|Photo courtesy of
(Click on the photo for a larger view)
For hundreds of years we earthlings were stuck with pretty much the
same view of the magnificent planet
Saturn every time we turned our telescopes skyward. Of
course the view
got better as the quality and power of our telescopes improved, but
it was always the same view nonetheless. But the advent of robotic
explorers has changed that.
image featured above was captured last month by the
which is currently in orbit around Saturn. When this photo was taken
the gas giant was at equinox, and during that time her famous rings
were edge-on to the earth which makes them pretty much disappear
from our earthly vantage point.
But thanks to Cassini, for the
first time since the Creation we were able to have a camera pointed
at Saturn from the side during the planet's equinox (which only
occurs once every 15 earth years), and the result is the spectacular
photograph you see here. Since the narrow band of rings were edge-on
to the sun, they received very little sunlight which made them
extremely dim even from this unique vantage point.
Even though we
earthlings are still stuck extremely close to home in celestial
terms, our robotic surrogates are traveling far and wide throughout
our solar system (and eventually beyond), sending us thousands of
breathtaking images and enough data to keep our astronomers and
scientists busy for decades to come. Our knowledge of the universe
is still quite limited, but with ever-greater technological
breakthroughs and the grace of our wonderful Creator we are learning
more each month than we did in all the first 350 years following the
invention of the telescope combined.
Name: Ron Goins
Town: Sherman Oaks, CA
Except for our own earth, Saturn is by far the most photogenic of
the planets in our solar system. Cassini, Hubble and possibly even
manned spacecraft at some point will bring us many more "views" of
Name: Jackie Walton
Town: Onawa, IA
This site sure features some amazing images, and this is certainly
one of the best.
Name: Ed Morrison
Town: Dunwoody, GA
Gorgeous image of a gorgeous planet.
Name: Mimi Hesse
Town: Alvarado, TX
What a magnificent image. Truly awe inspiring.
Town: Buffalo, NY
Rick, thanks for sharing this great photo of Saturn. Your website is
about showing us the worlds beyond our door through photography -
and Saturn is certainly a magnificently photogenic part of our
world. We are very fortunate to have NASA engineers and technicians,
along with the financial resources that allow us to explore the
universe and capture fine images such as this.