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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Saturn's Rings: Up Close & Personal

Saturn's Rings: Up Close & Personal

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Monday, January 30, 2017/Categories: natural history, photography, space science, art and design, adventure

                                             Saturn A-ring Detail (credit: Cassini, JPL)

The durable Cassini space probe orbing Saturn continues sending back photography that can dazzle the viewer. The latest black/white images capture the giant planet's rings in amazingly fine detail.

According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena the new Cassini image:

"features a density wave in Saturn's A ring (at left) that lies ~84,000 miles from Saturn. Density waves are accumulations of particles at certain distances from the planet. This feature is filled with perturbations, which researchers informally refer to as 'straw'. The wave itself is created by the gravity of the moons Janus and Epimetheus, which share the same orbit around Saturn. Elsewhere, the image is dominated by "wakes" from a recent pass of the ring by the moon Pan."



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