. Even so, Marc Delcroix was able to
successfully image a tiny white spot at
the edge of the NPR at red wavelengths
in fair seeing conditions on May 2, 2009
at 20:38-21:20UT [refer to Illustration
No. 028].
Shadow of the Globe on the Rings
(Sh G on R)
The Sh G on R was visible to observers
as a geometrically regular black shadow
on either side of opposition during 2008-
09. Any presumed variation of this
shadow from a totally black intensity
(0.0) during a given observing season is
merely a consequence of bad seeing
conditions or the presence of extraneous
light. Digital images revealed this feature
Illustration 003. 2008 Nov 29 08:03UT. Excellent drawing by Sol Robbins with a 15.2cm
(6.0in.) REF at 350X in Integrated Light. S = 7.0, Tr = 5.0. CMI = 137.4°, CMII = 5.6°, CMIII
= 334.1°, B = –1.4°, B´ = 4.2°. STeZ is quite obvious in this drawing in good seeing.
Illustration 004. 2009 May 15 01;14UT. Digital image by Theo Ramakers with a 23.5 cm
(9.25 in.) SCT, with RGB filters. S = 6.0 and Tr = 6.0. CMI = 143.3°, CMII = 26.5°, CMIII =
153.9°, B = –4.3°, B´ = 1.6°. The STeB is visible in this very nice image; a considerable
number of S- and N-Hemisphere belts and zones are also quite obvious.
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 49
as completely black. Readers are
reminded that the globe of Saturn casts a
shadow on the ring system to the left or
IAU East prior to opposition, to the right
or IAU West after opposition, and on
neither side precisely at opposition (no
shadow) as illustrated in Figure 6 (digital
images furnished by Christopher Go
using a 28.0 cm (11.0 in.) SCT on
November 22, 2008, March 8, 2009,
and May 23, 2009).
Saturn's Ring System
The discussion in this section is based on
visual studies of Saturn's ring system with
the customary comparison of mean
intensity data between apparitions, and
impressions from digital images of the
rings are included below as well. The
rings were oriented edgewise toward
Earth near the close of the 2008-09
apparition. Since the last edge-on
orientation of the rings back in 1995, the
southern hemisphere and south face of
the rings have been inclined toward
Earth, but once the Sun and Earth
passed through the ring plane headed
northward in August and September
2009, respectively, the northern
hemisphere and north face of the rings
will become increasingly visible for over a
decade.
The southern face of the rings was still
observable during 2008-09, but only
minimally so, making it increasingly
troublesome to view major ring
components to advantage as their tilt
toward our line of sight diminished. It
was also difficult to trace divisions and
intensity minima around the
circumference of the rings. As mentioned
earlier in this report, the value of B, or
the Saturnicentric latitude of the Earth
referred to the ring plane (+ when north),
ranged between the extremes of -4.2º
(May 13, 2009) and -1.3º (August 14,
2009), and B was 0.0º on September 4,
2009 when the rings were theoretically
edge-on toward Earth, occurring roughly
13 days before conjunction. So, Earth-
based observers were unable to see or
image the actual edgewise event because
Saturn was only 11º east of the Sun and
hopelessly immersed in the
overwhelming solar glare. The value of
B', the saturnicentric latitude of the Sun,
varied from -4.7º (October 17, 2008) to
0º.0 (August 14, 2009). Figure 7
presents graphically the circumstances of
the edgewise presentation of the rings in
2008-09.
Even though the edgewise events were
not favorable in 2008-09, for the
convenience of readers, it is worthwhile
to mention a few of the facts pertaining
to edgewise ring orientations:
Saturn’s revolution period about the Sun
is 29.5y, and the angle of the rings
relative to the Sun varies by ±26.7°.
During this period the intersection of the
orbit of the Earth and the plane of the
ring system takes place only twice, at
intervals of 13.75y and 15.75y.
Since the rings are so thin (~100m thick)
when edge-on, they appear to disappear
when viewed with a small telescope.
The two periods are of unequal length
due to Saturn's elliptical orbit about the
Sun.
In the 13.75y period, Saturn’s S pole
and S ring face are inclined toward Earth;
Saturn reaches perihelion during this
span (e.g., 1996 to 2009, with
perihelion of 9.0AU occurring back in
July 2003).
In the 15.75y period, Saturn’s N pole
and N ring face are tilted toward Earth;
Saturn reaches aphelion during this time
(e.g., 2009 thru 2025, with aphelion of
10.1AU occurring in April 2018).
The last edgewise presentation of the
rings occurred in 1995-96, which was
extremely favorable and well-observed by
the ALPO Saturn Section.
Illustration 005. Simultaneous Observations (digital images)
A. 2008 Dec 08 06:47UT. Digital image by Damian Peach with a 35.6-cm (14.0-in.) SCT
and RGB filters. S and Tr not specified. CMI = 7.5°, CMII = 339.0°, CMIII = 297.9°, B =
–1.2°, B´ = 4.1°. The STrZ white spot is just W of the CM (dark spot feature North of the
rings is the shadow of Dione). SEBZ white spot is also barely visible.
B. 2008 Dec 08 07:13UT. Digital image by David Arditti with a 35.6-cm (14.0-in.) SCT, and
RGB filters. S and Tr not specified. CMI = 22.8°, CMII = 353.7°, CMIII = 312.6°, B = –1.2°,
B´ = 4.1°. The STrZ white spot is near CM. There are hints of the vague SEBZ in the image.
Page 50 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
During 2008-09, as the Earth crossed
the ring plane on September 4th, Saturn
was only 11º E of the Sun, with
conjunction only two weeks away, which
made observations very unfavorable.
The next edgewise orientation of the
rings occurs on March 23, 2025 with
Saturn just 10º W of the Sun, and Saturn
will be lost in the overwhelming solar
glare.
Unfortunately, the next favorable
edgewise apparition won’t occur until
2038-39!
The only images received by ALPO
Saturn observers as near as possible to
the theoretical edge-on orientation of the
rings was submitted by Tomio Akutsu on
August 10, 2009 at 10:32UT [refer to
Illustration No. 029] and on August 14th
at 11:00UT [refer to Illustration No.
030].
Ring A
The majority of visual observers agreed
that the yellowish-white Ring A, taken as
a whole, was perhaps marginally darker
in 2008-09 than in 2007-08 based on
visual numerical relative intensity
estimates (difference of -0.50 mean
intensity points). Visual observers usually
described Ring A as one overall
component, not being differentiated into
inner and outer halves. Most digital
images of Saturn in 2008-09, however,
depicted inner and outer halves of Ring
A, with the inner half slightly brighter
than the outer half, especially at red
wavelengths. Visual observers
occasionally reported the very dark gray
Encke’s division (A5) in 2008-09 when
the rings were near their maximum tilt
but offered no visual numerical relative
intensity estimates. It was also apparent
on the best digital images [refer to
Illustration No. 031], and there were
hints of Keeler’s gap (A8) on some
images in rare instances. The latter was
not reported by visual observers.
Ring B
The outer third of Ring B is the
established standard of reference for the
ALPO Saturn Visual Numerical Relative
Intensity Scale, with an assigned value of
8.0. Under circumstances of greater ring
tilt during the apparition, visual observers
reported that the outer third of Ring B
appeared brilliant white with no variation
in intensity, and compared with other
ring components and atmospheric
phenomena of Saturn’s globe, it was
always the brightest intrinsic feature. The
inner two-thirds of Ring B during this
apparition, which was described as bright
yellowish-white and uniform in intensity,
displayed essentially the same mean
intensity as in the immediately preceding
observing season. Digital images
confirmed most visual impressions during
2008-09 [refer to Illustration No. 026].
Cassini's Division (A0 or B10)
Despite the minimal inclination of the
rings most of 2008-09, Cassini's division
(A0 or B10) was frequently reported by
visual observers, described as grayish-
black gap at both ansae. It was seldom
noticeable all the way around Saturn’s
ring system by visual observers due to the
small numerical value of B this
apparition, also the situation with high-
resolution images [refer to Illustration No.
002]. While a black Cassini’s division was
usually apparent on many of the digital
images received during the 2008-09
observing season, a deviation from a
totally black intensity for Cassini’s
Division was a consequence of bad
seeing, scattered light, or insufficient
aperture. The general visibility of major
ring divisions and other intensity minima
across the breadth of the South face of
the rings was considerably less favorable
this apparition with the continued
shrinking toward 0° as Saturn
approached edgewise orientation toward
our line of sight.
Ring C
The very dark gray Ring C was often
visible at the ansae in 2008-09 and
apparent on most digital images,
particularly those submitted when the
rings were sufficiently inclined toward our
view during the apparition. Visual
observers did not submit visual numerical
relative intensity estimates. The Crape
Illustration 006. Simultaneous Observations (digital images)
A. 2008 Dec 10 20:53UT. Digital image by Tomio Akutsu with a 35.6-cm (14.0-in.) SCT and
RGB filters. S= 6.0 and Tr = 3.0. CMI = 156.6°, CMII = 12.2°, CMIII = 326.8°, B = –1.1°, B´
= 4.0°. The STrZ white spot is near CM.
B. 2008 Dec 10 20:30UT. Digital image by Toshihiko Ikemura with a 38.0 cm (15.0 in.) NEW
and RGB filters. S and Tr not specified. CMI = 143.1°, CMII = 359.2°, CMIII = 313.9°, B =
–1.1°, B´ = 4.0°. The STrZ white spot is near CM.
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 51
Band (merely Ring C in front of the globe
of Saturn) appeared very dark gray in
color and uniform in intensity, and was
generally visible on digital images [refer
to Illustration No. 032]. Based on very
few intensity estimates, the Crape Band
appeared -1.10 mean intensity points
dimmer since 2007-08, but observers
had rather poor confidence in their
results because of the narrow ring tilt.
Opposition Effect
During 2008-09 several observers,
despite the narrow tilt of the rings of -
2.6º toward Earth, noticed the
“opposition effect” (also known as the
Seeliger effect), which is a noticeable
brightening of Saturn’s ring system
during a very short interval on either side
of opposition, typically when the phase
angle between Sun, Saturn, and the
Earth is less than about 0.3° (see Table
13). This ring brightening is due to
coherent back-scattering of sunlight by
their constituent m-sized icy particles,
which do so far more effectively than the
particles of Saturn’s atmosphere. This
phenomenon was supposed to peak on
March 8, 2009 (date of opposition), but
observers who detected it suggested the
effect was not as pronounced the last two
apparitions because of the narrowing
ring tilt toward Earth [refer to Illustration
No. 033].
Shadow of the Rings on the Globe
(Sh R on G)
This shadow in 2008-09 was almost
always described as a completely black
feature where the rings crossed Saturn’s
globe. Reported departures from an
overall black (0.0) intensity occurs for the
same reason as previously noted in our
discussion regarding the Sh G on R.
When B and B¢ are both negative, and
the value of B is less than that of B¢, the
ring shadow is to the north of the
projected rings, which happened prior to
March 4, 2009 [refer to Illustration No.
034]. When B and B¢ are both negative,
and the value of B exceeds that of B¢,
the shadow of the rings on the globe is
cast to their south, circumstances that
occurred starting about March 7, 2009
through August 14, 2009 (the final
observation received for the apparition);
the Crape Band then is seen south of the
projected Rings A and B [refer to
Illustration No. 035]. At times when the
shadows of Ring A, Ring B, and Ring C
projection are superimposed, it is often
very challenging to distinguish between
them in ordinary apertures and seeing
conditions, and the shadow of Ring C is
a further complication.
Terby White Spot (TWS)
The TWS is an apparent brightening of
the rings immediately adjacent to the Sh
G on R. There were only a few instances
when this feature was reported by visual
observers during 2008-09. It is purely an
artificial contrast effect, not a real feature
of Saturn's rings, but it is useful to try to
find any correlation that might exist
between the visual numerical relative
intensity of the TWS and the varying tilt
of the rings, including its brightness and
visibility using variable-density polarizers,
color filters, photographs, and digital
images.
Bicolored Aspect of the Rings and
Azimuthal Brightness Asymmetries
The bicolored aspect of the rings is an
observed difference in coloration
between the East and West ansae (IAU
system) when systematically compared
with alternating W47 (where W denotes
the Wratten filter series), W38, or W80A
(all blue filters) and W25 or W23A (red
filters). There was only one visual
observation contributed during 2008-09
apparition of the bicolored aspect of the
ring ansae (see Table 13). As in the rest
of this report, directions in the table refer
to Saturnian or IAU directions, where
West is to the right and South at the top
in a normally-inverted telescope image
Illustration 007. Simultaneous Observations (digital images)
A. 2009 Mar 03 00:50UT. Digital image by Christophe Pellier with a 25.4 cm (10.0 in.) CAS
and RGB filters. S = 5.0 and Tr = 5.0. CMI = 54.9°, CMII = 136.4°, CMIII = 351.9°, B = –2.6°,
B´ = 2.7°. The STrZ white spot is near CM.
B. 2009 Mar 03 00:59UT. Digital image by Jan Adelaar with a 23.5 cm (9.25 in.) SCT and
RGB filters. S and Tr not specified. CMI = 60.1°, CMII = 141.1°, CMIII = 356.6°, B = –2.6°,
B´ = 2.7°. The STrZ white spot is near CM.
Page 52 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
(observer located in the Northern
Hemisphere of the Earth). In recent years observers have been
systematically attempting to document
the presence of the bicolored aspect of
the rings using digital imagers (there have
been rare instances when the
phenomenon was allegedly
photographed in the past, if at all
possible at the same time it is sighted
visually. In 2008-09 there were no
images submitted with any evidence of
this phenomenon, but it is hopeful that
observers will eventually be successful
imaging this curious effect at the same
time visual observers report now that
digital imaging is now quite routine.
Indeed, documenting the presence of the
bicolored aspect of the rings, especially
when it occurs independent of similar
effects on the globe of Saturn (which
would be expected if atmospheric
dispersion was a contributing factor), is of
enormous value. So, to reiterate, the
importance of simultaneous visual
observations of Saturn with imaging of
the planet cannot be stressed enough so
that more objective confirmation of the
bicolored aspect of the rings can occur.
Professional astronomers are well-
acquainted with Earth-based sightings of
azimuthal variations in the rings (initially
confirmed by Voyager spacecraft), which
is probably a result of light-scattering by
denser-than-average clumps of particles
orbiting in Ring A. ALPO Saturn
observers are encouraged to try to image
any azimuthal brightness asymmetries in
Ring A, preferably at the same date that
visual observers report it.
The Satellites of Saturn
During the 2008-09 apparition, because
the rings were at or near edgewise
orientation toward Earth, the glare from
the rings was considerably reduced,
making it easier to see and image faint
objects like satellites close to Saturn.
Many of the planet’s satellites show tiny
fluctuations in visual magnitude as a
result of their varying orbital positions
relative to the planet and due to
asymmetries in distribution of surface
markings on a few. Despite close
proximity sensing by spacecraft, the true
nature and extent of all of the observed
satellite brightness variations is not
completely understood and merits further
investigation.
Visual Magnitude Estimates and
Photometry
ALPO Saturn Section observers in 2008-
09 submitted no systematic visual
estimates of Saturn's satellites employing
recommended techniques by the ALPO
Saturn Section. Even though photometry
has largely replaced visual magnitude
estimates of Saturn’s moons, visual
Illustration 008. 2009 May 26 20:00UT. Digital image by Damian Peach employing a 35.6
cm (14.0 in.) SCT with RGB filters + IR blocker. S and Tr not specified. CMI = 9.8°, CMII =
232.5°, CMIII = 345.7°, B = –4.3°, B´ = 1.4°. Somewhat diffuse STrZ white spot is apparent
in this excellent image.
Illustration 009. 2009 Apr 21 03:27UT. Digital image by Paul Maxson using a 25.4-cm
(10.0-in.) DAL in IL + IR blocking filter. S and Tr not specified. CMI = 119.2°, CMII = 54.5°,
CMIII = 210.8°, B = –4.1°, B´ = 2.0°. SEB is divided into the darker, wider SEBn and
narrower SEBs, with SEBZ situated in between.
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 53
observers should still try to establish the
comparative brightness of a satellite
relative to reference stars of calibrated
brightness when the planet passes
through a field of stars that have
precisely known magnitudes. To do this,
observers need to employ a good star
atlas that goes faint enough and an
accompanying star catalogue that lists
reliable magnitude values. A number of
excellent computer star atlases exist that
facilitate precise plots of Saturn’s path
against background stars for comparative
magnitude estimates.
The methodology of visually estimating
satellite magnitudes is quite simple. It first
begins with selection of at least two stars
with well-established magnitudes and
those that have about the same color and
brightness as the satellite. One of the
stars chosen should be slightly fainter and
the other a little brighter than the satellite
so that the difference in brightness
between the stars is roughly 1.0
magnitude. This makes it easy to divide
the brightness difference between the
two comparison stars into equal
magnitude steps of 0.1. To estimate the
visual magnitude of the satellite, simply
place it along the scale between the
fainter and brighter comparison stars. In
the absence of suitable reference stars,
however, a last resort alternative is to use
Saturn’s brightest satellite, Titan, at
visual magnitude 8.4. It is known to
exhibit only subtle brightness fluctuations
over time compared with the other bright
satellites of Saturn that have measured
amplitudes.
Some observers have begun using digital
imagers with adequate sensitivity to
capture the satellites of Saturn together
with nearby comparison stars, thereby
providing a permanent record to
accompany visual magnitude estimates as
described above. Images of the positions
of satellites relative to Saturn on a given
date and time are worthwhile for cross-
checking against ephemeris predictions
of their locations and identities. It is
important to realize, however, that the
brightness of satellites and comparison
stars on digital images will not necessarily
be exactly the same as visual impressions
because the peak wavelength response of
the CCD chip is different than that of the
eye. Observers who have photoelectric
photometers may also contribute
measurements of Saturn's satellites, but
they are notoriously difficult to measure
owing to their faintness compared with
the planet itself. Rather sophisticated
techniques are required to correct for
scattered light surrounding Saturn and its
rings.
Spectroscopy of Titan
Since 1999 observers have been urged
to attempt spectroscopy of Titan
whenever possible as part of a
cooperative professional-amateur
project. Although Titan has been studied
by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST),
very large Earth-based instruments, and
at close range the ongoing Cassini-
Huygens mission, opportunities continue
for amateurs to contribute systematic
observations using appropriate
instrumentation. As the Cassini-
Huygens mission revealed beginning in
2004, Titan is a very dynamic world with
transient and long-term variations. From
wavelengths of 300nm to 600nm,
Titan’s hue is dominated by a reddish
methane (CH4) atmospheric haze, and
Illustration 010. 2008 Nov 16 14:14UT. Digital image by Ethan Allen using 35.6 cm (14.0 in.)
SCT with red filter. S = 4.0 and Tr = 4.0. CMI = 178.9°, CMII = 98.7°, CMIII = 82.6°, B =
–1.7°, B´ = 4.4°. SEBZ white spot is particularly noticeable in red wavelengths.
Illustration 011. 2008 Dec 01 19:26 UT. Drawing by Detlev Niechoy using a 20.3 cm (8.0-
in.) SCT in Integrated Light at 225X. S = 4.5, Tr = 4.5 (interpolated). CMI = 284.1°, CMII =
91.5°, CMIII = 57.8°, B = –1.3°, B´ = 4.2°. SEBZ is located slightly W of the CM.
Page 54 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
beyond 600nm, deeper CH4 absorption
bands appear in its spectrum. Between
these CH4 wavelengths are “portals” to
Titan's lower atmosphere and surface, so
regular monitoring in these regions with
photometers or spectrophotometers is a
useful complement to professional work.
Long-term studies of Titan’s brightness
from one apparition to the next is
meaningful in helping shed light on
Titan’s known seasonal variations.
Observers with suitable equipment are
being asked to participate in these
professional-amateur projects, and
further details can be found on the
Saturn page of the ALPO website at
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/ as well
as directly from the ALPO Saturn
Section.
Transits of Saturnian Satellites and
Their Shadows
During the 2008-09 apparition, even
though circumstances were unfavorable
for viewing the edge-on event on
September 4th, very small inclinations of
Saturn’s ring plane to our line of sight
afforded observers unique opportunities
to witness transits and shadow transits of
satellites lying near the planet’s
equatorial plane. Apertures less than
about 20.3 cm (8.0 in.) are not usually
sufficient to produce the best views of
these phenomena for satellites other
than perhaps Titan, but observers with
digital imagers in 2008-09 submitted
some very interesting results as listed in
Table 14.
Consider for example the superb image
submitted by Tomio Akutsu of Dione and
its shadow transiting the globe of Saturn
on December 20, 2008 at 21:20UT
[refer to Illustration No. 036], as well as
an image of Tethys and its shadow in UV
light in transit across Saturn taken by
Christophe Pellier on January 4, 2009 at
03:41UT [refer to Illustration No. 037].
Another superb image of a transit of
Titan was captured by Christopher Go at
19:04UT on January 23, 2009 at
17:32UT (EZn white spot discussed
earlier in this report is also visible in the
image) [refer to Illustration No. 038].
Also, Paolo Casquinha submitted an
image of Rhea transiting Saturn’s globe
in the region of the NEBs near the East
limb at 03:00UT on February 14th [refer
to Illustration No. 039]. Later in the
same month, around 14:25UT on
February 24, 2009, observers along the
Pacific coast of North America, Hawaii,
Alaska, East Asia and Australia were
treated to a rare, extraordinarily beautiful
quadruple transit of Titan, Mimas, Dione,
Enceladus and their shadows crossing
Saturn’s globe. From those prime
locations, observers had an excellent
opportunity to capture images of the
planet with all four satellites visible at the
same time against the backdrop of
Saturn’s cloud tops! The Hubble Space
Telescope took some stunning photos of
the four moons situated in front of
Saturn [refer to Illustration No. 040].
Elsewhere on February 24th, observers
were able to witness at least some of the
events, such as the image furnished by
Paul Maxson of Titan and its shadow
transiting the globe at 11:19UT [refer to
Illustration No. 041] and the one of Titan
and Dione by Anthony Wesley at
14:13UT [refer to Illustration No. 042].
By mere coincidence, 5th magnitude
Comet Lulin (C/2007 N3) was nearing
its closest approach to Earth on February
24th and situated just 2.0° away from
Saturn, affording rather striking views of
the two objects in wide-field, low-power
eyepieces under dark skies. Observers
continued to submit images and drawings
of satellite events during the remainder of
the apparition, for which an excellent
sketch by Paul Abel of the transit of Rhea
and its shadow on May 19, 2009 at
22:53UT is a good example [refer to
Illustration No. 043].
Observations of satellite events at
minimal ring inclinations remains a
highly worthwhile and extremely
Illustration 012. Simultaneous Observations (digital images)
A. 2008 Dec 08 05:09UT. Digital image by Damian Peach with a 35.6-cm (14.0-in.) SCT
using a red filter. S and Tr not specified. CMI = 7.5°, CMII = 339.0°, CMIII = 297.9°, B =
–1.2°, B´ = 4.1°. The SEBZ white spot is visible, and the STrZ white spot is just W of the
CM (dark spot feature North of the rings is the shadow of Dione).
B. 2008 Dec 08 07:13UT. Digital image by David Arditti with a 35.6-cm (14.0-in.) SCT at red
wavelengths. S and Tr not specified. CMI = 22.8°, CMII = 353.7°, CMIII = 312.6°, B = –1.2°,
B´ = 4.1°. There are hints of the vague SEBZ in the image. The STrZ white spot is near CM.
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 55
interesting endeavor for individuals with
adequate aperture. Simultaneous visual
observations at the same time that
imaging is occurring helps establish limits
of visibility of such events using both
methods. Precise timings should be made
to the nearest second of ingress, CM
passage, and egress of a satellite or its
shadow across the globe of the planet at
or near edgewise ring orientations. Notes
should also be made of the belt or zone
on the planet crossed by the shadow or
satellite, and visual numerical relative
intensity estimates of the satellite, its
shadow, and the belt or zone it is in front
of is important, as well as drawings of the
immediate area at a given time during
the event.
Simultaneous Observations
Simultaneous observations, or studies of
Saturn by individuals working
independently of one another at the
same time and on the same date, offer
unparalleled chances for firm verification
of ill-defined or traditionally controversial
phenomena. The ALPO Saturn Section
has organized a simultaneous observing
team so that several individuals in
reasonable proximity to each another
can maximize the opportunities for
viewing and imaging Saturn at the same
time using similar equipment and
methodology. Joint efforts like this
significantly reinforce the level of
confidence in the data submitted for each
apparition. Examples of some
simultaneous (or near simultaneous)
observations of Saturn were cited earlier
in this report, and in forthcoming
apparitions such valuable work is strongly
encouraged.
Pro-Am Opportunities
Our cooperative involvement in
professional-amateur (Pro-Am) projects
continued this apparition. Readers of this
Journal may recall the appeal that
occurred a few apparitions ago from
NASA’s Radio and Plasma Wave Science
(RPWS) team for amateur astronomers to
monitor Saturn’s Southern Hemisphere
for bright clouds following a sudden
occurrence of radio noise caused by a
dynamic storm in the STrZ in January
2006. Amateur observers responded
right away and contributed images of the
small white spots, which apparently
corresponded with the outburst of radio
noise detected by the Cassini spacecraft.
Careful systematic imaging by ALPO
observers equivalent to the efforts in
2006 have been continuing, and our
results are now routinely being shared
with the professional community. It
should be pointed out, however, that this
was not the first concerted Pro-Am effort
in recent observing seasons. Dating back
to the time Cassini started observing
Saturn at close range in April 2004,
digital images at wavelengths ranging
from 400nm - 1m under good seeing
conditions were solicited by professionals
from amateurs. To participate in this
specific project, observers simply need to
utilize classical broadband filters (e.g.
Johnson system: B, V, R and I) with
telescope apertures of 30.5 cm (12.0 in.)
or larger, while also imaging through a
890-nm narrow band CH4 (methane)
filter. The Cassini Team requests that
observers systematically patrol the planet
every clear night for individual features,
watching their motions and morphology,
and thereby furnish input of interesting
large-scale targets for Cassini's imaging
system to begin close-up surveillance.
Visual observers with apertures ranging
upwards from 10.2 cm (4.0 in.) can play
a very meaningful role by making routine
visual numerical relative intensity
estimates and keep track of suspected
variations in belt and zone reflectivities
(i.e., intensity) and color.
The Cassini team combines ALPO
Saturn Section images with data from
the Hubble Space Telescope and from
other professional ground-based
observatories for immediate and future
study. As a means of facilitating regular
amateur-professional observational
cooperation, readers are requested to
contact the ALPO Saturn Section with
any questions they may have as to how
they can share their observational
Illustration 013. Simultaneous observations (digital images):
A. 2009 Jan 27 18:22UT Digital image by Tomio Akutsu with a 35.6-cm (14.0-in.) SCT and
RGB filters. S= 7.5 and Tr = 3.0. CMI = 278.1°, CMII = 26.5°, CMIII = 283.4°, B = –1.4°, B´
= 3.3°. The SEBZ white spot is near CM.
B. 2009 Jan 27 18:39UT Christopher Go using a 28.0 cm (11.0 in.) SCT, with RGB + IR
blocking filter. S = 7.5, Tr = 5.0. CMI = 288.1°, CMII = 36.1°, CMIII = 292.9°, B = –1.4°, B´ =
3.3°. The SEBZ white spot is near CM.
Page 56 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
reports, drawings, and images of Saturn
and its satellites with the professional
community. The author is always
delighted to offer guidance to novices, as
well as more experienced observers. A
very meaningful resource for learning
how to observe and record data on
Saturn is the ALPO Training Program,
and it is recommended that beginners
take advantage of this valuable
educational resource.
Conclusions
Based on mean visual numerical relative
intensity estimates during 2008-09 and
comparing the results with the
immediately preceding apparition, only
very subtle fluctuations in belt and zone
intensities were suspected. It would be
difficult to conclude that atmospheric
activity on Saturn’s globe increased or
decreased substantially over the last
several apparitions. Using standard visual
observing methods and digital imaging,
however, limited atmospheric activity was
apparent in the form of recurring short-
lived dark features much of the observing
season in the South Equatorial Belt
(SEB), as well as dusky festoons in the
EZs just after opposition. Small dark
condensations were suspected in the
North Equatorial Belt (NEB) and North
Temperate Belt (NTeB). Observers
imaged the recurring presence of small
white spots in the South Tropical Zone
(STrZ), South Equatorial Belt Zone
(SEBZ), and Equatorial Zone (EZ) during
the apparition, while a rare white spot
was also imaged in the North Polar
Region (NPR).
With respect to the Ring System, apart
from routine visual observations and
digital images showing Cassini’s (A0 or
B10), Encke’s (A5), and possibly Keeler’s
(A8) divisions, several less conspicuous
intensity minima at different locations
within Ring B were recorded with digital
imagers. There was only one suspicion of
the bi-colored aspect of the rings during
the apparition, and no submitted digital
images hinted at this phenomenon in
2008-09.
Digital imaging, which now regularly
takes place along with visual studies of
Saturn, often reveals discrete detail on
the globe and in the rings often below the
normal visual threshold. The
combination of both methods greatly
improves the opportunities for detecting
changes on Saturn during any given
observing season, and monitoring
different regions of Saturn with digital
imagers may signal outbursts of activity
that visual observers may eventually be
able to study with their telescopes,
including establishing limits of visibility of
such features. In addition, during the
2008-09 apparition, Saturn’s very small
ring inclinations leading up to the edge-
on orientation of the rings, albeit
unobservable this apparition, observers
were able to witness and image transits
of satellites lying near the planet’s
equatorial plane and their shadows, such
as Mimas, Rhea, Dione, Enceladus,
Tethys, and Titan.
The author is very grateful for the efforts
of all the individuals mentioned in this
report who submitted drawings, digital
images, descriptive reports, and visual
numerical relative intensity estimates
during the 2008-09 apparition. It was
also quite pleasing to see increased
simultaneous observations this
apparition. Dedicated systematic
observational work makes our programs
a success and helps amateur and
professional astronomers alike to obtain
a better understanding of Saturn and its
dynamic ring system. Observers
everywhere are encouraged to
participate in our programs in future
apparitions.
References
Alexander, A.F. O'D. (1962). The Planet
Saturn. London: Faber and Faber.
Benton, J.L., Jr. (2005). Saturn and How
to Observe It. London: Springer-Verlag.
Illustration 014. Simultaneous observations (digital images):
A. 2009 Feb 28 00:04UT Digital image by Christophe Pellier with a 25.4 cm (10.0 in.) CAS
and IR filter. S= 5.0 and Tr = 6.0. CMI = 14.7°, CMII = 194.2°, CMIII = 53.3°, B = –2.5°, B´
= 2.8°. SEBZ white spot is most readily detected in IR.
B. 2009 Feb 28 00:19UT Digital image by Marc Delcroix using a 25.4 cm (10.0 in.) SCT
with IR and RGB filters. S = 6.0, Tr = 3.0. CMI = 23.5°, CMII = 202.6°, CMIII = 61.8°, B =
–2.5°, B´ = 2.8°. SEBZ white spot is more pronounced in IR but only faintly noticeable in
RGB.
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 57
________ (1996). Visual Observations
of the Planet Saturn: Theory and
Methods (The Saturn Handbook).
Savannah, GA: Review Publishing
Company, 1996 (8th Revised Edition -
now available also in pdf format).
________ (1999). The 1995-96
Apparition of Saturn and Edgewise
Presentation of the Rings: Visual and
Other Observations, Journal of the Assn
of Lunar & Planetary Observers, 41, 1:
1-23.
________ (2006). ALPO Observations
of Saturn During the 2002-2003,
Apparition, Journal of the Assn of Lunar
& Planetary Observers, 48, 2: 24-40.
________ (2007). ALPO Observations
of Saturn During the 2003-2004
Apparition, Journal of the Assn of Lunar
& Planetary Observers, 49, 2: 32-55.
________ (2008a). ALPO Observations
of Saturn During the 2004-2005
Apparition, Journal of the Assn of Lunar
& Planetary Observers, 50, 1: 30-54.
________(2008b). ALPO Observations
of Saturn During the 2005-2006
Apparition, Journal of the Assn of Lunar
& Planetary Observers, 51, 1: 32-62.
________ (2010). ALPO Observations
of Saturn During the 2006-2007
Apparition, Journal of the Assn of Lunar
& Planetary Observers, 52, 1: 20-50.
---------------, 2010, ALPO Observations
of Saturn During the 2007-2008
Apparition, Journal of the Assn of Lunar
& Planetary Observers, 52, 3: 29-58.
Gehrels, T. and Matthews, M.S. (1984).
Saturn. Tucson: University of Arizona
Press.
Kozyrev, N.A. (1974). East-West
Asymmetry of Saturn’s Ring,
Astrophysics and Space Science, 27, 1:
111-116.
Lukkari, J. and Piironen, J.O. (1981).
The East-West Asymmetry of Saturn’s
Rings: New Measurements?, The Moon
and Planets, 25, 133-136.
Morrison, D. (1982). Voyages to Saturn
(NASA SP-451). Washington: U.S.
Government Printing Office.
Smith, B. A., et al. (1981). Encounter
with Saturn: Voyager 1 Imaging Science
Results, Science, 212, 163-191.
Spilker, Linda J., Editor. (1997).
Passage to A Ringed World: The
Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn and
Titan (NASA SP-533). Washington: U.S.
Government Printing Office.
United States Naval Observatory, The
Astronomical Almanac. Washington:
U.S. Government Printing Office.
(Annual Publication; the 2008 and 2009
editions, which were published in 2007
and 2008, respectively, were used for
this report).
Illustration 015. 2009 Feb 17 05:33UT. Drawing by Carl Roussell using a 15.2-cm (6.0-in.)
REF at 200-300X in IL and W23A (light red), W58 (green), and W38A (light blue) filters. S =
5.0, Tr = 3.0. CMI = 279.4°, CMII = 86.8°, CMIII = 318.9°, B = –2.1°, B´ = –3.0°. Suspected
dark elongations in SEBs and SEBn.
Page 58 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
Illustration 016. Simultaneous Observations (digital image
and drawing):
A. 2009 Mar 20 23:01UT. Digital image by Damian Peach
with a 35.6-cm (14.0-in.) SCT using RGB filters. S and Tr
not specified. CMI = 69.5°, CMII = 292.0°, CMIII = 125.9°,
B = –3.3°, B´ = 2.5°. SEBn dusky streak W of CM.
B. 2009 Mar 21 00:34UT. Drawing by Paul G. Abel using a
20.3 cm (8.0 in.) NEW at 312X in IL (no filter). S = 4.0
(interpolated), Tr not specified other than hazy sky
conditions. CMI = 124.0°, CMII = 344.5°, CMIII = 178.3°, B
= –3.3°, B´ = –2.5°. Dark elongation in SEBn near CM.
Illustration 017. 2008 Dec 22 05:56UT. Digital image by Mark Delcroix using a 28.0-cm
(11.0-in.) SCT with R + IR filters. S and TR not specified. CMI = 42.9°, CMII = 251.0°, CMIII
= 191.9°, B = –1.0°, B´ = 3.8°. EZn white spot most obvious in red wavelengths.
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 59
Illustration 018. 2009 Jan 04 02:25UT. Digital image by Christophe Pellier using a 25.4-cm
(10.0-in.) CAS with R + IR filters. S = 8.5, Tr = 5.0. CMI = 96.0°, CMII = 248.9°, CMIII =
174.2°, B = –1.1°, B´ = 3.6°. EZn white spot most obvious in red light.
Illustration 019. Simultaneous
Observations (digital images):
A. 2009 Jan 23 17:08UT. Digital image by
Tomio Akutsu with a 35.6-cm (14.0-in.)
SCT and RGB filters. S = 6.0, Tr = 4.0.
CMI = 97.1°, CMII = 336.4°, CMIII =
238.1°, B = –1.3°, B´ = 3.3°. EZn white
spot near CM (Titan is seen also in transit
across disk).
B. 2009 Jan 23 17:32UT. Christopher Go
using a 28.0 cm (11.0 in.) SCT, with RGB
+ IR blocking filter. S = 7.0, Tr = 5.0. CMI
= 111.2°, CMII = 350.0°, CMIII = 251.7°,
B = –1.3°, B´ = 3.3°. EZn white spot
near CM (Titan is seen also in transit
across disk).
Page 60 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
Illustration 020. Simultaneous Observations (digital images):
A. 2009 Feb 14 00:24UT. Digital image by David Arditti with a
35.6-cm (14.0-in.) SCT at red wavelengths. S and Tr not
specified. CMI = 85.1°, CMII = 356.2°, CMIII = 232.3°, B =
–2.0°, B´ = 3.0°. EZn white spot barely visible in red image.
Rhea is in transit.
B. 2009 Feb 14 01:32UT. Digital image by Jan Adelaar with a
23.5 cm (9.25 in.) SCT and RGB filters. S and Tr not
specified. CMI = 124.9°, CMII = 34.6°, CMIII = 270.6°, B =
–2.0°, B´ = 3.0°. EZn white spot is near CM. Rhea is in
transit.
Illustration 021. Simultaneous Observations (digital
images):
A. 2009 Mar 12 11:37UT. Digital image by Tomio Akutsu
with a 35.6-cm (14.0-in.) SCT and RGB filters. S = 2.5, Tr =
3.5. CMI = 113.6°, CMII = 249.9°, CMIII = 94.0°, B = –2.9°,
B´ = -2.6°. EZn white spot near CM (Titan shadow in transit
across disk).
B. 2009 Mar 12 11:51UT. Christopher Go using a 28.0 cm
(11.0 in.) SCT, with RGB + IR blocking filter. S = 7.5, Tr =
5.1. CMI = 121.8°, CMII = 257.7°, CMIII = 101.8°, B = –2.9°,
B´ = -2.6°. EZn white spot near CM (Titan shadow in transit
across disk).
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 61
Illustration 022. Simultaneous Observations
(digital images):
A. 2009 Apr 02 21:18UT. Digital image by Jan
Adelaar with a 23.5 cm (9.25 in.) SCT and
RGB filters. S and Tr not specified. CMI
=185.5°, CMII = 350.4°, CMIII = 168.7°, B =
–3.7°, B´ = -2.3°. EZn white spot is near CM.
B. 2009 Apr 02 21:28UT. Digital image by
Damian Peach with a 35.6-cm (14.0-in.) SCT
using RGB filters. S and Tr not specified. CMI =
191.3°, CMII = 356.1°, CMIII = 174.3°, B =
–3.7°, B´ = -2.3°. EZn white spot is near CM.
Illustration 023. 2009 May 19 20:05UT. Digital image by Damian Peach employing a 35.6
cm (14.0 in.) SCT with RGB filters + IR blocker. S and Tr not specified. CMI = 223.3°, CMII
= 311.9°, CMIII = 73.6°, B = –4.3°, B´ = 1.5°. EZn white spot is apparent near CM. Rhea is
in transit across globe farther North.
Page 62 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
Illustration 024. 2009 Apr 21 20:28UT. Drawing by Detlev Niechoy using a 20.3-cm (8.0-in.)
SCT at 225X in IL. S = 3.0, Tr = 3.0. CMI = 357.8°, CMII = 270.3°, CMIII = 65.7°, B = –4.1°,
B´ = 2.0°. Festoons projecting into EZn from south edge of NEB.
Illustration 025. 2009 Apr 10 12:37UT. Digital image by Christopher Go using a 28.0-cm
(11.0-in.) SCT in RBG + IR blocking filter. S = 7.0, Tr = 4.0. CMI = 30.2°, CMII = 340.7°,
CMIII = 151.0°, B = –3.9°, B´ = 2.2°. Narrow EB extends across the disk of Saturn in this
excellent image.
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 63
Illustration 026. 2009 Apr 01 22:09UT. Digital image by Damian Peach employing a 35.6
cm (14.0 in.) SCT with RGB filters + IR blocker. S and Tr not specified. CMI = 91.0°, CMII
= 287.2°, CMIII = 106.6°, B = –3.7°, B´ = 2.3°. NEBn is clearly darker than the NEBs in
this image. Outer third of Ring B is more prominent than the inner two-thirds.
Illustration 027. 2009 Mar 01 04:25UT. Drawing by Carl Roussell using a 15.2-cm (6.0-in.)
REF at 200-300X in IL and W23A (light red), W58 (green), and W38A (light blue) filters. S =
5.0, Tr = 3.5. CMI =292.2°, CMII = 73.4°, CMIII = 291.2°, B = –2.5°, B´ = –2.8°. Suspected
dark features in NTeB.
Page 64 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
Illustration 028. 2009 May 02 20:38UT. Digital image by Mark Delcroix using a 28.0-cm
(11.0-in.) SCT with R + IR filters. S = 4.5, Tr = 4.0. CMI = 290.6°, CMII = 207.5°, CMIII =
349.7°, B = –4.3°, B´ = 1.8°. Tiny white spot appears at the edge of the NPR at red
wavelengths in fair seeing conditions.
Illustration 029. 2009 Aug 10 10:32UT. Digital image by Tomio Akutsu with a 35.6-cm
(14.0-in.) SCT and RGB filters. S = 3.5, Tr = 2.0. CMI = 113.6°, CMII = 249.9°, CMIII =
94.0°, B = –1.6°, B´ = 0.2°. Rings are nearly edge-on in this image less than a month
away from the unfavorable theoretical edgewise orientation on September 4, 2009.
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 65
Illustration 030. 2009 Aug 14 11:00UT. Digital image by Tomio Akutsu with a 35.6-cm (14.0-
in.) SCT and RGB filters. S = 4.0, Tr = 3.0. CMI = 266.6°, CMII = 77.6°, CMIII = 94.8°, B =
–1.3°, B´ = 0.2°. Rings are nearly edge-on in this image less than a month away from the
unfavorable theoretical edgewise orientation on September 4, 2009.
Illustration 031. 2009 Apr 09 01:09UT. Digital image by Paolo Casquinha employing a 35.6-
cm (14.0-in.) SCT with RGB + IR blocking filter. S and Tr not specified. CMI = 346.8°, CMII
= 312.8°, CMIII = 123.6°, B = –3.9°, B´ = 2.2°. Encke’s division (A5) is apparent at the
ansae.
Page 66 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
Illustration 032. 2009 Mar 29 23:31UT. Digital image by Damian Peach employing a 35.6
cm (14.0 in.) SCT with RGB filters + IR blocker. S and Tr not specified. CMI = 126.1°, CMII
= 57.3°, CMIII = 240.3°, B = –3.6°, B´ = 2.3°. Dusky Ring C is apparent at the ansae in
this superb image.
Illustration 033. 2009 Mar 08 15:06UT. Digital image by Christopher Go using a 28.0-cm
(11.0-in.) SCT in RBG + IR blocking filter. S = 9.0, Tr = 5.0. CMI = 98.7°, CMII = 359.4°,
CMIII = 208.2°, B = –2.8°, B´ = 2.6°. Opposition effect (aka Seeliger effect) is obvious in
this image.
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 67
Illustration 034. 2009 Jan 27 18:39UT. Digital image by Christopher Go using a 28.0-cm
(11.0-in.) SCT in RBG + IR blocking filter. S = 7.5, Tr = 5.0. CMI = 288.1°, CMII = 36.1°,
CMIII = 292.9°, B = –1.4°, B´ = 3.3°. When B and B are both negative, and B < B, the
ring shadow is to the north of the projected rings, as shown in this image.
Illustration 035. 2009 May 23 12:02UT. Digital image by Christopher Go using a 28.0-cm
(11.0-in.) SCT in RBG + IR blocking filter. S = 7.5, Tr = 4.5. CMI = 77.0°, CMII = 47.2°,
CMIII = 164.5°, B = –4.3°, B´ = 1.5°. When B and B are both negative, and the value of B
> B, the shadow of the rings on the globe is cast to their south, as depicted in this image.
Illustration 036. 2008 Dec 20 21:20UT. Digital image by Tomio Akutsu with a 35.6-cm
(14.0-in.) SCT and RGB filters. S = 7.0, Tr = 3.0. CMI = 336.0°, CMII = 227.9°, CMIII =
170.4°, B = –1.0°, B´ = 3.9°. Dione is visible in this image off the globe and its shadow in
transit.
Page 68 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
Illustration 038. 2009 Jan 23 17:32UT.
Digital image by Christopher Go using a
28.0-cm (11.0-in.) SCT in RBG + IR
blocking filter. S = 7.0, Tr = 5.0. CMI =
111.2°, CMII = 350.0°, CMIII = 251.7°, B =
–1.3°, B´ = 3.3°. Titan is in transit across
Saturn’s disk.
Illustration 037. 2009 Jan 04 03:41UT.
Digital image by Christophe Pellier using a
25.4-cm (10.0-in.) CAS with UV filter. S =
8.5, Tr = 5.0. CMI = 140.6, CMII = 291.7°,
CMIII = 217.0°, B = –1.1°, B´ = 3.6°.
Tethys and its shadow are in transit across
Saturn (imaged in UV light).
Illustration 039. 2009 Feb 14 03:00UT.
Digital image by Paolo Casquinha
employing a 35.6-cm (14.0-in.) SCT with
RGB + IR blocking filter. S and Tr not
specified. CMI = 176.5°, CMII = 84.2°,
CMIII = 320.1°, B = –2.0°, B´ = 3.0°.
Transit of Rhea across Saturn.
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 69
Illustration 040. 2009 Feb 24 14:25UT.
Hubble Space Telescope (HST) image of
quadruple transit of Titan, Mimas, Dione,
Enceladus and their shadows crossing
Saturn’s globe. Image courtesy of
Science@NASA and Hubble Space
Telescope Team.
Illustration 041. 2009 Feb 24 11:19UT. Digital image by Paul
Maxson using a 25.4-cm (10.0-in.) DAL in IL + IR blocking
filter. S and Tr not specified. CMI = 273.0°, CMII = 206.5°,
CMIII = 69.9°, B = –2.3°, B´ = 2.8°. Titan and its shadow
transiting the globe near northern limb prior to quadruple
event.
Page 70 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
Illustration 042. 2009 Feb 24 14:13UT. Digital image by Anthony Wesley using a 36.8 cm
(14.5 in.) NEW in IL + IR blocking filter. S and Tr not specified. CMI = 15.1°, CMII = 304.6°,
CMIII = 167.9°, B = –2.3°, B´ = -2.8°. Titan and Dione in transit across the Saturn’s globe.
Illustration 043. 2009 May 19 22:53UT. Drawing by Paul G. Abel using a 20.3 cm (8.0 in.)
NEW at 312X in IL (no filter). S = 4.0 (interpolated), Tr not specified. CMI = 321.8°, CMII =
46.6°, CMIII = 168.1°, B = -4.3°, B´ = -1.5°. Rhea off globe with shadow in transit.
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 71
ALPO Resources
People, publications, etc., to help our members
Board of Directors
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/main/
board.html
Executive Director; Julius L. Benton, Jr.,
Associates in Astronomy, P.O. Box
30545, Wilmington Island, Savannah,
GA 31410
Member of the Board; Sanjay Limaye,
University of Wisconsin, Space Science
and Engineering Center, Atmospheric
Oceanic and Space Science Bldg. 1017,
1225 W. Dayton St., Madison, WI 53706
Member of the Board; Donald C. Parker,
12911 Lerida Street, Coral Gables, FL
33156
Associate Director; Ken Poshedly, 1741
Bruckner Ct., Snellville, GA 30078-2784
Member of the Board; Mike D.
Reynolds, Dean of Mathematics &
Natural Sciences, Florida State College,
3939 Roosevelt Blvd, F-112b,
Jacksonville, FL 32205
Member of the Board; Richard W.
Schmude, Jr., 109 Tyus St., Barnesville,
GA 30204
Member of the Board; John E. Westfall,
P.O. Box 2447, Antioch, CA 94531-2447
Member of the Board, Secretary/
Treasurer; Matthew Will, P.O. Box
13456, Springfield, IL 62791-3456
Founder/Director Emeritus; Walter H.
Haas, 2225 Thomas Drive, Las Cruces,
NM 88001
***********************
Publications Staff
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org
Publisher & Editor-in-Chief
Ken Poshedly (all papers, submissions,
etc); 1741 Bruckner Ct., Snellville, GA
30078-2784
Science / Peer Reviewers
Klaus R. Brasch; 10915 Sage Rd,
Flagstaff, AZ, 86004
Richard Jakiel; 8620 East Hickory Lane,
Lithia Springs, GA 30122
Roger J. Venable, MD, P.O. Box 117,
Chester, GA 31012
John E. Westfall, P.O. Box 2447,
Antioch, CA 94531-2447
Book Review Editor
Robert A. Garfinkle, F.R.A.S., 32924
Monrovia St., Union City, CA 94587-
5433
***********************
Interest Sections
Computing Section
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/computing
Coordinator; Larry Owens, 4225 Park
Brooke Trace, Alpharetta, GA 30022
Historical Section
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/main/
hist.html
Coordinator; Richard Baum, 25
Whitchurch Rd., Chester, CH3 5QA,
United Kingdom
Assistant Coordinator; Thomas A.
Dobbins, 10029 Colonial Country Club
Blvd., Fort Myers, FL 33919
Lunar & Planetary Training
Section
http://www.alpo-astronomy/training
Coordinator; Timothy J. Robertson, 195
Tierra Rejada Rd., #148, Simi Valley,
CA 93065
Website
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/
Webmaster; Larry Owens, 4225 Park
Brooke Trace, Alpharetta, GA 30022
Assistant Webmaster; Jonathan D.
Slaton, P. O. Box 496, Mansfield, MO.
65704
Youth Section
http://www.cometman.net/youth
Coordinator; Timothy J. Robertson,195
Tierra Rejada Rd., #148, Simi Valley,
CA 93065
***********************
Observing Sections
Solar Section
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/solar
Coordinator (including all submissions,
photo, sketches, filtergrams); Kim Hay,
76 Colebrook Rd, RR #1,Yarker, ON,
K0K 3N0 Canada
Assistant Coordinator; Brad Timerson
(e-mail contact only; see listing in ALPO
Staff E-mail Directory on page 73)
Assistant Coordinator & Archivist;
Jamey Jenkins, 308 West First Street,
Homer, Illinois 61849
Scientific Advisor; Richard Hill, Lunar
and Planetary Laboratory, University of
Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721
Mercury Section
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/Mercury
Coordinator; Frank J. Melillo, 14 Glen-
Hollow Dr., E-#16, Holtsville, NY 11742
Venus Section
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/venus
Coordinator; Julius L. Benton, Jr.,
Associates in Astronomy, P.O. Box
30545, Wilmington Island, Savannah,
GA 31410
Mercury/Venus Transit Section
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/transit
Coordinator; John E. Westfall, P.O. Box
2447, Antioch, CA 94531-2447
Lunar Section
Lunar Topographical Studies
Program
http://moon.scopesandscapes.com/alpo-
topo
Smart-Impact Webpage
http://www.zone-vx.com/alpo
-smartimpact.html
The Lunar Observer
http://moon.scopesandscapes.com/tlo.pdf
Lunar Selected Areas Program
http://moon.scopesandscapes.com/alpo-
sap.html
Banded Craters Program
http://moon.scopesandscapes.com/alpo-
bcp.htm
Coordinator; Wayne Bailey, 17 Autumn
Lane, Sewell, NJ 08080
Assistant Coordinator; William
Dembowski, 219 Old Bedford Pike,
Windber, PA 15963
Lunar Meteoritic Impacts Search
Program
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/lunar/
lunimpacts.htm
Page 72 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
ALPO Resources
People, publications, etc., to help our members
Coordinator; Brian Cudnik, 11851 Leaf
Oak Drive, Houston, TX 77065
Lunar Transient Phenomena
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/lunar/
LTP.html; also http://www.LTPresearch.org
Coordinator; Dr. Anthony Charles Cook,
Institute of Mathematical and Physical
Sciences, University of Aberystwyth,
Penglais, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion.
SY23 3BZ, United Kingdom
Assistant Coordinator; David O. Darling,
416 West Wilson St., Sun Prairie, WI
53590-2114
Mars Section
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/Mars
Coordinator; Roger J. Venable, MD,
3405 Woodstone Pl., Augusta, GA
30909-1844
Assistant Coordinator (CCD/Video
imaging and specific correspondence
with CCD/Video imaging); Donald C.
Parker, 12911 Lerida Street, Coral
Gables, FL 33156
Assistant Coordinator (photometry and
polarimetry); Richard W. Schmude, Jr.,
109 Tyus St., Barnesville, GA 30204
Assistant Coordinator; Jim Melka,
14176 Trailtop Dr., Chesterfield, MO
63017
Minor Planets Section
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/minor
Coordinator; Frederick Pilcher, 4438
Organ Mesa Loop, Las Cruces, NM
88011
Assistant Coordinator; Lawrence S.
Garrett, 206 River Road, Fairfax, VT
05454
Scientific Advisor; Steve Larson, Lunar
& Planetary Lab, University of Arizona,
Tuscon, AZ 85721
Jupiter Section
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/jupiter
Coordinator (Section); Richard W.
Schmude Jr., 109 Tyus St., Barnesville,
GA 30204
Assistant Coordinator (Section); Ed
Grafton, 15411 Greenleaf Lane,
Houston, TX 77062
Assistant Coordinator & Scientific
Advisor; Sanjay Limaye, University of
Wisconsin, Space Science and
Engineering Center, Atmospheric
Oceanic and Space Science Bldg. 1017,
1225 W. Dayton St., Madison, WI 53706
Assistant Coordinator, Transit Timings;
John McAnally, 2124 Wooded Acres,
Waco, TX 76710
Assistant Coordinator, Newsletter; Craig
MacDougal, 821 Settlers Road, Tampa,
FL 33613
Assistant Coordinator, Eclipses of
Galilean Satellites; John E. Westfall,
P.O. Box 2447, Antioch, CA 94531-2447
Scientific Advisor; Prof. A. Sanchez-
Lavega, Dpto. Fisica Aplicada I, E.T.S.
Ingenieros, Alda. Urquijo
s/n, 48013, Bilbao, Spain
wupsalaa@bicc00.bi.ehu.es
Saturn Section
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/saturn
Coordinator; Julius L. Benton, Jr.,
Associates in Astronomy, P.O. Box
30545, Wilmington Island, Savannah,
GA 31410
Remote Planets Section
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/remote
Coordinator; Richard W. Schmude, Jr.,
109 Tyus St., Barnesville, GA 30204
Comets Section
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/comet
Coordinator; Gary Kronk, 132 Jessica
Dr, St. Jacob, IL 62281-1246
Meteors Section
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/meteor
Coordinator; Robert D. Lunsford, 1828
Cobblecreek St., Chula Vista, CA
91913-3917
Assistant Coordinator; Robin Gray, P.O.
Box 547, Winnemuca, NV 89446
Meteorites Section
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/meteorite
Coordinator; Dolores Hill, Lunar and
Planetary Laboratory, University of
Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721
Eclipse Section
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/eclipse
Coordinator; Mike D. Reynolds, Dean of
Mathematics & Natural Sciences,
Florida State College, 3939 Roosevelt
Blvd, F-112b, Jacksonville, FL 32205
***********************
ALPO Publications
The Monograph Series
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/publications/
Monographs page.html
ALPO monographs are publications that
we believe will appeal to our members,
but which are too lengthy for publication
in The Strolling Astronomer. All are
available online as a pdf files. NONE are
available any longer in hard copy
format.
There is NO CHARGE for any of the
ALPO monographs.
Monograph No. 1. Proceedings of the
43rd Convention of the Association of
Lunar and Planetary Observers. Las
Cruces, New Mexico, August 4-7, 1993.
77 pages. File size approx. 5.2 mb.
Monograph No. 2. Proceedings of the
44th Convention of the Association of
Lunar and Planetary Observers.
Greenville, South Carolina, June 15-18,
1994. 52 pages. File size approx. 6.0
mb.
Monograph No. 3. H.P. Wilkins 300-
inch Moon Map. 3rd Edition (1951).
Available as one comprehensive file
(approx. 48 megabytes) or five section
files (Part 1, 11.6 megabytes; Part 2,
11.7 megabytes; Part 3, 10.2
megabytes; Part 4, 7.8 megabytes; Part
5, 6.5 mb)
Monograph No. 4. Proceedings of the
45th Convention of the Association of
Lunar and Planetary Observers.
Wichita, Kansas, August 1-5, 1995.127
pages. Hard copy $17 for the United
States, Canada, and Mexico; $26
elsewhere. File size approx. 2.6 mb.
Monograph No. 5. Astronomical and
Physical Observations of the Axis of
Rotation and the Topography of the
Planet Mars. First Memoir; 1877-1878.
By Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli,
translated by William Sheehan. 59
pages. Hard copy $10 for the United
States, Canada, and Mexico; $15
elsewhere. File size approx. 2.6 mb.
Monograph No. 6. Proceedings of the
47th Convention of the Association of
The Strolling Astronomer
Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012 Page 73
ALPO Resources
People, publications, etc., to help our members
Bailey, W .................... wayne.bailey@alpo-astronomy.org
Benton, J.L. ...........................................jlbaina@msn.com
Benton, J.L...........................................jlbaina@gmail.com
Brasch, K.R. ............................... m_brasch@earthlink.net
Baum, R.......................................... richard@take27.co.uk
Cook, A. ...........................tony.cook@alpo-astronomy.org
Cudnik, B........................................ cudnik@sbcglobal.net
Darling, D.O................................... DOD121252@aol.com
Dembowski, W. ........................ dembowski@zone-vx.com
Dobbins, Tom...............................tomdobbins@gmail.com
Garfinkle, R.A....................................ragarf@earthlink.net
Garrett, L.S. .................................... atticaowl@yahoo.com
Grafton, E. .............................................ed@egrafton.com
Gray, R. ...............................sevenvalleysent@yahoo.com
Haas, W.H.........................................haasw@agavue.com
Hay, K............................................ kim@starlightcascade.ca
Hill, D. .............................................dhill@lpl.arizona.edu
Hill, R................................................rhill@lpl.arizona.edu
Jakiel, R.............................................rjakiel@earthlink.net
Jenkins, J. ........................................ jenkinsjl@yahoo.com
Kronk, G..................................kronk@cometography.com
Larson, S..................................... slarson@lpl.arizona.edu
Limaye, S......................................sanjayl@ssec.wisc.edu
Lunsford, R.D................................ lunro.imo.usa@cox.net
MacDougal, C................................. macdouc@verizon.net
McAnally, J. .....................................CPAJohnM@aol.com
Melillo, F...............................................frankj12@aol.com
Melka, J. ........................................... jtmelka@yahoo.com
Owens, L........................larry.owens@alpo-astronomy.org
Parker, D.C.................................. park3232@bellsouth.net
Pilcher, F. ................................................... pilcher@ic.edu
Poshedly, K. ................ken.poshedly@alpo-astronomy.org
Reynolds, M. ....................................... mreynold@fscj.edu
Robertson, T.J..........................cometman@cometman.net
Sanchez-Lavega, A................. wupsalaa@bicc00.bi.ehu.es
Schmude, R.W. ....................................schmude@gdn.edu
Slaton, J.D...............................................jd@justfurfun.org
Timerson, B. ............................ btimerson@rochester.rr.com
Venable, R.J..........................................rjvmd@hughes.net
Westfall, J.E.............................. johnwestfall@comcast.net
Will, M. ..............................matt.will@alpo-astronomy.org
ALPO Staff E-mail Directory
Online readers please note: Items in blue text in the ALPO Staff E-mail Directory above are links to e-mail addresses. Left-click your
mouse on the names in blue text to open your own e-mail program with a blank e-mail preaddressed to the person you chose. Your
Internet connection MUST be ON for this feature to work.
Lunar and Planetary Observers,
Tucson, Arizona, October 19-21,
1996.20 pages. Hard copy $3 for the
United States, Canada, and Mexico; $4
elsewhere.File size approx. 2.6 mb.
Monograph No. 7. Proceedings of the
48th Convention of the Association of
Lunar and Planetary Observers. Las
Cruces, New Mexico, June 25-29,
1997.76 pages. Hard copy $12 for the
United States, Canada, and Mexico; $16
elsewhere.File size approx. 2.6 mb.
Monograph No. 8. Proceedings of the
49th Convention of the Association of
Lunar and Planetary Observers. Atlanta,
Georgia, July 9-11,1998.122 pages.
Hard copy $17 for the United States,
Canada, and Mexico; $26
elsewhere.File size approx. 2.6 mb.
Monograph Number 9. Does Anything
Ever Happen on the Moon? By Walter
H. Haas. Reprint of 1942 article. 54
pages.Hard copy $6 for the United
States, Canada, and Mexico; $8
elsewhere.File size approx. 2.6 mb.
Monograph Number 10. Observing
and Understanding Uranus, Neptune
and Pluto. By Richard W. Schmude, Jr.
31 pages. File size approx. 2.6 mb.
Monograph No. 11. The Charte des
Gebirge des Mondes (Chart of the
Mountains of the Moon) by J. F. Julius
Schmidt, this monograph edited by John
Westfall. Nine files including an
accompanying guidebook in German.
Note files sizes: Schmidt0001.pdf,
approx. 20.1 mb; Schmidt0204.pdf,
approx. 32.6 mb; Schmidt0507.pdf,
approx. 32.1 mb; Schmidt0810.pdf,
approx. 31.1 mb; Schmidt1113.pdf,
approx. 22.7 mb; Schmidt1416.pdf,
approx. 28.2 mb; Schmidt1719.pdf,
approx. 22.2 mb; Schmidt2022.pdf,
approx. 21.1 mb; Schmidt2325.pdf,
approx. 22.9 mb; SchmidtGuide.pdf,
approx. 10.2 mb
ALPO Observing Section
Publications
Order the following directly from the
appropriate ALPO section coordinators;
use the address in the listings pages
which appeared earlier in this booklet
unless another address is given.
Solar: Guidelines for the Observation of
White Light Solar Phenomena,
Guidelines for the Observing
Monochromatic Solar Phenomena plus
various drawing and report forms
available for free as pdf file downloads
at http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/
solarblog.
Lunar & Planetary Training Section:
The Novice Observers Handbook $15.
An introductory text to the training
program. Includes directions for
recording lunar and planetary
observations, useful exercises for
determining observational parameters,
and observing forms. Available as pdf
Page 74 Volume 54, No. 2, Spring 2012
The Strolling Astronomer
ALPO Resources
People, publi