Saturn is tilted in its orbit around the Sun, it has seasons just like the Earth. When a hemisphere is tilted so that the Sun passes more directly overhead, summer occurs. Half an orbit later -- about 15 (Earth) years for Saturn -- winter occurs. Since the rings of Saturn orbit the equator, they provide a quite graphic seasonal display. The Hubble Space Telescope took the above sequence of images about a year apart, starting on the lower left in 1996. Saturn's rings are less than 50 meters thick and are composed of pebble and boulder sized chunks of dusty water ice.
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& Michigan Tech. U.
Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day
Publications with keywords: Saturn - seasons
Publications with words: Saturn - seasons