Discover the cosmos! Each day we feature a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
July 5, 1995
The Night Side of Saturn
Picture Credit: NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory,Voyager Project
Explanation: This image of Saturn was made in November 1980 by the Voyager 1 spacecraft as it flew past the ringed gas giant planet. From a spectacular vantage point, looking back toward the inner solar system, the robot spacecraft recorded this view of the night side of Saturn casting a sharp shadow across the bright rings. No Earth based telescope could ever take a similar picture. Since Earth is closer to the sun than Saturn, only the day side of the planet is visible from the Earth.
For more information see Calvin J. Hamilton's Saturn Page.