Skimming the Rings

Saturn’s second-largest moon Rhea passes across the face of the ringed planet in this image, color-combined from three raw images taken by Cassini on May 8, 2010. The rings are seen on edge here, a dark horizontal stripe running underneath the cratered 950-mile-wide moon, their wide shadows cast onto Saturn’s atmosphere below. I really love…

A Pack of Spokes

Typically, spokes in Saturn’s rings – temporary, shifting bands of material that transect the rings lengthwise – appear as bright streaks when seen from high phase angles but they show up here as subtle dark bands in this low-angle image from Cassini, taken January 27. Some of the brighter rings on the right half of…

The Trailing Trojan

In a bit of more flyby goodness here’s a photo of Calypso, taken in ultraviolet light, showing nice shading on its surface and some interesting streak patterns that seem to follow the contours of the potato-shaped moon. This image was taken on Saturday, February 13, at a distance of about 14,000 miles. 19-mile-long Calypso is…

Eye on Iapetus

Saturn’s moon Iapetus shows its bright (and lumpy!) side in this image from Cassini, taken on November 29. Like many people I know, 914-mile-wide Iapetus has a dark side and a bright side, its bright surface composed of water ice and rock and its dark half a coating of material, most likely from the newly-discovered…