Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2004 December 25
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Big Beautiful Saturn
Composition Credit: Mattias Malmer, Image Data: Cassini Imaging Team

Explanation: As a present to APOD readers, digital imager Mattias Malmer offers a very high resolution view of big beautiful Saturn. A labor of love, his full mosaic, composite image is contained in a large 5 megabyte jpeg file (preview here, download here) and spans the gorgeous gas giant from ring tip to ring tip. It was pieced together from 102 frames (N00020905 to N00021033) recorded by the Cassini spacecraft ISS on October 6, 2004. The red, green, and blue frames are all uncalibrated, unvalidated images available to the public through the Cassini web site. Malmer's full panorama has a pixel size of 8400 by 3300, so only a substantially cropped version appears above. Enjoy the view and have a safe and Happy Holiday Season!

Tomorrow's picture: spinning black hole

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