Imaginea Astronomica a Zilei

Descopera cosmosul! In fiecare zi este prezentata o noua imagine sau fotografie a universului nostru fascinant, insotita de o explicatie scurta din partea unui astronom profesionist.

2005 May 4
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Cassini Spacecraft Crosses Saturn's Ring Plane
Credit: Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA

Explicatie: (Edit) If this is Saturn, where are the rings? When Saturn's "appendages" disappeared in 1612, Galileo did not understand why. Later that century, it became understood that Saturn's unusual protrusions were rings and that when the Earth crosses the ring plane, the edge-on rings will appear to disappear. This is because Saturn's rings are confined to a plane many times thinner, in proportion, than a razor blade. In modern times, the robot Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn now also crosses Saturn's ring plane. A series of plane crossing images from late February was dug out of the vast online Cassini raw image archive by interested Spanish amateur Fernando Garcia Navarro. Pictured above, digitally cropped and set in representative colors, is the striking result. Saturn's thin ring plane appears in blue, bands and clouds in Saturn's upper atmosphere appear in gold, and dark shadows of the rings curve across the top of the gas giant planet. Moons appear as bumps in the rings.

Imaginea de maine: wonderful star


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Autori & editori: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
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Un serviciu al: EUD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.