Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Happy Tenth, Cassini!

Cassini has been at Saturn for ten years now. Ten years! From among my favorites:

Saturn and its rings

Oh. My.

the rings from above
Cassini was above the ringplane when it took this picture - a slice of the entire ring system.

The rings are lit by sunlight from below; the light scatters through the rings' particles, but much of it bounces off their undersides and illumines Saturn's southern hemisphere. It also casts a shadow of the inner rings across the northern hemisphere - and Saturn's own shadow slices across the rings on the left side of the photo.

Oh. Wow.

Check this out. Looking down from above - Saturn and its shadow, the entire set of rings, one moon (Janus - center, outside the rings), and two stars (lower down, flanking the outer F ring) ... There are some "spokes" - cloudy irregularities - in the B ring, the darker section of rings in the center.

As always, see the Cassini home page for more.

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