Saturn's changing orientation, 2004-2015

Saturn's changing orientation, 2004-2015

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Caption: Saturn's changing orientation, composite optical image. This sequence shows the changing orientation of Saturn and its rings, as seen from Earth, over 12 years from 2004 to 2015. The orientation as seen from Earth changes as Saturn orbits the Sun, with one Saturnian orbit taking 29 years. Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in the Solar System. It is a gas giant with an average radius about nine times that of Earth and a volume of over 800 Earths. It is a gas giant and is mostly hydrogen and helium. Saturn has a large ring system of thousands of chunks of rock and ice, probably from a moon that disintegrated.

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