Saturn and two of its larger moons - Tethys and Dione - were photographed by the Voyager 1 spacecraft which flew by the planet in November of 1980. This picture gives an indication of Saturn's extensive ring system, which can be seen casting a shadow on the planet, as does Tethys. Saturn's rings are composed of many chunks of ice ranging in size from a pebble to a car. The rings have several large gaps, the largest of which is clearly visible in the picture and is named the Cassini Division, after its discoverer. Saturn appears brighter than most stars in the sky, and its rings can be discerned with a small telescope. A new spacecraft - Cassini - will visit Saturn and is currently scheduled for launch in 1997.
Scale of the Universe Debate in April 1996
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.
Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day
Publications with keywords: Saturn
Publications with words: Saturn