NASA in November 2013 released a natural-color image of Saturn from space, the first in which Saturn, its moons and rings, and Earth, Venus and Mars, all are visible. The panoramic mosaic of the majestic Saturn system was taken by Cassini Spacecraft of the NASA. It shows the view that can be seen by the human eyes. It was unveiled at the Newseum in Washington on 12 November 2013.
To create the panorama, the image team of Cassini processed 141 wide-angle images. The image sweeps 404880 miles across Saturn and its inner ring system, which includes Saturn rings out to the E ring, the second outermost ring of Saturn.
On July 19, people for the first time had advance notice a spacecraft taking the picture from planetary distance during the Cassini’s Wave at Saturn campaign. During the campaign, NASA invited public to celebrate by finding Saturn in their part of the sky, waving at the ringed planet and sharing pictures over the internet.
An annotated version of the Saturn system mosaic labels points of interest. Earth is a bright blue dot to the lower right of Saturn. Venus is a bright dot to Saturn’s upper left. Mars also appears, as a faint red dot, above and to the left of Venus. Seven Saturnian moons are visible, including Enceladus on the left side of the image. Zooming into the image reveals the moon and the icy plume emanating from its south pole, supplying fine, powder-sized icy particles that make up the E ring.
The E ring shines like a halo around Saturn and the inner rings, because it is tenuous and can be seen with the light shine from behind it.
About the Cassini Spacecraft
Cassini Spacecraft was launched in 1997 and explored the Saturn system for more than nine years. NASA has planned to continue the mission through 2017 with the anticipation of many more images of Saturn, its rings and moons, along with scientific data.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and Italian Space Agency. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manage the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras. The imaging team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.
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