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Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Saturn - minus rings

If you are lucky enough that Saturn isn't behind a tree or hill when the sky is dark, and can train a telescope on it, you will see something amazing. Saturn's rings have vanished!

I was pretty amazed when I saw it in my scope, a fat yellow ball absolutely devoid of the rings I had seen my entire astronomical life. Sorry, no pictures, I had to use the unguided 4" scope to get far down enough to the horizon to pick Saturn up, so none of my cameras/webcam arrangements would work.

Why have Saturn's rings vanished? Saturnian Equniox, which happens twice in 29 years. For more details see Emily's post at the Planetrary society, and this post at Science Daily.

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