Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The rings of Saturn crossed an impossible way

At first momentary look, the rings of Saturn seem to cross each other in an impossible way. In fact, what this view of the Cassini international ship shows are the rings that pass in front of the planet, on which they project their shadow. And because the rings like those of the A ring and the Cassini division,
which appear in the center, are not totally obscure, the outline of Saturn and the shadow of those rings can be seen through them.

Saturn's rings have multifaceted structures and full of details, many of which can be seen in the image. In some cases it is known what is the cause of the divisions and sub-rings: for example, the Pan moon, 28 km wide and which is seen near the center of the image, is responsible for the division of Encke. However, in other cases, the origins and nature of the divisions and sub-rings are not easy to understand.

This observation looks towards the illuminated face of the rings at about 14 ° above its plane. The image was taken in visible light by the telephoto lens of the Cassini camera on February 11, 2016 and appears highlighted in an article published on April 25, 2016. The view was captured 1.9 million kilometers away from Pan and with an angle Sun-Pan-ship of 85º. The scale of the image is 10 km / pixel.

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