Monday, January 27, 2014

Gorgeous Picture of Saturn from Above

Today, I just want to share a beautiful image with you. This view of planet Saturn, seen from above by the Cassini spacecraft was assembled from a variety of close-up images by computer programmer and amateur image processor Gordan Ugarkovic, but released by NASA because they were so pleased with the result.

Here we are looking down on the North Pole of Saturn in October 2013 (the weird weather feature called the "Hexagon" is faintly visible around the pole.) Such a perspective is not possible from Earth, but only from a spacecraft like Cassini.

The Sun is off to the left in this picture, and we see the planet casting a dark shadow on its own rings.  The bands of "stormy weather" at different latitudes are also visible. Saturn is a planet made mainly of gas and liquid. If you were to try to "land" on Saturn, you wouldn't -- you'd just sink in and in.

You can see Saturn's main ring system surrounding the planet's equator. To give you a sense of scale, if we were to put Saturn down next to the Earth, the ring system would stretch almost from the Earth to the Moon. Click on the photo to see it bigger and enjoy!

You can see more of Gordan's home processed Saturn photos at:

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