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Astronomy Picture of the Day
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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
taken in April by the
robot Cassini spacecraft
the Sun is behind the camera but on the
other side of the ring plane.
Such a vantage point gives a
s of the most
splendid ring system
in the Solar System.
Strangely, the rings have similarities to a
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
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
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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