A Breathtaking and Very Rare Backlit View of Saturn Captured by Cassini

The first of its kind photo since 2006, Cassini rarely gets an angle like this

  The mosaic photo captured by Cassini in October
Cassini has been whizzing about Saturn for several years now, doing important science. Every once in a while though, it points its cameras at yet another spectacular view of what plenty of people call the most beautiful planet in our solar system (sorry, Jupiter).
2 photosVIEW ALL 

Cassini has been whizzing about Saturn for several years now, doing important science. Every once in a while though, it points its cameras at yet another spectacular view of what plenty of people call the most beautiful planet in our solar system (sorry, Jupiter).

And few are more spectacular than this last one published by NASA, a close up view of Saturn and its rings shot from behind the planet, what scientists call a "high solar phase."

With the Sun behind it, the atmosphere and the rings are brightly lit and make for a truly spectacular photo and a rather rare one.

The last time Cassini was in a position to take a shot like this was in 2006. That photo, dubbed "In Saturn's Shadow" remains one of the most popular to date, yet the new one is arguably even more gorgeous.

That's not all, this position is actually one of the best for scientists to study the rings and the atmosphere as it reveals phenomena not visible from other angles.

Just as with all celebrity photos, what you're seeing is not the original shot. Granted, it would be rather hard to "see" the original photo, if only because there were 60 of them, shot in the violet, visible and near infrared spectrum.

The images were then composed and color enhanced to provide the photo you see above. You should definitely click to see the bigger version. In the gallery below, you'll also find the original 2006 photo.

Saturn 2012 and 2006 (2 Images)

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