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Images of Saturn made on 2010 April 16th and May 13th using the Phillips ToUcam webcam with Barlow lens on the 14" LX200R telescope. For the April image a 35-second sequence at 15 frames per second was processed in Registax and then in Photoshop. The May image was similarly obtained from a 30-second sequence.
In the April image the gap between the inner edge of the rings and the planet is clearly visible and even the Cassini Division near the outer edge is discernable. Both features are almost gone in the May image as the rings close up. The slight amount of colour fringing in the April image is due to atmospheric refraction, even at 42 degrees altitude. For the May image the white balance was adjusted to give an image consisting mainly of the red component and the image changed to monochrome before being given the general coloration transferred from the April image.
The rings will close further until early June but will not reach a fully edge-on view as seen from Earth because they will start to open again before becoming visible from Earth. [Jefferis]