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View Full Version : cool Cassini pic.. and a few questions.



novaderrik
2007-Jan-18, 02:31 AM
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/images.php3?img_id=17524

ok, this is an AWESOME pic. if you look at the fullsize image, the rings appear to get all "warped" on the side facing Cassini. what's up with that- is it something with the camera, or somethign about the way light goes around and up from saturn?? and is that dust and what not radiating out from the rings?
and, lastly, is the Orion's belt just up and to the left from Saturn?

Saluki
2007-Jan-18, 08:11 PM
I have had that pic set as wallpaper for a few months now. Not sure what you mean by "warped". The rings look oval because of the viewing angle. Some of the rings on the Cassini side of Saturn sort of disappear because of the lighting (sun is on the far side of Saturn, visible in the lower-left quadrent of Saturn's limb) and the angle.

The stuff that looks like dust radiating downward from Saturn is just an effect of the sunlight.

I beleive the objects to the upper left are moons of saturn. I can't see any stars visible in the pic, but I believe that might be Mars in the extreme lower right corner of the image.

selden
2007-Jan-18, 11:06 PM
Saluki,

What do you mean by "effect of the sunlight"?

Optical effect due to reflections in the lenses in the camera on Cassini?
Sunlight glinting off dust particles in orbit around Saturn?

Too often inexperienced observers tend to ignore things in images because they look a lot like optical effects that they're used to seeing personally (which are caused by defects in the human visual system) but which actually are being caused by physics in the objects being observed -- halos around bright objects, for example, caused by dust.

Saluki
2007-Jan-19, 06:39 PM
I was thinking optical effect in the lenses. I am certainly no expert on this, but I am not aware of anyone positing streams of dust emenating from the saturn system.