Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Images from equinox!

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

12-08-2009 13:57 CDT


There are lots of new raw images from August 10 and 11 on the Cassini raw images website now. This one, I believe, is a shot of the rings just before equinox. The rings are incredibly dark, being light from the side so much that they are now shadowing themselves, except where they are least dense -- that is, the F ring, which is brighter than everything else in this photo.

Saturn's rings near equinox


Saturn's rings near equinox
This photo of the rings was taken by Cassini on August 10, 2009, just before equinox. Nearly the whole ring system is represented, but the only ring brightly visible is the F ring.
Stretching the heck out of the image allows you to barely make out the rest of the ring system. There are a couple of slightly brighter spots within the ring system that are visible when stretched like this -- I believe those are dusty faint ringlets within the Cassini division (left) and Encke gap (right). At the leftmost edge of the image, Saturnshine does make the main rings a little brighter.
Saturn's rings near equinox


Saturn's rings near equinox
A brightened view of a wide-angle shot of the rings near equinox brings the A and B rings barely into view. The F ring is the brightest.
There are a couple hundred more images that were posted today, but most are a bit tough to interpret because they are so dark; and the way they are JPEG-compressed before being posted to the Internet makes it hard to bring out detail. We'll have to wait for official versions to really see the amazing sights of Saturn near equinox.

See other posts from August 2009


Or read more blog entries about:


Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search

Essential Advocacy

Our Advocacy Program provides each Society member a voice in the process.

Funding is critical. The more we have, the more effective we can be, translating into more missions, more science, and more exploration.


Featured Images

Schiaparelli crash site from HiRISE, October 25, 2016
Color map of Pluto
Comparison of Schiaparelli and Opportunity landing locations
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Context Camera image of Curiosity landing site
More Images

Featured Video

The Planetary Post - Star Trek 50th Anniversary

Watch Now

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join The Planetary Society

Let’s explore the cosmos together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!