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Astronomy Picture of the Day: Moons, Rings, Shadows, Clouds: Saturn (Cassini)

Astronomy Picture of the Day: Moons, Rings, Shadows, Clouds: Saturn (Cassini)


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Moons, Rings, Shadows, Clouds: Saturn (Cassini)
Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, Space Science Institute

Explanation: While cruising around Saturn, be on the lookout for picturesque juxtapositions of moons, rings, and shadows. One quite picturesque arrangement occurred in 2005 and was captured by the then Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft. In the featured image, moons Tethys and Mimas are visible on either side of Saturn's thin rings, which are seen nearly edge-on. Across the top of Saturn are dark shadows of the wide rings, exhibiting their impressive complexity. The violet-light image brings up the texture of the backdrop: Saturn's clouds. Cassini orbited Saturn from 2004 until September of last year, when the robotic spacecraft was directed to dive into Saturn to keep it from contaminating any moons.

Source: NASA


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