This will be one spectacular Saturn mosaic when it's assembled properly
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla
14-08-2009 18:41 CDT
Among the many images recently posted to the Cassini raw images website from near the equinox were numerous frames from a ginormous multi-filter 19-frame mosaic on Saturn and its rings. This one is really unusual because the ring system shadow has collapsed to the barest skinny line across the globe, and because the rings are so incredibly dark. It was taken a little more than a day following equinox so it is technically the first mosaic captured by Cassini in which the northern face of the rings is "sunlit," but the angle of the sunlight is still so low as to be almost negligible. I did my best to put the frames together to give you a sense of what the mosaic will eventually look like, but the dynamic range is enormous (very dark rings, very bright planet) so there was only so much I could do to match the levels of adjacent frames. I can't wait to see the official version of this one.It's fun to compare the composition to this one, taken early in Cassini's mission. Note the bright ringshine reflecting onto the southern hemisphere on Saturn's night side. No ringshine in the above mosaic either, but there's planetshine on the rings.
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