Astronomy Picture Of The Day
Posted by James Goring on November 26, 2022, 12:50:33
Saturn is still bright in planet Earth's night skies. |
Telescopic views of the distant gas giant and its beautiful rings often make it a star at star parties.
But this stunning view of Saturn's rings and night side just isn't possible from telescopes closer to the Sun than the outer planet.
They can only bring Saturn's day into view.
In fact, this image of Saturn's slender sunlit crescent with night's shadow cast across its broad and complex ring system
was captured by the Cassini spacecraft. A robot spacecraft from planet Earth,
Cassini called Saturn orbit home for 13 years before it was directed to dive into the
atmosphere of the gas giant on September 15, 2017.
This magnificent mosaic is composed of frames recorded by Cassini's wide-angle camera
only two days before its grand final plunge. Saturn's night will not be seen again until another spaceship from Earth calls.
Saturn at Night
NASA, JPL-Caltech, Space Science Institute, Mindaugas Macijauskas