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Saturn - Sep. 4, 2016

Saturn, photographed through a Celestron CPC Deluxe 1100 HD 11-inch reflector. Photographed around 8:30pm, September 4, 2016. If you imagine Saturn as a smooth ball with a flat ring around it (kind of like putting a hula hoop around your waist), we are observing Saturn tilted toward us - in the camera, Saturn photographs upside down, so it appears as though it's facing away from us in the above picture. We can see the top-side of its rings. The rings are one of Saturn's most stunning features; these are collections of mostly water ice that orbit Saturn at its equator. You can even see the "Cassini Gap" in the rings - the prominent black band that makes it look like a piece of the inner ring is missing.

Saturn is a gas giant planet, sixth planet from the Sun. Smaller than Jupiter, Saturn is the second-largest planet in the Solar System. Its white-cream color is due to the presence of heavy ammonia ice and liquid in its outer atmosphere, making it appear creamy white. Saturn is mostly Hydrogen and Helium, a by-product of the gases available when the Solar System formed.

We are essentially looking down at its North Pole, since the South Pole is tilted away from us.


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