Saturn's rings at equinox, Cassini image

Saturn's rings at equinox, Cassini image

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Credit: NASA/JPL/SPACE SCIENCE INSTITUTE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Saturn's rings at equinox, Cassini image. Saturn is a gas giant planet with an extensive ring system that extends outwards for tens of thousands of kilometres. Equinoxes occur every 15 Earth years (twice every Saturn year) when the Sun passes directly overhead at the planet's equator. This results in objects such as its moons casting long shadows not seen at other times. Here, the small moon Epimetheus (113 kilometres across) is at bottom centre, casting the shadow at lower centre. This mosaic of images was obtained on 8 June 2009, by the wide-angle camera on the orbiting Cassini spacecraft.

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Keywords: 2009, 21st century, 8 june 2009, astronomical, astronomy, cassini, close-up, detail, epimetheus, equinoctial, equinox, face on, from space, gas giant, geometry, long shadow, overhead, planet, planetary science, rare event, ring, ringed, rings, saturn, saturnian, shadow, shadows, solar system, space, spacecraft image, sunlight, wide-angle camera

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