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Four Years of Saturn

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


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

Wandering between Leo and Cancer
, 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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