Cell phone picture of Saturn

So, when I was staging Calvin's Island, the script called for a telescope.  We borrowed one from an astronomy student up at Columbia, and ended up not using it because it was too big. At any rate, when we returned it, he took us up to the observatory and showed us the night sky.  It was beautiful!  It was also weird to be looking up there and seeing all this stuff really close up.

Anyway, he shows us Saturn and we laugh in disbelief.  It looks almost like a cartoon version of what you think it might look like.

So, with my geekery in optics and cameras and POV and all that jazz, I get the idea to try to capture Saturn with my cell phone picture.  After all, if you get the camera in the hot spot with the telescope, you should be able to pick up whatever the eye is picking up.

I put my phone up against the telescope and looked around.  The camera had to be in just the right spot, but when it was there you could definitely see Saturn.  After a couple of missed shots, I got this photo:

Saturn far cell phone pic

Here's a closer image:

Saturn medium cell phone pic

And an a ridiculously close zoom:

Saturn close cell phone pic

Turns out I'm not the only one who's done this.  Dave Pearson has been doing this for a while and has a couple of very cool photos of the exact same subject as well as a few others.