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March 18, 2008: Saturn: jewel of the solar system, taker of breaths, ringed beauty. Even veteran astronomers can't help but gasp when they see her through a small telescope.
Red Alert: Saturn's rings are vanishing.
Around the world, amateur astronomers have noticed the change; Saturn's wide open rings are rapidly narrowing into a thin line. Efrain Morales Rivera sends these pictures taken through a backyard telescope in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico:
"The rings have narrowed considerably in the last year," he reports. "The Cassini division (a dark gap in the rings) is getting hard to see."
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