Stereo images of Jupiter and Saturn

Manfred Rudolf

23. Jan 2004: The Jovian moon Ganymede is visible as a tiny bright dot, ca. 1/10 of Jupiter's diameter to the left. Ganymedes shadow is cast on Jupiter's disk. The time-separated images show a stereoscopic effect. Ganymede and its shadow seem to float clearly in front of Jupiter.

A similar effect can be seen with Saturn and its rings. Here the individual images have been taken 20 minutes time-separated, on 23. Jan 2004. It seems that the crepe ring is better visible than on a single picture, and it appears that the ring is not plane but slightly curved inwards.

The Saturn stereopictures are quite difficult to see, you must have your eyes exactly parallel to the long axis of the ring, otherwise the individual pictures do not fall together.

The stereoscopic effect is much more pronounced when images of Saturn before and after its opposition are combined (note the different shadow of Saturn's globe on the rings). Left image: 8 Dec 2003, right image: 23 Jan 2004.