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The planet Saturn, September 1875.

Trouvelot, Etienne Leopold

The planet Saturn, September 1875.
3 7 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 29cm


Photograph showing a pastel drawing of the planet Saturn made by the French artist, Etienne Leopold Trouvelot (1827-1895). It is based on observations made at the United States Observatory at Foggy Bottom in Washington using the 26-inch Clarke refracting telescope in September 1875. When Galileo observed Saturn in 1610, using his homemade instrument, he noted that the planet appeared to have jug handles that disappeared regularly. It was only in 1659 that Christiaan Huygens, the Dutch scientist and astronomer resolved the mystery. Using a better telescope he was able see that a complete ring surrounded the planet Saturn.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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