Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2007 October 24
Explanation: Scroll right and cruise above the thin, icy rings of Saturn. This high resolution scan is a mosaic of images presented in natural colour and recorded in May, over about 2.5 hours as the Cassini spacecraft passed above the unlit side of the rings. The rings themselves are seen to be composed of many individual ringlets. To help track your progress, the rings are labeled below, along with the distance from the centre of the gas giant in kilometres. Major ring gaps are labeled above. The alphabetical designation of Saturn's rings is historical and related to their order of discovery; rings A and B are the bright rings separated by the Cassini division. In order of increasing distance from Saturn, the seven main rings run D,C,B,A,F,G,E. (Faint, outer rings G and E are not imaged here.)
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.