Shadows on Saturn
The shadows of Enceladus (left) and Titan (right) on Saturn’s cloud tops. Images courtesy NASA / JPL / Space Science Institute.
These two views from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, currently in orbit around Saturn, show the huge difference in scale between it’s largest Moon, Titan, and a smaller one, Enceladus—even though the moons themselves are not in view./
On the left is a view taken with Saturn”s rings almost edge-on. On the planet’s clouds, just below the rings, can be seen a dark spot—this is the shadow being cast by Enceladus. The moon itself is a long way off to the left and not visible in this frame. Enceladus is about 500 kilometres in diameter.
On the right is another view with almost the same geometry, but this time there is a huge shadow on Saturn’s clouds, stretched out by the curve of the planet. This is the shadow of Titan, Saturn’s largest planet and one that is currently the target of many investigations.
Story by Jonathan Nally, Editor, SpaceInfo.com.au