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The source of this ring is hypothesized to be the crashing of a meteoroid off Janus and Epimetheus. In March , hydrocarbon seas were found near the North pole, the largest of which is almost the size of the Caspian Sea. From to 2 November , the probe discovered and confirmed eight new satellites. The continued exploration of Saturn is still considered to be a viable option for NASA as part of their ongoing New Frontiers program of missions.
NASA previously requested for plans to be put forward for a mission to Saturn that included an atmospheric entry probe and possible investigations into the habitability and possible discovery of life on Saturn's moons Titan and Enceladus. Saturn is the most distant of the five planets easily visible to the naked eye from Earth, the other four being Mercury , Venus , Mars and Jupiter.
Uranus and occasionally 4 Vesta are visible to the naked eye in dark skies.
Saturn appears to the naked eye in the night sky as a bright, yellowish point of light. The mean apparent magnitude of Saturn is 0. Most people will require an optical aid very large binoculars or a small telescope that magnifies at least 30 times to achieve an image of Saturn's rings, in which clear resolution is present.
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Such a "disappearance" will next occur in , but Saturn will be too close to the Sun for any ring-crossing observation to be possible. A Saturnian opposition occurs every year—approximately every days—and results in the planet appearing at its brightest. Both the Earth and Saturn orbit the Sun on eccentric orbits, which means their distances from the Sun vary over time, and therefore so do their distances from each other, hence varying the brightness of Saturn from one opposition to the next. Saturn also appears brighter when the rings are angled such that they are more visible.
For example, during the opposition of 17 December , Saturn appeared at its brightest due to a favorable orientation of its rings relative to the Earth,  even though Saturn was closer to the Earth and Sun in late From time to time Saturn is occulted by the Moon that is, the Moon covers up Saturn in the sky. As with all the planets in the Solar System, occultations of Saturn occur in "seasons".
Saturnian occultations will take place 12 or more times over a month period, followed by about a five-year period in which no such activity is registered. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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This article is about the planet. For other uses, see Saturn disambiguation. Sixth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. Pictured in natural color approaching equinox , photographed by Cassini in July ; the dot in the bottom left corner is Titan.
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Semi-major axis. Orbital period. Synodic period. Average orbital speed.
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Mean anomaly. Equatorial radius. Polar radius. Surface area. Mean density. Surface gravity.
Moment of inertia factor. Escape velocity. Sidereal rotation period. Axial tilt. Apparent magnitude. Angular diameter. Surface pressure. Scale height. Main article: Saturn's hexagon. Saturn's north pole IR animation. Main article: Magnetosphere of Saturn. Auroral lights at Saturn's north pole . Main article: Moons of Saturn. Main article: Rings of Saturn. The rings of Saturn imaged here by Cassini in are the most massive and conspicuous in the Solar System.
See also: Saturn mythology. Main article: Exploration of Saturn.
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