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#76024 by @ 23.06.2005 00:00 - nach oben -
Saturn's Rings from the Other Side

What do Saturn's rings look like from the other side?

From Earth, we usually see Saturn's rings from the same side
of the ring plane that the Sun illuminates them.

Geometrically, in the
above picture taken in April by the
robot Cassini spacecraft now orbiting
the Sun is behind the camera but on the
other side of the ring plane.

Such a vantage point gives a
breathtaking views of the most
splendid ring system in the Solar System.

Strangely, the rings have similarities to a
photographic negative of a front view.

For example, the dark band in the middle is actually the
normally bright B-ring.

The ring brightness as recorded from different angles
indicates ring thickness and particle density of ring particles.

Images like these are also interesting for what they
do not show: spokes.

The unexpected shadowy regions once recorded by the
Voyager missions when they
passed Saturn in the early 1980s are not, so far, being seen by Cassini.

Extra credit: Can you
spot the small moon (Prometheus) among the rings?

News: Solar Sail Launch

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