Posts tagged rings

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Saturn

1. Saturn Mosaic

Photograph courtesy NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

A total of 126 images taken over the course of two hours make up this mosaic picture of Saturn. The Cassini-Huygens spacecraft snapped the photos on October 6, 2004, when it was approximately 3.9 million miles (6.3 million kilometers) from Saturn. Cassini was on a four-year mission to explore the ringed planet.

2. Titan Halo

Photograph courtesy NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

A halo surrounds Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. Titan’s atmosphere, almost entirely nitrogen, extends some 370 miles (600 kilometers) into space—ten times as far as Earth’s atmosphere.

3. Saturn and Moons

Photograph courtesy NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Two of Saturn’s 48 known moons are barely visible in this picture of the ringed planet. Mimas, at the upper right, has an enormous impact crater on one side, and Tethys, at the bottom, has a huge rift zone called Ithaca Chasma that runs nearly three-quarters of the way around the moon.

4. Saturn’s Rings

Photograph courtesy NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Saturn’s otherworldly rings encircle the planet and extend out for hundreds of thousands of kilometers. The rings—there are thousands—are made up of billions of ice and rock particles, thought to be pieces of comets, asteroids, or shattered moons.

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Million-Ring Circus

1. RINGS FROM AFAR

Measuring 175,000 miles wide but as little as 30 feet thick, Saturn’s rings contain debris of varying ages and composition, all revolving at different speeds.

2. THREE MOONS

Titan and Dione, along with speck-sized Prometheus appear in rare alignment. Tiny so-called shepherd moons help shape the rings and prevent them from dispersing.

3. TITAN

Concentric rings wind in front of Satrun’s biggest moon, Titan, with tiny Janus in teh foreground. The rings are so massive that they have their own atmosphere, separate from Saturn’s. Cassini found evidence of oxygen all around the icy rings.

4. RINGS CLOSE UP

(via scinerds)

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