Saturn, the Sun and Three Planets
17 November 2013

Fig. 1

This is a composite image of Saturn, created by combining 141 images of NASA’s Saturn-bound Cassini spacecraft. It shows Saturn, backlit by the Sun, and aligned to three other planets: Earth, Venus and Mars. The planets shine as mere tiny points of light, due to their vast distances from Saturn.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI

NASA recently published a spectacular image of Saturn, the ringed giant, acquired by the Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft. At the time of obtaining the image, Saturn was aligned to the Sun and three other planets: Earth, accompanied by its Moon, Mars, the Red Planet, and Venus, Earth’s twin. The Sun was eclipsed by Saturn, while the three planets, look quite tiny, as very small points of light, in the background, since they were hundreds of millions of kilometers away from Saturn. Saturn’s magnificent rings, backlit by the Sun, glow in various fascinating colors.

The image was produced by combining 141 Cassini images, acquired over a period of four hours, on 19 July 2013, at a distance of approximately 1.2 million km from Saturn. The links below include high-resolution images that can be enlarged, to view more details.


Aymen Mohamed Ibrahem
Senior Astronomy Specialist

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