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Emily LakdawallaApril 19, 2011

Nearly behind Saturn

Some recent photos that Cassini took from a position nearly in Saturn's shadow caught my eye, and I made a quick color composite. What an amazing view this would be if you were riding on the spacecraft! Maybe with so little of the disk sunlit it would be possible to see background stars, except where the giant planet's disk blots them out...

Nearly behind Saturn

NASA / JPL / SSI / processed by Emily Lakdawalla

Nearly behind Saturn
Cassini sat practically in Saturn's shadow to take this extremely high-phase view of the planet and its edge-on rings. The rings cast shadows on the southern hemisphere toward the bottom of the planet's visible crescent. With the Sun nearly in front of the camera, stray light creates a thin, colorful veil over the night side of the planet. In this view, the most sunlit edge of the crescent is overexposed; this is probably not true of the actual science data, only of the raw JPEG version of the data.

Read more: pretty pictures, Cassini, amateur image processing, Saturn, Saturn's rings

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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