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Saturn showed off a new ring in a snapshot just taken by
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.
Cassini’s cameras took advantage of a 12-hour backlight
provided by the Sun, which was directly behind Saturn.
So as Cassini lurked in the shadow of Saturn, the planet’s
rings were brilliantly backlit by the passing Sun.
Called a solar occultation, this Sun-Saturn alignment typically
lasts only about an hour, but this time it was a half-day marathon.
The lengthy illumination of Saturn allowed Cassini to map the
presence of microscopic particles that are not normally visible
across the ring system.
This level of detail gave astronomers the sharpest view yet of
Saturn’s inner system, including the new ring.
I wish Earth had rings.