Astronomy Picture of the Day

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.

July 5, 1995

The Night Side of Saturn
Picture Credit: NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory,Voyager Project

Explanation: This image of Saturn was made in November 1980 by the Voyager 1 spacecraft as it flew past the ringed gas giant planet. From a spectacular vantage point, looking back toward the inner solar system, the robot spacecraft recorded this view of the night side of Saturn casting a sharp shadow across the bright rings. No Earth based telescope could ever take a similar picture. Since Earth is closer to the sun than Saturn, only the day side of the planet is visible from the Earth.

For more information see the `Views of the Solar System' Saturn Page.

Tomorrow's picture: Rings and Moons

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.