Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Backlit View of Saturn & Rings: Cassini Spacecraft

From Cassini for the Holidays: Backlit View of Saturn and Its Rings

Dec. 18, 2012 — Just in time for the holidays, NASA's Cassini spacecraft, in orbit around Saturn for more than eight years now, has delivered another glorious, backlit view of the planet Saturn and its rings.


NASA's Cassini spacecraft has delivered a glorious view of Saturn, taken while the spacecraft was in Saturn's shadow. The cameras were turned toward Saturn and the sun so that the planet and rings are backlit. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)
On Oct. 17, 2012, during its 174th orbit around the gas giant, Cassini was deliberately positioned within Saturn's shadow, a perfect location from which to look in the direction of the sun and take a backlit view of the rings and the dark side of the planet. Looking back towards the sun is a geometry referred to by planetary scientists as "high solar phase;" near the center of your target's shadow is the highest phase possible. This is a very scientifically advantageous and coveted viewing position, as it can reveal details about both the rings and atmosphere that cannot be seen in lower solar phase.

More - Link >>> http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121218153633.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fspace_time+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Space+%26+Time+News%29&utm_content=Yahoo!+Mail

Sources: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA, ScienceDaily.com .

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