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NASA releases stunning image of Saturn as it eclipses the Sun

NASA releases stunning image of Saturn as it eclipses the Sun
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NASA has released this stunning image of Saturn – taken by its Cassini spacecraft.

The agency capitalised on a rare opportunity to photograph the planet with light shining from behind it, as it eclipsed the Sun.

Cassini’s imaging team processed 141 wide-angle images to create the panorama. The image sweeps 404,880 miles (651,591 kilometres) across Saturn and its inner ring system, including all of Saturn’s rings out to the E ring.

“This mosaic provides a remarkable amount of high-quality data on Saturn’s diffuse rings, revealing all sorts of intriguing structures we are currently trying to understand,” said Matt Hedman, a Cassini participating scientist at the University of Idaho in Moscow. “The E ring in particular shows patterns that likely reflect disturbances from such diverse sources as sunlight and Enceladus’ gravity.”