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


Advocate for Space!

Fifteen years ago, Society members and passionate space advocates like you helped save the Pluto mission. Now we can do the same for missions to Europa and Mars.

Join over 27,600 people who have completed their petition and consider a donation to support advocacy efforts.

Sign Our Petition

Featured Images

LightSail-B on the bench
Blue Origin New Shepard after first landing
New Shepard test flight and booster landing
Suni Williams and Doug Hurley in Crew Dragon
More Images

Featured Video

MISSIONS: Dawn In The Asteroid Belt With Marc Rayman

Watch Now

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Selfies to Space!

Take flight with a selfie on LightSail™ in 2016!

Send a Selfie Now

Connect With Us

Facebook! Twitter! Google+ and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!