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Space and Physics

The Most Amazing Photograph of Saturn Ever

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Lisa Winter

Guest Author

clockOct 24 2013, 12:20 UTC
54 The Most Amazing Photograph of Saturn Ever
NASA / JPL / Space Science Institute / GordanUgarkovic

The most stunningly detailed image of Saturn has been released. From on board the Cassini spacecraft 36 images were taken of Saturn and it's famous rings. The cameras used red, blue, and green filters to capture the true colors as best as possible and took a total of twelve photos using each filter.

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The images were assembled by Croatian software developer Gordan Ugarkovic, who described himself as an amateur photo editor. If he was an amateur before he most definitely is not now. Ugarkovic's mosaic offers some of the most intense details ever imaged from Saturn.

 

The entirety of the planet is contained within the frame of the picture, but not at such a distance that certain features would appear unclear. The only obstruction is from Saturn's own shadow. 

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Saturn is most well known for its impressive ring system, which is seen here with incredible clarity. The rings are nearly entirely made out of ice, though there is a small bit of rocks in there as well. The rings are not solid entities; they are made out of countless smaller pieces. However, they are categorized into four main rings, labeled A, B, C, and D. A is the outermost ring, and D is surprisingly easy to identify in this image.

 

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This photograph also showcases the most interesting things about the planetary body. Saturn has a fierce storm at its north pole which isn't round; it's hexagonal. Some astronomers believe that this could be caused by standing wave patterns from the atmosphere. This storm isn't just cool because of its shape, it is absolutely huge. Each side of the hexagon is around 13,800 km (8,600 mi) long, which is larger than Earth's diameter.

 

Saturn is not perfectly spherical; it looks as if it has been compressed at its poles, making the equator wider. 

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To fully appreciate the detail of this image, it needs to be seen in full resolution. 


Space and Physics
  • Saturn,

  • cassini

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