Saturn's rings. Satellite image of Saturn and its rings. At far left is part of Saturn's atmosphere and to the upper right of this is the planet's shadow on its rings. Saturn's rings were first observed in 1610, but it was Giovanni Cassini in 1675 who realised that they were many small rings with gaps between them. The rings extend up to 120,700 kilometres from Saturn's equator and are composed of silica rock, iron oxide and ice particles. This image was taken as part of the Cassini-Huygens mission, which launched in 1997 with the purpose of studying Saturn and its moons. Image taken on 27 October 2004 at a distance of 618,000 kilometres by a narrow angle camera aboard the Cassini orbiter.
February 17th, 2021
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