National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Science & Technology
Viewing Saturn in 2007
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/images/image-details.cfm?imageID=2314
January through July 2007 are the best months to view Saturn this year. The Earth and sun passed through Saturn's ring plane in 1995 and 1996, providing a nearly edge-on view of the rings. The ring tilt increased (opened wider) year by year to a maximum tilt of 27 degrees in early 2003. The tilt of the rings has been decreasing since 2003. The ring tilt decreases (closes slightly) each year until 2009, when we'll again see an edge-on, or nearly invisible view of the rings. This years' ring tilt angle varies from 15.4 degrees down to 6.7 degrees. Saturn is brighter this year than it will be until 2015 due to slight dimming as the ring tilt becomes more narrow and Saturn's distance from Earth increases. The image of Saturn, taken at 2006 opposition, shows the bright zones and dark belts of Saturn's atmosphere. The dark Cassini division bisects the outer A ring and middle B ring. The subtle inner C ring is visible where it appears in front and center of the planet itself.

For more month by month details and to learn more about some of the other unique observations for 2007 visit the Saturn Observation Campaign.

Last Updated: 24 February 2011

Science Features
Astrobiology
Astronomy Features
Power
Technology Assessment Reports
Sungrazing Comets

 

Best of NASA Science
NASA Science Highlights
Technology Features
Propulsion
Lectures & Discussions

Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 24 Feb 2011