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In the Shadow of Saturn

You might not believe it, but this is an actual photograph reported to have been taken back in 2006 as the Cassini space probe sheltered in the shadow of Saturn. It was 2.2 million kilometers away from the gas giant when it took the photograph.

Astronomy Photo of the Day explains the image thus:

The robotic Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn drifted in giant planet’s shadow for about 12 hours in 2006 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, slightly scattering sunlight, in this exaggerated color image.

Hit the jump to see the full image.

Click here to see the photo in its full resolution. You can read more about the photo at NASA.

[via +Newlande Van Rooyen]

1 reply on “In the Shadow of Saturn”

I saw in a documentary that the small dot on the left o Saturn is the Earth, which makes this picture ten times more amazing. It’s just so small and we’re all there minding our own business while this amazing picture was being taken…

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