Solar system - Saturn - In pictures
March 15,2017 16:599006
Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun and the second largest planet in the solar system. Saturn was the Roman name for Cronus, the lord of the Titans in Greek mythology. Saturn is the root of the English word Saturday.
Saturn's rings cast a razor-thin shadow on the planet in a 2009 Cassini picture. Despite being 1.3 million miles (2.1 million kilometers) from Saturn at the time, Cassini's cameras revealed never before seen structural details in the planet's gossamer rings, which are made up of billions of particles ranging in size from dust grains to house-size ice boulders.
About once every Saturn year—29.5 of our years—a mysterious great white spot erupts in the planet's atmosphere that can outshine the planet’s brilliant rings. This image shows the last outbreak, which began as a spot in the north in late 2010 that then spread into a band bigger than Earth. Now, planetary scientists writing online today in Nature Geoscience propose that these periodic superstorms arise from water.
A large storm (top right) roils in Saturn's upper atmosphere in a 2011 infrared composite image.
Saturn casts a long shadow across its icy rings in a 2007 picture taken by NASA's Cassini-Huygens spacecraft—an unattainable perspective from Earth's line of sight.
Few sights in the solar system are more strikingly beautiful than softly hued Saturn embraced by the shadows of its stately rings.
This spectacular, vertigo inducing, false-color image from NASA's Cassini mission highlights the storms at Saturn's north pole. The angry eye of a hurricane-like storm appears dark red while the fast-moving hexagonal jet stream framing it is a yellowish green. Low-lying clouds circling inside the hexagonal feature appear as muted orange color. A second, smaller vortex pops out in teal at the lower right of the image. The rings of Saturn appear in vivid blue at the top right.
Saturn's concentric rings—and the gaps in those rings—stand out in unprecedented detail in this 2008 natural-color picture taken by Cassini.
Saturn has 53 moons, plus 9 more possible moons. Credit: Over Clockers
Smoggy, golden Titan, Saturn's largest moon, is set against the backdrop of the giant planet in May 2012.
Mosaic of Titan from Cassini's February 2005 flyby. The large dark region is Shangri-La. It is the only moon known to have a dense atmosphere, and the only object in space other than Earth where clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid has been found.
As seen from the side not illuminated by the sun, Saturn's rings are thinner highlighted in shades of brown and gold, contrasting with the more neutral appearance of the icy moon Tethys. The ring and the Cassini Division are separated by the Optically thick B ring, Which does not permit to sunlight penetrated and Appears as the broad, dark lane THEMIS sighs in this view. Image credit: NASA / JPL / Space Science Institute
Saturn's heavily cratered moon Mimas seems to hover over its home planet in a 2007 Cassini image.
Shadows cast across Mimas' defining feature, Herschel Crater, provide an indication of the size of the crater's towering walls and central peak.Named after the icy moon's discoverer, astronomer William Herschel, the crater stretches 86 miles (139 kilometers) wide -- almost one-third of the diameter of Mimas (246 miles or 396 kilometers) itself. Large impact craters often have peaks in their center -- see Tethys' large crater Odysseus in The Crown of Tethys. Herschel's peak stands nearly as tall as Mount Everest on Earth.
Tiger stripes on Saturn's moon Enceladus (pictured) are seen in an enhanced-color mosaic created with Cassini images taken in 2005.
The mighty ridge adorning Saturn’s moon Lapetus has steep slopes, which researchers suggest is a sign that debris falling from space stacked up and formed mountains on the moon’s surface.
From less than 39,000 miles (63,000 kilometers) away, Cassini snapped the first ever picture of Saturn's highly pitted moon Hyperion (pictured) in 2005.
Solar system Saturn pictures Titan Prometheus Enceladus Mimas Lapetus Dione Tethys Hyperion