The transparent magnificence of the rings of Saturn

Without a doubt, the rings of Saturn will take first place in any list of the most beautiful objects of the solar system. For 13 years spent in the gas giant system, the Cassini has repeatedly photographed them from all possible angles. But, no matter how many shots of the rings of Saturn, we have not seen, they still do not cease to fascinate.
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The presented image of the rings of Saturn is made up of pictures taken by Cassini on April 25, 2007. At the time of the shooting, the station was at a distance of 725 thousand km from the gas giant. The colors roughly correspond to what the human eye would see.
The photo shows not only the rings of Saturn, but also the translucent outlines of the planet itself (bottom left corner). This is possible due to the fact that the rings are not a solid object. They consist of many ice particles, the size of which varies from micrometers to tens of meters. The width of the main part of the rings is about 70 thousand km. This is almost six times the diameter of the Earth.At the same time, their average thickness is 10 m.
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The exact origin of the rings of Saturn is still the subject of scientific debate. There are two main theories of their appearance. According to the first, the rings were formed together with the planet. According to the second version, they appeared as a result of the relatively recent destruction of a large ice body (satellite of Saturn or a comet captured by it). The data collected by Cassini in the last months of his mission testify in favor of the second theory.


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