Studying Saturn's rings at maximum tilt

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Abstract

A new set of NASA Hubble Space Telescope images of Saturn and its 274,000-km-wide ring system could help provide a better understanding of the dynamics of the planet's atmosphere, according to scientists involved with the research.

A series of images released on 9 September shows the planet at a range of different wavelengths, from ultraviolet to infrared. The images were taken on 7 March 2003 by Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 and using 30 different filters. The images were snapped during the time of Saturn's 29.5-year orbit around the Sun, when the planet's rings were at their maximum tilt of 26° toward Earth. This allows researchers on Earth to capture a prime view of the planet's south pole and the southern side of its rings.