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GOODBYE SATURN’S RINGS


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By 2025, I will no longer be able to see Saturn's rings in my telescope. Seen from Earth, the planet will change its inclination between now and then, to the point where we will only see the thin thickness of its rings. It’s like taking a straight sheet of paper and placing it sideways, perpendicular to your eyes. This tilting of the rings occurs due to the variable inclination of its axis of rotation relative to our line of vision from the earth. Thus, this “disappearance” only occurs approximately once every fifteen years.

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Thanks to this phenomenon, Saturn's many moons will be much easier to see. However, it is believed that Saturn's rings will actually disappear one day, and not just for our eyes. The gravity of the planet gradually attracts the rings towards it, until there are none left... within 100 million years...

 

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Please show me your coins featuring Saturn…or any other « god planet ».

 

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Gallienus / Saturn holding harpa.

Edited by Ocatarinetabellatchitchix
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Good post, lovely images.

All I have, vaguely appropriate are Venus and Mars.

Julia Domna AR Denarius. Rome, 215-7 AD. 19.8mm, 3.12gr.
IVLIA PIA FELIX AVG, draped bust right / VENVS GENETRIX, Venus seated left, holding sceptre and apple, Cupid standing right, legs crossed, resting his right hand on her right knee. RIC IV-1 389b.  Rome mint. RSC 205; Sear 7099.

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GALLIENUS AR Antoninianus. 259-260 Lugdunum mint.
Gallienus AR Billon Antoninianus. GALLIENVS (dot) P (dot) F (dot) AVG, radiate, cuirassed bust right / DEO MARTI, distyle temple with Mars standing left within, left hand holding inverse spear and resting right hand on shield. RIC 10 var (dots in legend). Goebl 889g. Elmer 85; RSC 149; Cohen 615. Sear5 10195.  2,2 g - 21 mm

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I bought FFIVN a telescope several years back but we have never really been able to figure it out all that well. It also doesn't help that we live in a light polluted area 😞
 

Here is a fourree denarius that I won a few months ago for only $10! It has a very nice portrait of Saturn on the obverse and my lovely lady, Victory, on the reverse. 
Sadly, between last night and just now.... The littlest tadpole absconded with it and left only the flip... It is currently lost in the living room. Hopefully it is found soon!

 

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M. Nonius Sufenas
57 BC
Fourree Denarius
Obverse: SVFENAS right, S.C left, head of Saturn right; harpa and conical stone behind
Reverse: PR. L. V. P. F. around, SEX. NONI in ex, Roma seated left being crowned by Victory

 

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2 hours ago, Ocatarinetabellatchitchix said:

 

Talking about astronomy, let’s hope your coin doesn’t come out of a black hole…🤭

I looked everywhere. Finally gave up and sat down on the couch. Baby walks up and I say "where is daddy's coin?" He smiles and walks off...a few seconds later he comes back and hands me the coin! I have no idea where he got it from.

He doesn't talk yet but dang if he doesn't understand everything that is going on. 🙂

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Well, I just posted my "Earth," i.e., Tellus, so I'll skip that one. And I've certainly posted Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter enough. But here's my one Saturn:

Roman Republic, M. Nonius Sufenas*, AR Denarius, 59 BCE (or 57 BCE according to Hersh and Walker & Harlan), Rome Mint. Obv. Bearded head of Saturn right, with long hair; behind head, harpa with conical stone (baetyl)** beneath it and S•C upwards above it; before, SVFENAS downwards / Rev. Roma seated left on pile of shields, holding scepter in right hand and sword in left hand; behind, Victory left, crowning Roma with wreath and holding palm-branch extending behind her over right shoulder; around to left from 4:00, PR•L• - V• - P•F; in exergue, SEX•NONI [The two parts of the reverse legend, together, stand for Sex. Noni[us] pr[aetor] L[udi] V[ictoriae] p[rimus] f[ecitmeaning Sex. Nonius, praetor, first held the games of Victory.].*** Crawford 421/1, RSC Nonia1(ill.), BMCRR 3820, Sear RCV I 377 (ill.), Sydenham 885, Harlan, RRM II Ch. 13 at pp. 104-111 [Harlan, Michael, Roman Republican Moneyers and their Coins 63 BCE - 49 BCE (2d ed. 2015)], RBW Collection 1517. 19 mm., 3.95 g.

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*”The moneyer is doubtless M. Nonius Sufenas, Pr. 55.” Crawford Vol. I p. 445. But see Liv Mariah Yarrow, The Roman Republic to 49 BCE: Using Coins as Sources (2021), Fig. 3.53 at p. 158, suggesting that in the alternative, the moneyer was “perhaps his son.” M. Nonius Sufenas’s “father, Sextus Nonius Sufenas, was Sulla’s nephew, making the moneyer Faustus’ first cousin once removed.” Id. (Faustus was Sulla’s son.) See also Harlan RRM II at pp. 109-110.

After his term as moneyer, Nonius Sufenas is mentioned in one of Cicero’s letters to Atticus in July 54 BCE: “Now for the news at Rome. On the fourth of July, Sufenas and Cato were acquitted, Procilius condemned. Clearly our stern judges care not one whit about bribery, the elections, the interregnum, treason, or the whole Republic. Cicero, Ad Atticum, 4.15.4; see Harlan RRM II at pp. 104-106 for a proposed identification of the election which was the subject of the prosecution, namely the consular election of 56 BCE.

** See Harlan RRM II at p. 107: "The head of Saturn clearly identified by the harpa and the conical stone beside his head is on the obverse of the coin. The harpa recalls the castration of his father Uranus that resulted in the birth of Venus and the conical stone recalls that Saturn swallowed a stone thinking it was his infant son Jupiter whom he was trying to keep from growing up to replace him. Saturn, always identified by the harpa, appeared five times on Republican denarii." Harlan suggests (id. pp. 107-108) that, as on other coins on which Saturn appears, his image was intended to signal the moneyer’s past or present position holding office as urban quaestor, and, as such, “responsible for the treasury located in Saturn’s temple.”

***This reverse legend, as illustrated by the reverse image, “records the first celebration by an ancestor of the moneyer of the Ludi Victoriae of Sulla.” Crawford Vol. I pp. 445-446.  (That ancestor was the aforementioned Sextus Nonius Sufenas, Pr. 81 BCE, the moneyer’s father [or grandfather] and Sulla’s nephew.)

 

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