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Sky & Telescope's News Bulletin - May 26, 1995

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SATURN'S THIN RINGS

Earth's first of three passages through the plane of Saturn's rings occurred as predicted on May 21st, and astronomers around the globe were watching. Giant reflectors like the 10-meter Keck telescope, took images as the rings tilted edge-on. According to Imke de Pater of the University of California at Berkeley, images with the Keck telescope taken just before and after the ring- plane crossing reveal several small moonlets within the rings. If you observe Saturn right now you're not likely to see much except the planet's distinctly flattened ball. Saturn rises only a few hours before dawn, so it's not particularly well placed for viewing. If you have a good-size telescope you might try to watch the planet's larger satellites play tag. Tethys, Dione, Rhea, and Titan are undergoing eclipses and occultations by Saturn and one another. A complete observing guide for Saturn's ring crossings begins on page 68 of SKY & TELESCOPE's May issue.


The News Bulletin is provided as a service to the amateur-astronomer community by SKY & TELESCOPE magazine. Electronic distribution of the News Bulletin is encouraged; however, this text may not be published without permission of Sky Publishing Corp. At the present time, the News Bulletin is not available via electronic mailing list.

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