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.

January 18, 1998
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
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Saturn, Rings, and Two Moons
Credit: Voyager 2, NASA

Explanation: NASA's robot spacecraft Voyager 2 made this image of Saturn as it began to explore the Saturn system in 1981. Saturn's famous rings are visible along with two of its moons, Rhea and Dione which appear as faint dots on the right and lower right part of the picture. Astronomers believe that Saturn's moons play a fundamental role in sculpting its elaborate ring system. A robot spacecraft named Cassini was launched last October and is expected to rendezvous with the giant gas planet in 2004.

Tomorrow's picture: A Hubble Double Bubble

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.