Bad Astronomy

(yawn) More gorgeous Saturn images from Cassini

Getting tired of incredibly beautiful Saturn images yet? No? Then try this one:

This is actually a composite of 36 separate images (12 each of red, green, and blue) to make a realistically-colored image of the ringworld. Cassini was over 1.2 million kilometers from Saturn when it took these images – about 3 times the distance from the Earth to the Moon. It’s orbiting Saturn on a highly inclined plane, so it can get these stunning views “from a height” as it were.

This also means that twice per orbit Cassini passes through Saturn’s ring plane. What does that look like? Well, glad you asked:

Click on those images for access to higher-res versions. There are plenty of other images released today too, and they’re all quite beautiful. Of course! It’s Saturn!