Category: saturn



On the outskirts of Saturn’s rings, illustrated by planetary scientist William K. Hartmann, October 1982.

Enceladus in Silhouette

Enceladus in Silhouette


Earth holds an elite status in the solar syste…


It can be casual to forget the magnificence of our planet and get lost in our tight-knit everyday lives. In the advent of a lunar eclipse (January 31, 2018)  it is worth knowing that when it comes to eclipses, Earth holds a pristine status in our solar system. 

To understand why, we need to shift our perspective a little bit and ask -”How would it be like if you were on Io (one of the moons of Jupiter)?”


                                   Image source :Deviant art

The most startling thing about this experience would be that the Jupiter would appear 36 times larger than the full moon (from earth).  That’s HUGE!


Also since the moons of Jupiter lies in the same plane, you would be witnessing an eclipse every 42 hours …


               Moons – Io, Ganymede, and Callisto in solar eclipse

In addition, since Jupiter has many moons (A large family of them), you might be able to catch some your fellow moons in eclipse with the sun. Their shadows though, appearing like tiny dots on the gas giant.

Saturn and its eclipse

If we make a slight detour and end up in Saturn, this is what it looks like when Saturn occults the Sun. Although not technically an eclipse, this image was captured by Cassini with Sun behind the planet, setting the rings and its atmosphere aglow.


                     Credit:  NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.

When people are not overwhelmed by the beauty of its rings, they notice the shadows cast by its many moons. Here is the solar eclipse of Saturn’s moon Titan:


Eclipse on our friendly neighbor – Mars


Larger of Mars’s two moons, Phobos passing in front of the sun – Solar eclipse.

Let’s forget about all those planets that are far away, if one were make a visit to Mars which is  ~12 light minutes away, one would witness only partial eclipses because the moons of Mars are too small to block the entire sun.


Eclipses on Earth


                        One Earth, One moon, A spectacular eclipse

Eclipses on earth, on the other hand, are too surreal to be true. Our planet not only supports life but also is placed in a prime location that would cause a total solar eclipse.

And as though the entire universe wanted to amuse us even more, the moon’s orbital plane is slightly misaligned from the Earth’s orbital plane around the sun which makes an occurrence of an eclipse predictable but yet not long enough; leaving us in a state of desperation wanting for more.


fuckyeahphysica: Saturn’s rotational axis is t…


Saturn’s rotational axis is tilted, just like Earth. While Earth’s
axis is tilted at an angle of 23.4°, Saturn’s tilt is 26.7°, which is
pretty close. 

In these pictures [1-2] you can witness the
dramatic shadows on Saturn that are cast by its rings. And in [3-4] the
shadows that are cast by Saturn on its rings. Truly epic!

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute


astronomyblog: Saturn, rings and moons seen b…


Saturn, rings and moons seen by the Cassini spacecraft wow!

Image credit: NASA/JPL (original video)

run2damoon: Cassini 1997-2017 – Mac Rebisz


Cassini 1997-2017

Mac Rebisz

humanoidhistory:Over the years, the Cassini-Huygens team at…


Over the years, the Cassini-Huygens team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has produced a bunch of spooktacular Saturn illustrations for Halloween.

NASA Team Finds Noxious Ice Cloud on Saturn’s Moon Titan by…

NASA Team Finds Noxious Ice Cloud on Saturn’s Moon Titan

NASA Team Finds Noxious Ice Cloud on Saturn’s Moon Titan by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

Via Flickr:

Researchers with NASA’s Cassini mission found evidence of a toxic hybrid ice in a wispy cloud high above the south pole of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.

The finding is a new demonstration of the complex chemistry occurring in Titan’s atmosphere—in this case, cloud formation in the giant moon’s stratosphere—and part of a collection of processes that ultimately helps deliver a smorgasbord of organic molecules to Titan’s surface.

This view of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is among the last images the Cassini spacecraft sent to Earth before it plunged into the giant planet’s atmosphere.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

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Read more about Cassini’s final approach to Saturn

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cosmicvastness: Colorful Structure at Fine ScalesThese are…


Colorful Structure at Fine Scales

These are the highest-resolution color images of any part of Saturn’s rings, to date, showing a portion of the inner-central part of the planet’s B Ring. The view is a mosaic of two images that show a region that lies between 61,300 and 65,600 miles (98,600 and 105,500 kilometers) from Saturn’s center.

The first image (above) is a natural color composite, created using images taken with red, green and blue spectral filters. The pale tan color is generally not perceptible with the naked eye in telescope views, especially given that Saturn has a similar hue.

The material responsible for bestowing this color on the rings – which are mostly water ice and would otherwise appear white – is a matter of intense debate among ring scientists that will hopefully be settled by new in-situ observations before the end of Cassini’s mission.

The second image (below) is a color-enhanced version. Blue colors represent areas where the spectrum at visible wavelengths is less reddish (meaning the spectrum is flatter toward red wavelengths), while red colors represent areas that are spectrally redder (meaning the spectrum has a steeper spectrum toward red wavelengths). Observations from the Voyager mission and Cassini’s visual and infrared mapping spectrometer previously showed these color variations at lower resolution, but it was not known that such well-defined color contrasts would be this sharply defined down to the scale (radial scale) of a couple of miles or kilometers, as seen here.

Analysis of additional images from this observation, taken using infrared spectral filters sensitive to absorption of light by water ice, indicates that the areas that appear more visibly reddish in the color-enhanced version are also richer in water ice. 

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute