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True colour image of Saturn released


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But it's blue ... Saturn's moon Mimas in orbit over the planet's northern hemisphere.


Saturn revealed as a blue planet

By Leigh Dayton

February 10, 2005



Saturn / AFP


THE first true colour image of Saturn reveals that the ringed planet is not the silver orb visible from Earth but a deep shade of blue.

Instead, the image - released yesterday by the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado - shows that Saturn's northern hemisphere is a soft azure, striped by the shadows of the planet's rings.


The blue hue is a moody backdrop for Saturn's icy moon Mimas.


"It's pretty cool, and it also happens to be a neat picture," commented Chris Tinney, a Sydney-based astronomer with the Anglo-Australian Observatory.


According to Dr Tinney, a precise understanding of the blue view will come once the Cassini mission's imaging scientists analyse the picture in detail.


So far, the team - located at the Boulder Institute's Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations - suspects the colour is linked to the apparently cloud-free nature of the upper atmosphere of the northern latitudes.


The new blue view was snapped by the Cassini spacecraft's narrow-angle camera on January 18, at a distance of roughly 1.4 million km from Saturn.


The images were taken using a combination of infrared, green and ultraviolet filters.


The imaging experts then adjusted the colours to match what the scene would look like in natural colour.


The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed and built at the jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.


The Cassini-Huygens mission is a co-operative project of the US space agency NASA and the European and Italian space agencies.



awesome full res

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Maybe we can sell Saturn to Soros? He's a left wing moonbat with a lotta jack. A blue planet all his own might be an attractive tax hedge :lol





"Woody, I like your thinkin'."

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