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©2003 by Richard Nolle

WOW!DEC 8, 2003 - Saturn Closest to Earth is's online guide to a sight you won't want to miss. It happens at the end of this month, when the Sun and Saturn are lined up at opposite ends of the sky. Only this month it's not just your ordinary annual Sun-Saturn opposition. This time, it comes within six months of last summer's Saturn perihelion. That's the point in a planet's orbit when it makes its closest approach to the Sun, and for Saturn that happens only once every 30 years or so. Given that Earth lies in a direct line between the two when the Sun and Saturn are in opposition, and given that this particular opposition occurs within a few months of Saturn's closest approach to Sol in decades, it follows that Earth and Saturn are very nearly as close as they get to each other as 2003 turns into 2004. And that makes the Ringed Planet a sight to ring in the New Year with, in a most special way this time around.

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