NASA's Cassini spacecraft captures the gas giant from an unusual angle, making for one haunting photograph
Thanks to a rare set of circumstances not unlike a solar eclipse here on Earth, NASA's Cassini spacecraft was able to capture this photograph of Saturn on Oct. 17, 2012, during the craft's 174th orbit around the gigantic ringed planet. Noticeably missing is Saturn's signature brownish orange hue; what the camera captures instead is an expansive, ominous shadow that highlights the gas giant's rings. NASA calls the newly released snapshot a "splendor seldom seen," adding that the "very scientifically advantageous and coveted viewing position... [reveals] details about both the rings and atmosphere that cannot be seen in lower solar phase." "Absolutely remarkable," says Robert T. Gonzalez at io9. We tend to agree.
Other stories from this topic:
- Instant Guide: Forget Mars: Why Mercury's ice-covered poles may be more important
- Instant Guide: Spotted: The largest black hole ever seen
- Instant Guide: Discovered: A massive super-planet 13 times larger than Jupiter
- Science, Social Science, & Humanities
- Cassini spacecraft