PHOTO OF THE DAY: Translucent Arcs of Saturn’s Rings Among Most Recognized Feature in Solar System

By  //  August 16, 2018

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ring system extends up to 175,000 miles from the planet

Saturn’s rings are perhaps the most recognized feature of any world in our solar system. Cassini spent more than a decade examining them more closely than any spacecraft before it. (NASA image)

(NASA) – Saturn’s rings are perhaps the most recognized feature of any world in our solar system. Cassini spent more than a decade examining them more closely than any spacecraft before it.

The rings are made mostly of particles of water ice that range in size from smaller than a grain of sand to as large as mountains. The ring system extends up to 175,000 miles from the planet, but for all their immense width, the rings are razor-thin, about 30 feet thick in most places.

From the right angle you can see straight through the rings, as in this natural-color view that looks from south to north. Cassini obtained the images that comprise this mosaic on April 25, 2007, at a distance of approximately 450,000 miles from Saturn. The Cassini spacecraft ended its mission on Sept. 15, 2017.

The Cassini mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (the European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and https://www.nasa.gov/cassini. he Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.

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