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The fortuitous lighting of Saturn’s equinox has revealed the planet’s famously smooth, flat rings are actually corrugated.
During the days immediately after the August 11 equinox, the sun’s rays struck the rings at very low angles, bringing their topography into high-relief.
For scientists studying the rings, the event happening once every 15 years provided an unprecedentedly dimensional view of the rings.
They were thought to be about 30 feet thick — and they are, generally speaking — but the Cassini spacecraft has revealed regions that are nearly two miles high.
In the picture above, the ring mountains can be seen at the upper right casting a shadow on the gray ring to the right. They were pulled up out of the ring plane by the moon Daphnis.
Originally posted by gemineye
Very interesting! I wonder what the rings of Saturn or any other ringed planet would look like from the surface of the planet? Would make for a wild looking sky!