July 6th 2001
In the beginning of this week I had an appointment with Brad Willis. He gave me a project to do, which was to find out as much as I can on CCD (charge-coupled device). Most of the week I spend it in the library doing research on CCD.
I needed to do was to find out what was CCD. CCD is a camera that has a silicon chip buried inside under the protection of an optical window. The rest of camera is comprises electronics to record and digitizes the signal. The CCD chip is a very small rectangle shape, which is kind of sensitive. The chip is divided into tiny squares. The squares are known as pixels. A CCD image is made of tiny square-shape pixels. Each pixel has a brightness value that is assigned a shade of gray color by display routine. Since the pixels are square, the edges of features in the image will have a stair step appearance. The more pixels and shape of gray that are used, the smoother the edges will be. This is an example of two different pixels and the results of the image.
Although the larger pixels of the TC-241 recorded nebulosity more efficiently than the KAF-0400 chip, the smaller pixels did better job recording faint stars.
My next question was where do you use the CCD camera. The camera is use with a telescope. They are set up to view the universe and take different image at different time. The images that are taken with CCD are much better quality. You could see the difference between these two images.
Unfiltered false-color images of comet C/1999 S4 (LINEAR), obtained on 2000 July 30.838UT with 19-cm, f/4 flat field S-C telescope and 1500 x 1000 CCD. Exposure time was 2 minutes. The right image was processed in a way that show strongly elongated and almost flat inner coma. No central condensation is present. Copyright © 2000 by J. Skvarc and H. Mikuz.
Doing this research has helped me a lot in finding out more information about CCD. There is many more thing I found out on CCD, but I will let you known about on the next summery. I need to make sure all the information is correct before I say anything else.
July 20th 2001
My assignment was to find out as much as I can of Saturn. Saturn is the second largest planet in the solar system, second to Jupiter. Its color is somewhat yellow. Since it is one of the planets that are visible with the naked eye, its existence has been known since prehistoric times so no one knows who first discivered the planet. However, it is the faintest of the five visible plantes, so it was probably discovered last. The first person to observe the planet using a telescope was Galileo in 1610.
It has an equatorial dimeter of 120 236 km and a polar diameter of 108 728 km. The largest difference of 908 percent between the equatorial dimeter and the polar diameter is cause by the high speed at which the planet spins around its axis and nature of the material that makes up the plant.
Saturn has a mass of 5.69x10^29 kg; however, Saturn has a low density of only 0.69 g/cm3, and is the least dense of all known planets. In comparison, the density of water is 1g/cm3. Sicne the density of Saturn is lower than that of water, Saturn would float on water if a body of water large enough existed. Due to the low density, much less than of the earth, the planet has a volume 764 times larger than Earth, but is only 96 times more massive.
I had to study the rings of Saturn. How many rings did Saturn has and the size of them. I went to the library to get the information on the rings of Saturn. This is the information I came with.
July 27th, 2001
By viewing Saturn and its rings though a telescope easily allows you to see that the ring system is divided into many visually different radial zone. The outer zone is known as the A-ring, which are 122,170 distance kilometers and 14,610 width kilometer distances from Saturn to closest edge of ring. The brighter inner zone is known as the B-ring, which is 92,000 distance kilometer and 25,400-width kilometer distance from Saturn.
Sometimes you could see a gap between these two zones which is known as the Cassini division, on an exceptional viewing night you may see an inner, semitransparent ring the C-ring which is 74,500 distance kilometer and 17,500 width kilometer. The E-ring is also visible the size of the E-ring is 180,000 distance kilometer and 300,000 width kilometer.
Beyond the A, B, C and E-rings, which can be seen or imaged from Earth- bound telescopes, Saturn has many other distinct rings- the D-ring, which is 66,970 distance kilometer and 7,500 width kilometer distance from Saturn. The F-ring is 140,180 distance kilometer and 50-width kilometer and the G-ring is 170,180 distance kilometer and 8,000-width kilometer distance from Saturn.
These are the rings of Saturn and the size of them. It is amazing how they could determent the size and distance of the rings from Saturn.
August 3rd, 2001
Rhea is the largest airless satellite of Saturn. It was discovered in 1672 by Giovanni Cassini. Rhea is an icy body with a density of 1.33 gm/cm3. The low density indicates that it is composed of a rocky core taking up less than one-third of the moon's mass, with the rest composed of water-ice. Rhea is somewhat similar to Dione, They both have similar composition, albedo features, varied terrain and synchronous rotations. The temperature on Rhea is -174°C (-281°F) in direct sunlight and between -200°C and -220°C (-328°F and -364°F) in the shade.
Rhea is heavily cratered with bright wispy markings. Its surface can be divided into two geologically different areas based on crater density. The first area contains craters which are larger than 40 kilometers (25 miles) in diameter. The second area, in parts of the polar and equatorial regions, has craters under 40 kilometers (25 miles) in diameter. This suggests that a major resurfacing event occurred some time during its formation.
August 10th, 2001
This week was really good for me. On Friday I went to Table Mountain Observatory (TMO) to take images of Saturn. This was something new for me. I never had done any of this before. When I arrive at TMO It was different then JPL all you see there are telescopes all over the place in many different size you have the 24 inch, 17 inch, and many more.
As I arrive to TMO I had to register in the office. This is something everyone has to do in order to be in TMO. They make sure you are clear to work there with a scientist. No one was allow there if they didn’t have an approver to be there. When I register in the office the security guard gave me the key to my room. It was a nice room. It had the basic things a room needed like a twin size bed and a restroom. So this would make you feel at home is like a home away from home.
He also showed me a safety movie. Everyone who works at TMO has to see the safety move. It show all the dangers that are around TMO and what to be aware off, for example there are many wild animals around there what should you do if a rattle snake bite you. The move tells you what you should do.
I had to be ready by 11:00 pm to meet up with David and Brad. We went to the 27’ inch telescope to take images of Saturn. Brad shows us around the telescope and he also showed us how to take the images. We were taking images until 6:00am. We took over three hundred images. All we had to was transfer them to JPL for data reduction.