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Did you know, that with really good eyes and a really good place and an even better, amazingly wonderful amateur telescope you can the rings of Saturn?

No kidding.

The rings of Saturn.

But if you don’t have good eyes and you don’t have a telescope, and you would still really like to see the rings of Saturn…have I got an option for you.

In 1996, us Americans, Europe and the Italians sent a robotic spacecraft barreling towards Saturn, 932 million miles away. You can call it Cassini for short.  It got there in 2004. And since then it’s been sending pictures of everything from Saturn’s moons (there are 61 moon and some assorted moon-lets) to the rings of Saturn, with a few pics of Jupiter on its way.

This winter Cassini has been very busy…

From 20 degrees above the ring plane, Cassini’s wide angle camera shot 75 exposures in succession for this mosaic showing Saturn, its rings, and a few of its moons a day and a half after exact Saturn equinox, when the sun’s disk was exactly overhead at the planet’s equator. The images were taken on Aug. 12, 2009, at a distance of approximately 847,000 km (526,000 mi) from Saturn. (NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)

Or how about this one…

This is a view of Saturn’s moon Tethys and its cratered surface, taken by Cassini on October 14, 2009. (NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute)

and this one…

Because Saturn’s rings are made up of gas (well Saturn is mostly gas, that’s why it’s a gas giant)…gas giant , heh, heh, funny.. okay really, back to the rings… they have some dust in them too but  that moon there, that’s  Prometheus. You can see how it disturbing Saturn’s F ring… how cool is that.

Where were you going in 1997? Did you ever even consider you what see Saturn’s moons here, at the end of 2009…

For more info, go here