February 25, 2005Spotlighted 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 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.
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