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Saturn rules the night

January 2006: The ringed planet stands head and shoulders above its planetary brethren in January, despite Mars' valiant attempt to compete.
The lord of the rings reaches the peak of its annual cycle this month. Saturn, ruler of the planets in mythology, dominates the sky from dusk to dawn. It lies opposite the Sun in our sky January 27, a configuration astronomers call an opposition. The planet then rises at sunset, climbs highest around midnight, and sets near sunrise. It also shines brightest and appears largest through a telescope.

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