The Dark Side of Saturn

The Cassini spacecraft took this picture of Saturn from the planet's backside in October. NASA has only now released its awesomeness on the public.

On Oct. 17, 2012, during its 174th orbit around the gas giant, Cassini was deliberately positioned within Saturn's shadow, a perfect location from which to look in the direction of the sun and take a backlit view of the rings and the dark side of the planet. Looking back towards the sun is a geometry referred to by planetary scientists as "high solar phase;" near the center of your target's shadow is the highest phase possible. This is a very scientifically advantageous and coveted viewing position, as it can reveal details about both the rings and atmosphere that cannot be seen in lower solar phase.

See a much larger image at NASA's website. Link  -via The Week

(Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

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