Saturn's Rings Viewed Edge-On

This image shows the planet Saturn with its rings tilted nearly edge-on as seen from Earth. Saturn's axis of rotation is tilted about 27 degrees. Saturn completes an orbit of the Sun every 29.5 years. As Saturn orbits the Sun, the inclination of the rings from our perspective varies between 0 degrees and plus or minus 27 degrees during periods of 13.75 years and 15.75 years (the unequal intervals are a result of Saturn's elliptical orbit). The year 2009 was a year in which the rings reached an inclination of zero degrees.

This is an RGB CCD image taken with a Takahashi Mewlon 250 telescope using an ST-8XE CCD at prime focus operating at f12. The image was taken from my backyard in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Constellation: Leo
RA: 11h 30m 49s Dec: +05d 15' 31"
December 7, 2008
Image by Sid Leach
Scottsdale, Arizona

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