Saturn's rings full on

Over at the Planetary Society's blog, Emily Lakdawalla mentioned that the Cassini spacecraft has been taking images of Saturn from above over the weekend. As she says, this is really exciting because it is a view that we haven't seen before with the chance to see the entire A and B rings at the same time. Emily used some images available on the Cassini website to make a quick mosaic of Saturn and its rings. That inspired me to download the images in each of the three colour filters (red, green and blue) to have a go at making a full ring colour image myself. It is very fiddly to get the rings to line up and to get the contrast and brightness to match between each of the nine images in each of the three filters. I have temporarily given up on matching up the central part of the image (Saturn itself) partly because it seems to be over-exposed but mainly because I really should go to bed! I'll try to sort that out tomorrow. I also noticed that the view I have is a bit different to the one Emily had. Anyway, I thought I would show you my work in progress below (click on the image for a bigger version). No doubt the Cassini team will make a proper version of this at some point because it is really cool.

Saturn and Rings
Mosaic of 27 images (9 in each colour filter) showing Saturn from above with complete (apart from the shadow) rings. CREDIT: Images from NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute. Mosaic by Stuart

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Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Thursday 25th Jan 2007 (03:14 GMT) | Permalink
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