Rings and Moons
Saturn's equator is tilted relative
to its orbit by 27 degrees, very similar to the
23-degree tilt of the Earth. As Saturn moves along
its orbit, first one hemisphere, then the other
is tilted towards the Sun. This cyclical change
causes seasons on Saturn, just as the changing orientation
of Earth's tilt causes seasons on our planet.
The five Saturn observations from
the Hubble Telescope data taken by Richard French
and collaborators have been aligned in the image
at left. These observations span over the course
of October 1996 - November 2000.
At the bottom of the image, Hubble
observations from the August 1995 "Ring-Plane
Crossing" event taken by Erich Karkoschka (University
of Arizona Lunar & Planetary Lab) (STScI-PRC96-16
April 24, 1996) and the December 1994 "Saturn
Storm"- courtesy of Reta Beebe (New Mexico
State University), Diane Gilmore, L. Bergeron (STScI)
have been added to the Saturn ring sequence.
Image Credits for seven-panel Saturn
NASA, The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), R.
French (Wellesley College), J. Cuzzi (NASA/Ames),
L. Dones (SwRI), J. Lissauer (NASA/Ames); E. Karkoschka
(University of Arizona Lunar & Planetary Lab);
R. Beebe (New Mexico State University), D. Gilmore,
and L. Bergeron (STScI).
Other Saturn-Related Links:
A quick look at this image of Saturn's rings
shows a blue-green-red series of dots (Look carefully!
There are two sets!) As the telescope snaps pictures
in different filters, the moons continue to revolve
around Saturn, leaving behind an image during
each filtered observation. The ring particles
and cloud structrues also continue to move throughout
the exposure series. Moons and clouds have been
lined up in the final images.