Astronomy Picture of the Day



In the Shadow of Saturn

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#95199 by @ 17.10.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
In the Shadow of Saturn


Explanation:
In the shadow of Saturn, unexpected wonders appear.

The
robotic Cassini
spacecraft
now orbiting
Saturn recently drifted in giant planet's
shadow for about 12 hours and looked back toward the
eclipsed Sun.

Cassini saw a view unlike any other.

First, the
night side of Saturn
is seen to be partly lit by light reflected from its own
majestic ring system.

Next, the rings themselves appear dark when
silhouetted against Saturn,
but quite bright when viewed away from Saturn and
slightly scattering sunlight, in the
above exaggerated color image.

Saturn's rings light up so much that
new rings were discovered, although they are hard to see in the above image.

Visible in spectacular detail, however, is Saturn's
E ring, the ring created by the newly discovered
ice-fountains of the moon
Enceladus, and the outermost ring visible above.

Far in the
distance,
visible on the image left just above the bright main rings, is the almost ignorable
pale blue dot of Earth.




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