Four Years of Saturn

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#99486 by @ 07.04.2007 00:00 - nach oben -
Four Years of Saturn


Explanation:

Saturn and its magnificent
ring system
can offer even casual astronomers the most memorable of telescopic sights.

Wandering between Leo and Cancer
this
month
, a bright
Saturn is
well placed for
viewing in
evening skies
.

But from our earthbound perspective,
the tilt of Saturn's rings does
change with time.

In 1995 and 1996
the broad rings were edge-on and nearly invisible, gradually opening
to a spectacular
maximum tilt of about 27 degrees by 2003.

This frame from a
series of Saturn images beginning a year later,
in 2004, and ending just last month shows the steady decrease
in apparent tilt as the rings head toward another
edge-on presentation in 2009.

Saturn's south pole is toward the bottom.

Click on the picture to view the sharp, color gif movie.




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