Sunday, March 06, 2022

Earth and Moon through Saturn's Rings | NASA Cassini

Earth and Moon through Saturn's Rings | NASA Cassini

What are those dots between Saturn's rings? Our Earth and Moon. Just over five years ago, because the Sun was temporarily blocked by the body of Saturn, the robotic Cassini spacecraft was able to look toward the inner Solar System. There, it spotted our Earth and Moon—just pin-pricks of light lying about 1.4 billion kilometers distant. Toward the right of the featured image is Saturn's A ring, with the broad Encke Gap on the far right and the narrower Keeler Gap toward the center. On the far left is Saturn's continually changing F Ring. From this perspective, the light seen from Saturn's rings was scattered mostly forward , and so appeared backlit. 

Learn more about the Cassini Mission:

After 20 years in space—13 of those years exploring Saturn—Cassini exhausted its fuel supply. And so, to protect moons of Saturn that could have conditions suitable for life, Cassini was sent on a daring final mission that would seal its fate. After a series of nearly two dozen nail-biting dives between the planet and its icy rings, Cassini plunged into Saturn’s atmosphere on Sept. 15, 2017, returning science data to the very end.

Image Credit: 

NASA, ESA, JPL-Caltech, Space Science Institute (SSI), Cassini Imaging Team; Processing & License: Kevin M. Gill

Release Date: June 2, 2020

#NASA #Astronomy #Science #Space #Saturn #Planet #Rings #Earth #Moon #SolarSystem #Exploration #Cassini #Spacecraft #JPL #California #SSI #UnitedStates #ESA #KevinGill #History #STEM #Education

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