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Ian ReganNovember 8, 2016

Serene Saturn (or the “Glutton for Punishment” mosaic)

Blast my impulsive nature! A week ago Saturday I decided -- against my better judgment -- to tackle this monster of a mosaic. I call it the "Glutton for Punishment" mosaic. It took me a week to finish the work, but I believe the results were worth it. The sequence was captured by Cassini over the course of 90-plus minutes on the morning of October 28 with the wide-angle camera, while the narrow-angle camera was acquiring a color scan of the main rings.

Saturn mosaic on October 28, 2016

NASA / JPL / SSI / Ian Regan

Saturn mosaic on October 28, 2016
Cassini took the images for this wide view of Saturn on October 28, 2016, less than a year before the end of the mission. The season has advanced virtually to the opposite of what it was when Cassini arrived: it's full summer in the north pole, where Saturn's clouds make a hexagon shape. The season makes Saturn cast a relatively short shadow onto its rings. The night side of Saturn is faintly illuminated by reflected ringshine. Three moons are visible: Epimetheus (just above the right ansa, near Saturn); and Atlas and Prometheus (at the tip of the left ansa).

Only three moons are visible as far as I'm able to ascertain: Epimetheus (just above the right ansa, near Saturn); and Atlas and Prometheus (at the tip of the left ansa). Pan is too faint to be detectable, and Janus must be just out of frame. The hexagon is prominent. I think I see vertical relief on the circular collar external to the polar hexagon, on the side nearest the terminator. These shots from the Saturn Viewer at the Ring-Moon Systems node show the positions of the moons at the beginning and end of the mosaic.

Simulated views of Saturn at the beginning and end of the

Ring-Moon Systems Node Saturn Viewer

Simulated views of Saturn at the beginning and end of the "Glutton for Punishment" mosaic

A few technical details: the product consists of 21 frames across 7 footprints, filtered in groups of Red, Green, and Blue. Here's how the raw images come together:

Frames for the

NASA / JPL / SSI / Emily Lakdawalla

Frames for the "Glutton for Punishment" mosaic

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

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Ian Regan
Ian Regan

Contributor for Apollo Lunar Surface Journal
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