Friday, July 22, 2011

Antique Saturn

This rather poor image of Saturn was taken using a camera phone through the eyepiece of the Alvan Clark & Sons refractor at Sam Houston State University. The telescope was purchased in 1884 by the university (then known as Sam Houston Normal Institute) and sits on its original No. 5 mount. Mike Prokosch, the director of the SHSU Planetarium brought it out after a show one night to view the Moon and Saturn. The views were spectacular! Lunar features were crisp, with high contrast, and I could make out cloud bands on Saturn and the gap between the rings and planet quite easily.

A picture of Mike standing next to the telescope is located on Mike's web site.

Saturn; 1884 4.5" Clark refractor on No. 5 mount; Kyocera Loft camera through 0.6" eyepiece