Friday, November 4, 2011

A crescent Saturn nestled within encircling Rings!

A crescent Saturn nestled within encircling Rings!
Click on the image for full resolution

A crescent Saturn appears nestled within encircling rings in this Cassini spacecraft image. Clouds swirl through the atmosphere of the planet. Prometheus (86 kilometers, or 53 miles across) orbits between the main rings and the thin F ring, and this moon appears as a speck above the rings near the middle of the image. This view looks toward the southern, unilluminated side of the rings from about 3 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Sept. 14, 2010 using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 890 nanometers. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 2.6 million kilometers (1.6 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 100 degrees. Image scale on Saturn is 151 kilometers (94 miles) per pixel.
Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

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