See Saturn in Stunning HD in Live Webcast Tonight

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See Saturn in Stunning HD in Live Webcast Tonight
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Astrophotographer John Chumack sent in a photo of Saturn taken on March 29, 2013, from his home in Dayton, Ohio.

Saturn is widely regarded as the most beautiful object in the solar system, and tonight you can get a detailed look at the iconic ringed planet through a powerful telescope during a live webcast.

The online Slooh Space Camera will air a free Saturn webcast tonight (June 18) at 11:45 p.m. EST (0345 GMT on June 19), featuring live high-definition views of the planet as seen through a telescope at the Prescott Observatory in Arizona.

"In 40 years of observing the heavens and watching people's reactions to celestial glories, I've found that no object elicits more amazement and sheer wonder than Saturn," Bob Berman, contributing editor and monthly columnist for Astronomy magazine, said in a statement. "I am thrilled to be part of Slooh's live close-up visit to that magnificent planet."

You can watch the Slooh Saturn webcast here on SPACE.com. Prescott Observatory manager Matt Francis will join Berman for tonight's 45-minute show, which will also include earlier Saturn views captured by an observatory in the Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa.

You can also follow the Slooh webcast live via the Slooh Space Camera website.

Slooh president Patrick Paolucci told SPACE.com that tonight's show is expected to focus on the rings and moons of Saturn, as well as the mysterious six-sided vortex that swirls around Saturn's north pole.

Scientist think that this bizarre hexagonal storm, which is nearly 15,000 miles (25,000 kilometers) across, is formed by the path of a jet stream flowing through Saturn's atmosphere.

The Slooh show will also discuss the activities and accomplishments of NASA's Cassini spacecraft, which launched in 1997 and has been orbiting the gas giant since 2004, Paolucci said.

Saturn is the second-largest planet in the solar system, with a diameter about nine times that of Earth. The planet has more than 60 known moons, including Titan, which has a hydrocarbon weather cycle and liquid lakes composed of methane and ethane.

Saturn's famous rings are composed primarily of water ice and are thought to be just 33 feet (10 meters) or so thick in most places.

Editor's note: If you snap an amazing photo of Saturn in the night sky, or any other celestial object, and you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please send images and comments, including location information, to Managing Editor Tariq Malik at spacephotos@space.com.

Follow Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook or Google+. Originally published on SPACE.com.

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