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Wisps under the rings

3 January 2016 Astronomy Now

Dione’s beautiful wispy terrain is brightly lit alongside Saturn’s elegant rings in this image from the Cassini probe.


One of Saturn’s rings is not like the others

5 September 2015 Astronomy Now

NASA’s Cassini mission scientists were watching closely when the Sun set on Saturn’s rings in August 2009. It was the equinox — one of two times in the Saturnian year when the Sun illuminates the planet’s enormous ring system edge-on — providing an extraordinary opportunity for the spacecraft to observe short-lived changes that reveal details about the nature of the rings.

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Mimas by Saturnshine

14 April 2015 Astronomy Now

Although we are used to seeing Saturn’s moons lit directly by the Sun, sometimes we can catch them illuminated by “Saturnshine.”


Chiron may be second minor planet to possess Saturn-like rings

17 March 2015 Astronomy Now

Five bodies in our Solar System are known to bear rings — Saturn, and to a lesser extent, rings of gas and dust also encircle Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune; then Chariklo was added this haloed group last year, one of a class of minor planets called centaurs — now the progenitor of the centaurs, Chiron, most likely has rings too.