Ian ReganNov 08, 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 28 October 2016
Saturn mosaic on 28 October 2016 Cassini took the images for this wide view of Saturn on 28 October 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). NASA / JPL-Caltech / SSI / Ian Regan

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 "Glutton for Punishment" mosaic
Simulated views of Saturn at the beginning and end of the "Glutton for Punishment" mosaic Ring-Moon Systems Node Saturn Viewer

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 "Glutton for Punishment" mosaic
Frames for the "Glutton for Punishment" mosaic NASA / JPL / SSI / Emily Lakdawalla

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