The above awe-inspiring image of Saturn was recently released by NASA. It was taken by the Cassini spacecraft in mid-October as it moved through the shadow of the famed ringed planet.
The photo combines 60 images taken in the violet, visible and infrared portions of the spectrum, according to blogger Astro Bob.
“What a spectacle!” Astro Bob writes. “Views like this are impossible from Earth since Saturn, located far beyond Mars and Jupiter, never passes between the sun and Earth. The last time the probe was at a sufficient distance from the planet and had the time to piece together a similar view was September 2006.”
The above photo was taken from a distance of 500,000 miles.
(One imagines NASA is relying on something more technologically advanced than Kodak disposable cameras.)
Click here to see a higher-resolution image of the above photo.
In the hi-res image, two tiny white dots in the lower left corner are visible. These are Tethys and Enceladus, two of the larger moons of Saturn. Both are named for Greek gods and were discovered in 1671 and 1789, respectively.