When are the next ring plane crossings after those in 1995-96?


When were the last ring plane crossings?

Source: TENMON NENKAN 1980 (TENMON NENKAN, handy/popular Japanese Astronomical Ephemeris) Original data from the American Ephemeris 1980.


Here is more on the ring plane crossings.

Richard Hill sent me this message giving a description of what he saw during the last two rings plane crossings and what one might expect to see when the Sun crosses the ring plane.

There is some interesting discussions about passages of the Earth through the ring-plane in a book called "The Planet Saturn: A History of Observation, Theory and Discovery" by A.F.O'D. Alexander. The book gives some detailed observation notes from previous "disappearances" of the rings. Some early observers reported seeing "knots" in the rings when they were nearly edge-on and some expected to see some strange effects when the Sun crossed the ring-plane. The books says:

In 1936-1937 there were sort of only two Earth "crossings". On 1937-Feb-20 the Earth did cross the ring plane. On 1936-Jun-28 the Earth did not cross the ring plane, but did get close to it - the Saturnicentric latitude of the Earth being only 0.0001 degrees! The Sun crossed the ring plane on 1936-Dec-28.


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