Behold the incredible scale of Saturn

Illustration for article titled Behold the incredible scale of Saturn

The wide angle camera onboard NASA's Cassini orbiter has been capturing incredible shots of Saturn and its various moons for years, and if this photo is any indication, it has no intentions of letting up.


Prima facie, the image looks like little more than a beautiful, wide-angle Saturnian snapshot. But look a little closer and you'll see another cosmic orb in the foreground, helping illustrate the sheer immensity of the ringed planet.

The photobombing body in question is the moon Tethys. (Or is it Saturn that's doing the photobombing?) Measuring over 660 miles across, Tethys is no shrimp. And yet, in the picture you see here (click here for a hi-res version), it measures a mere 10 pixels in diameter; it is positively dwarfed by the shadows of Saturn's ring system, shown here arcing along the planet's southern hemisphere.


For another dramatic picture that demonstrates the enormity of Saturn, check out this image of the planet looming behind its icy moon, Enceladus. Impressive right? Now go back and take another look; believe it or not, there are actually two moons in that photo.

[CICLOPS via Bad Astronomy]

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Don't care. Won't care 'til we explore the place with living human eyes.

Man up, earthlings. Stop sending bots, start sending people.