Saturn’s hexagon and rings put on a display for Cassini

Saturn’s hexagon and rings are on display in this new image from Cassini. Click for larger version. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute

A stunning new photo has just been published showing Saturn’s north polar hexagon and rings together in one image.

The hexagon, a huge and enigmatic six-sided cloud system which surrounds Saturn’s north pole, is clearly visible, as are the rings in the background, although they are largely obscured by the planet’s shadow. Of course, both the hexagon and rings have been photographed many times before, but this new image poignantly captures both together.

The image was taken by the Cassini spacecraft at a distance of approximately 649,000 kilometres (403,000 miles) from Saturn. The resolution is about 35 kilometres (25 miles) per pixel.

Paul Scott Anderson is a freelance space writer with a life-long passion for space exploration and astronomy. He started his blog The Meridiani Journal in 2005, which is a chronicle of planetary exploration. He also publishes The Exoplanet Report e-paper. In 2011, he started writing about space on a freelance basis, and now also currently write for AmericaSpace and Examiner.com. He has also written for Universe Today and SpaceFlight Insider, has been published in The Mars Quarterly and has done supplementary writing for the well-known iOS app Exoplanet for iPhone and iPad.

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