Syfy Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

The immensity of Saturn

By Phil Plait

Carolyn Porco, the leader of the Cassini spacecraft imaging team, tweeted about this picture last night, and it's simply overwhelming:

This is a stunning portrait of Saturn taken by the Cassini spacecraft in December. Its beauty and fantastic -- in the literal sense of being like a fantasy -- cloudscape are so overwhelming you might not even notice the moon Tethys hanging just under the knife-edged rings. To give you an idea of how immense Saturn is, "tiny" Tethys is over a thousand kilometers across.

This picture was taken using an infrared filter, where details in the clouds come out. That, plus the shadow of the rings on the southern hemisphere, make this one of my favorite pictures of Saturn I've seen in quite some time.

Read more about: