SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Moon Shadow, Shock Wave, More

SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Moon Shadow, Shock Wave, More
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June 26, 2009--Saturn's icy moon Tethys (not pictured) casts a long shadow on the planet's rings in this rare image from NASA's Cassini orbiter.

Saturn takes 29 years to orbit the sun, which means the planet has an equinox--when the sun crosses the plane of the planet's equator--roughly every 15 years. The planet is now approaching its August 2009 equinox, and its rings are seeming to tilt in relation to the sun. Such an event is the only time Saturn's moons will cast shadows on the rings rather than the planet's surface.
— Image courtesy NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
 
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