Astronomy Picture of the Day



Crescent Rhea Occults Crescent Saturn

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#91232 by @ 12.07.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
Crescent Rhea Occults Crescent Saturn


Explanation:
Soft hues, partially lit orbs, a thin trace of the ring, and slight shadows highlight this understated view of the majestic surroundings of the giant planet Saturn.

Looking nearly back toward the Sun, the
robot Cassini
spacecraft
now orbiting Saturn captured
crescent phases of
Saturn and its
moon Rhea in color a few months ago.

As striking as the
above image is, it is but a single frame from a recently released
60-frame silent movie where Rhea can be seen gliding in front of its parent world.

Since Cassini was nearly in the plane of
Saturn's rings, the normally impressive rings are visible here only as a
thin line across the image center.

Cassini has now passed the official half-way mark of its mission around Saturn, but is well situated to complete
another two years investigating this complex and surprising system.




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