Astronomy for all
Thursday January 19th 2012

Saturn’s Rings – Up close

There are a number of sources of fantastic images these days, Hubble, HiRISE and Cassini. Here is another gorgeous  natural color view of  gradations in the transparency of Saturn’s inner rings taken by the Cassini spacecraft.  We can see the myriad of dark shadows of the rings separate Saturn’s southern hemisphere in the bottom of the image from the north. The innermost D ring is invisible, laid over the planet’s northern hemisphere. The translucent C ring runs through the middle of the image. The denser B ring stretches across the top of the image.

“This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 48 degrees below the ringplane. Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The images were acquired with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Feb. 28, 2009 at a distance of approximately 1 million kilometers (620,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 59 kilometers (37 miles) per pixel.”

Shadow and Ringshine March 16, 2010: Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

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