June 19, 2010

Tracing Saturn

Image: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Looking at this picture just blew me away. It is so simple, yet is able to reveal Saturn's unique shape immediately.

The picture was taken by the Cassini spacecraft, currently orbiting Saturn, on February 13, 2010, with the sun located behind Saturn. Saturn's outline is created by scattered sunlight passing through Saturn's upper atmosphere. Some of this light is eventually captured by the cameras aboard Cassini. Near the bottom of the picture, the rings are visible since the picture is taken with Cassini located above the plane of the rings.

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