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Lengthening Shadows

18 May 2017, 02:29 UTC
Lengthening Shadows
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

NASA dixit:
“June 28, 2009. As Saturn’s equinox continues to approach, the moon Pan casts a slightly longer shadow on the A ring. The novel illumination geometry created as Saturn approaches its August 2009 equinox allows moons orbiting in or near the plane of Saturn’s equatorial rings to cast shadows onto the rings. These scenes are possible only during the few months before and after Saturn’s equinox, which occurs only once in about 15 Earth years. Three stars are visible through the rings. This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 51 degrees above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera. The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.4 million kilometers (870,000 miles) from Pan and at a Sun-Pan-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 80 degrees. Image scale is 8 kilometers (5 miles) per pixel.”
“After almost 20 years in space, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft begins the final chapter of its remarkable story of exploration: its Grand Finale. Between April and September 2017, Cassini will undertake a daring set of orbits that is, in many ways, like a whole new mission. Following a final close flyby of Saturn’s ...

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