In the Shadow of Saturn’s Rings

This image is a composite of observations made of Saturn in early 2018 in the optical and of the auroras on Saturn’s north pole region, made in 2017. Image from NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope
Composite image of Saturm from HST (Credit NASA/ESA)

I can remember it very well, although not actually sure when it was, back around 1995/1996 I think. I was, like most other keen stargazers very familiar with the sight of Saturn with rings and all. Indeed the view of Saturn with its rings was one of the first things I had ever seen through a telescope and it inspired me into a lifetime passion of exploring the night sky. Every 15 years though, the Earth passes through the plane of the rings and from Earth they seem to vanish.  Now, an astronomer has used data taken during such ring plane crossings from the Cassini spacecraft to measure the transparency of the rings.

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