From NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day, the Cassini spacecraft drifted in Saturn’s shadow for around twelve hours while looking back toward the eclipsed sun, and captured the above photograph. NASA explains:
First, the night side of Saturn is seen to be partly lit by light reflected from its own majestic ring system. Next, the rings themselves appear dark when silhouetted against Saturn, but quite bright when viewed away from Saturn, slightly scattering sunlight, in this exaggerated color image. Saturn’s rings light up so much that new rings were discovered, although they are hard to see in the image. Seen in spectacular detail, however, is Saturn’s E ring, the ring created by the newly discovered ice-fountains of the moonEnceladus and the outermost ring visible above. Far in the distance, at the left, just above the bright main rings, is the almost ignorable pale blue dot of Earth.
I wonder what I’d look like if Cassini drifted in front of me for twelve hours. Probably a lot like Saturn.
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