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.

2007 April 10
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Saturn from Below

Explanation: Swooping below Saturn, the Cassini spacecraft spied several strange wonders. Visible in the distance are some of the many complex rings that orbit the Solar System's second largest planet. In the foreground looms the gigantic world itself, covered with white dots that are clouds high in Saturn's thick atmosphere. Saturn's atmosphere is so thick that only clouds are visible. At the very South Pole of Saturn lies a huge vortex that is a hurricane-like storm showing no sign of dissipating. The robotic Cassini spacecraft took the above image in January from about one million kilometers out, resolving details about 50 kilometers across.

Tomorrow's picture: open space

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
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