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Look: Never Before Seen Image of Saturn's Hexagon Streaming Jets of Storms

Jan 02, 2017 10:30 PM EST
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NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured a never before seen angle of Saturn's hexagon-shaped streaming jets of storm on the Northern tip of the planet. The spacecraft took the image late in 2016.

During the time the image was taken, the northern part of the planet was illuminated by sunlight giving the spacecraft a wonderful and never before seen shot of Saturn's tip and its hexagon-shaped storms.

The image highlighted the hexagon-shaped jets because the other parts of Saturn appeared darker due to the position of the sun during the time the photograph was taken. Last month was an interesting time for the Cassini mission and scientists took advantage of the approaching summer solstice in Saturn's northern hemisphere to capture astounding images of the planet.

 Due to the sunlight, the image appeared clear and detailed. However, the cameras aboard Cassini also helped in producing such a remarkable image by using special spectral filters to admit wavelengths at near-infrared lights at almost 728 nanometers.

The image is at 46 miles per pixel scale, according to Daily Mail. Aside from that, the Cassini mission also captured the image of Saturn's moon Pandora, beaming back to Earth one of the highest resolution images to be taken of the planet's moon that is about 52 miles wide located outside Saturn's F ring. Cassini is about 25,000 miles (40,000 kilometers) away from Saturn's small moon Pandora when the image was taken. The approach was the closest-ever pass to Pandora, according to Space.com.

"This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 51 degrees above the ring plane," a NASA official said in a press release. To capture the image, the spacecraft approached the planet at about 750,000-mile distance (1.2 million kilometers).

Cassini is a collaborative project between NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian Space Agency.

 

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