Saturn From Cassini (October 6, 2004)

Saturn From Cassini (October 6, 2004)

On October 6, 2004, Cassini captured a series of images that have been composed into the largest, most detailed, global natural color view of Saturn and its rings ever made (to date). The images were taken over the course of two hours while Cassini was approximately 6.3 million kilometers (3.9 million miles) from Saturn.

This grand mosaic consists of 126 images acquired in a tile-like fashion: three images (red, green and blue) were taken of each of 42 locations, or “footprints”, across the planet. The full color footprints were put together to produce a mosaic that is 8,888 pixels across and 4,544 pixels tall. Many of Saturn’s splendid features noted previously in single frames taken by Cassini are visible in this one detailed, all-encompassing view: subtle color variations across the rings, the thread-like F ring, ring shadows cast against the blue northern hemisphere, the planet’s shadow making its way across the rings to the left, and blue-grey storms in Saturn’s southern hemisphere to the right. Tiny Mimas and even smaller Janus are both faintly visible at the lower left (you can see these details in the full-resolution image on NASA web site).

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