Edge-on view of Saturnís rings

Edge-on view of Saturnís rings

Fig. 10.10 . When the Earth is in the plane of Saturnís rings, an observer on the Earth views the rings edge on. Because the rings are so thin, they are then barely visible. Saturnís largest satellite, Titan, is seen just above the rings (left); it is enveloped in a dark brown haze and casts a dark shadow on Saturnís clouds. Four other moons are clustered near the other edge of Saturnís rings (right), appearing bright white because their surfaces are covered with water ice. From left to right, these icy satellites are named Mimas, Tethys, Janus and Enceladus. This image was taken on 6 August 1995 from the Hubble Space Telescope. (Courtesy of NASA/STScI.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University