Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2018 April 2
Explanation: While cruising around Saturn, be on the lookout for picturesque juxtapositions of moons, rings, and shadows. One quite picturesque arrangement occurred in 2005 and was captured by the then Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft. In the featured image, moons Tethys and Mimas are visible on either side of Saturn's thin rings, which are seen nearly edge-on. Across the top of Saturn are dark shadows of the wide rings, exhibiting their impressive complexity. The violet-light image brings up the texture of the backdrop: Saturn's clouds. Cassini orbited Saturn from 2004 until September of last year, when the robotic spacecraft was directed to dive into Saturn to keep it from contaminating any moons.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.