Equinox for Saturn Today

Image credit:  NASA

Image credit: NASA

Today, Saturn experiences its equinox, an event that occurs every 15 years.  With a complete orbit of the sun taking 29.7 years, an equinox for Saturn is a rare event.  What is most interesting is what happens to Saturn’s rings as a result:  they “disappear”.  With the equator directly in line with sunlight, the rings are not tipped and, instead, the edge faces the sun.  Because the rings are are so thin, only approximately 30 feet thick, they disappear to viewers on Earth.  Galileo Galilei was the first to observe this phenomena in the 17th century.  For more information on the equinox, see ScienceDaily.

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