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Saturn’s Vanishing Rings

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Every fourteen years Saturn’s rings gradually fade from view as the angle of the planet’s orbit gives a side-on glimpse of the planet and its surroundings. In 1612, Galileo himself observed this phenomenon when Saturn's rings turned edge-side towards the earth and became virtually invisible to his telescope.

The disappearance of the rings, which reaches its zenith on September 4, 2009, will allow astronomers to gain sublime views of Saturn’s icy moons and dazzlingly blue north pole. So pull out your telescope and check out what's going on on the other side of the solar system.

Story via Daily Grail

Photo by Kokogiak used via Creative Commons License

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