Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2004 July 23
Explanation: What colours are Saturn's rings? Recent images from the Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn confirm that different rings have slightly different colours. The above image shows their sometimes-subtle differences in brightness and colour. The rings reflect sunlight and so, even if they were perfectly reflecting, would appear the colour of the Sun. The ring particles are mostly light water-ice, although these particles can be shaded by an unknown type of darker dirt. Thinner and more isolated rings also naturally appear darker. The brightest section pictured above is Saturn's B ring.
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