Thursday, January 5, 2012

Saturn, Titan, and more!

A short post on today's Astronomy Picture of the Day.
Jupiter has always been my favorite planet, but I completely understand why people love Saturn when I see pictures like these:
Credit : Cassini Imaging TeamSSIJPLESANASA

Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, the second largest moon in the Solar System, and a moon larger than the planet Mercury, is in the foreground. Titan is also the only moon with a thick atmosphere, it's even thicker than Earths! The haziness surrounding Titan in this picture is the upper layers of the atmosphere.
About a million kilometers behind is Dione, the third largest moon of Saturn. 
Further back you can see a gray horizontal feature- those are Saturn's rings. The rings are extremely thin and we are seeing them nearly edge on.
On the background is Saturn itself. There seems to be some cloud feature near the mid-left, but the main feature you can see are the shadows cast by the rings on the gaseous surface of the planet.

Big planet, tons of moons, and an impressive set of rings. Yeah, I can see why Saturn is so cool.
I recommend checking out the Astronomy Picture of the Day frequently for amazing pictures such as this one.

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