Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Ringed Planet

We get a better view of Saturn and its moons (now numbered at 61, not counting hundreds of moonlets within the rings) than anybody else in human history, thanks to the Cassini Spacecraft. Here are some of my favorite images (click each one for a better view):

Close-up of Saturn's atmosphere, from a distance of about 336,000 miles.

Icy Rhea, below the plane of Saturn's rings and against the background of its atmosphere.

Tiny, misshapen Prometheus, one of the shepherd moons that holds Saturn's rings in place. Note the apparent distortion of the rings caused by the gases in Saturn's upper atmosphere.

That's not the Death Star hovering over the rings of Saturn: it's the moon Mimas. The giant crater is named after the moon's discoverer, William Herschel (1738-1822).
Click here for more.

No comments:

Post a Comment