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Hubble Captures Saturn's Rings Edge-On

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Don Savage
Headquarters, Washington, DC                    June 5, 1995
(Phone:  202/358-1547)

Tammy Jones
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD
(Phone:  301/286-5566)

Ray Villard
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD
(Phone:  410/338-4514)

NOTE TO EDITORS: N95-37

HUBBLE CAPTURES RARE EVENT AS SATURN'S RINGS APPEAR EDGE-ON

In one of nature's most dramatic examples of "now- you-see-them, now-you-don't," NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured images of Saturn on May 22, 1995 as the planet's magnificent ring system turned edge-on as viewed from Earth. This event occurs about every 15 years.

This observation will be used to determine the time of ring-plane crossing and the thickness of the main rings, to search for as yet undiscovered satellites and to help better determine the rate at which Saturn "wobbles" about its axis in a process known as polar precession. B&W: 95-H-310

The image and two others (two three-panel images showing Saturn at three different times around ring-plane crossing, one of which is labeled with names of satellites and times of observation) will be available electronically via the Internet in GIF and JPEG format and may be accessed on Internet via anonymous ftp from ftp.stsci.edu in the /pubinfo directory.

                                                           
					GIF              JPEG
PRC95-26a  Before and during RPC     gif/SatRPC1      jpeg/SatRPC1
PRC95-26b  Saturn during RPC         gif/SatRPC3      jpeg/SatRPC3
PRC95-26c  Labeled                   gif/SatRPC3L     jpeg/SatRPC3L

The same images are available via World Wide Web from URL:
http://www.stsci.edu/Latest.html, or via links in
http://www.stsci.edu/public.html

saturn_home.gif Saturn Ring Plane Crossing Home Page

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