Photo in the News: Saturn's "Greatest Portrait Yet"

Photo: Picture of Saturn
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February 25, 2005—Spotlighted by the sun, Saturn throws its thick shadow across its rings, which in turn throw threads of shade across the planet's blue northern hemisphere. Actually 126 images assembled in a tiled pattern, this natural-color picture is being called the "greatest Saturn portrait" yet by the NASA imaging specialists who released it yesterday. At its original size (about 125 inches, or 320 centimeters, across), the picture is the "largest, most detailed, global natural color view" ever made of the planet.

The Cassini spacecraft got the picture during a two-hour period on October 6, 2004. At the time, the NASA craft was about 3.9 million miles (6.3 million kilometers) from the ringed planet. Cassini would go on to dispatch the European Space Agency's Huygens probe to Saturn's moon Titan on Christmas Day 2004.

—Ted Chamberlain

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