Wallpaper Monday

quintet

Cassini, the Little Space Probe That Could, has been returning yet more drop dead gorgeous images of the Saturn system. The latest that made a bunch of blogs and news pages was one of four moons all in the same frame, and it was beautiful, but I prefer this one. Four moons heck, how about five?

The NASA caption says:

Janus (179 kilometers, or 111 miles across) is on the far left. Pandora (81 kilometers, or 50 miles across) orbits between the A ring and the thin F ring near the middle of the image. Brightly reflective Enceladus (504 kilometers, or 313 miles across) appears above the center of the image. Saturn’s second largest moon, Rhea (1,528 kilometers, or 949 miles across), is bisected by the right edge of the image. The smaller moon Mimas (396 kilometers, or 246 miles across) can be seen beyond Rhea also on the right side of the image.

Rhea is centered so perfectly on Saturn’s rings in this image that at first glance it looks like it is Saturn. Then you realize whoops, the surface is all wrong and there’s no atmosphere and oh yeah, no rings in front of it. But for a moment, it’s a neat optical illusion. Not that you need an illusion to be knocked out by this image.

(Click the image to lunarize.)

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About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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3 Responses to Wallpaper Monday

  1. JR says:

    This is where I realize my dorkdom is a little too fierce. My first response was, “Well, I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree, because last Wednesday’s APOD was cooler!” Then I told myself to get a life.

    • oregon expat says:

      It was cool, esp. the hidden fourth moon. But, it was the wrong shape for a wallpaper and besides, it had already been featured on umpteen zillion blogs and news sites. I hate being late to the party.

      Also, I’m not sure there is such a thing as too-fierce dorkdom.

  2. xenatuba says:

    Agreed: Extreme dorkdom is just fine. Better that than not, in my book. Cool pic!

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