APOD: Saturn in Blue and Gold (2017 Aug 29)

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APOD Robot
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APOD: Saturn in Blue and Gold (2017 Aug 29)

Postby APOD Robot » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:05 am

Image Saturn in Blue and Gold

Explanation: Why is Saturn partly blue? The featured picture of Saturn approximates what a human would see if hovering close to the giant ringed world. The image was taken in 2006 March by the robot Cassini spacecraft now orbiting Saturn. Here Saturn's majestic rings appear directly only as a thin vertical line. The rings show their complex structure in the dark shadows they create on the image left. Saturn's fountain moon Enceladus, only about 500 kilometers across, is seen as the bump in the plane of the rings. The northern hemisphere of Saturn can appear partly blue for the same reason that Earth's skies can appear blue -- molecules in the cloudless portions of both planet's atmospheres are better at scattering blue light than red. When looking deep into Saturn's clouds, however, the natural gold hue of Saturn's clouds becomes dominant. It is not known why southern Saturn does not show the same blue hue -- one hypothesis holds that clouds are higher there. It is also not known why Saturn's clouds are colored gold. Next month, Cassini will end its mission with a final dramatic dive into Saturn's atmosphere.

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Fred the Cat
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Re: APOD: Saturn in Blue and Gold (2017 Aug 29)

Postby Fred the Cat » Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:46 pm

All this discussion shows how excited we all are that Cassini is ending. :( Maybe if Saturn's clouds were gold things would be different. Anyone up for some fake news? :idea:
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heehaw

Re: APOD: Saturn in Blue and Gold (2017 Aug 29)

Postby heehaw » Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:00 pm

Oh, what a DREAM image of Saturn and its rings!

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MarkBour
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Re: APOD: Saturn in Blue and Gold (2017 Aug 29)

Postby MarkBour » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:07 pm

I'd love to hang this image on my wall, it's quite artistic. Having just seen an eclipse kind of changes my perspective. If you could stand on Saturn's cloud-tops, the rings would evidently make for some interesting eclipses. I'm guessing that on just the right cloud-top on just the right day, you might have an eclipse lasting all day long (about 5 hours, or so).
Mark Goldfain

tecciztecatl

Re: APOD: Saturn in Blue and Gold (2017 Aug 29)

Postby tecciztecatl » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:03 pm

It is not known why southern Saturn does not show the same blue hue -- one hypothesis holds that clouds are higher there.

I think it's obvious - because the shadow of the rings does not fall on the south pole.
You can also search Google for "blue or gold dress" :)

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Chris Peterson
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Re: APOD: Saturn in Blue and Gold (2017 Aug 29)

Postby Chris Peterson » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:53 pm

tecciztecatl wrote:
It is not known why southern Saturn does not show the same blue hue -- one hypothesis holds that clouds are higher there.

I think it's obvious - because the shadow of the rings does not fall on the south pole.

Nor does it fall on the north pole. Over a period of years, it can fall in either the northern or southern hemisphere, but the polarity of the colorization doesn't change.
Chris

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