Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tiny Mimas, huge Saturn

Saturn is a gas giant, and we all know it's really big. But this photograph, taken by the Cassini spacecraft, really puts the ringed planet's hugeness into perspective.

That's Mimas in front with Saturn filling the background. As a reference, Mimas is 392 kilometers in diameter, or 244 miles. That's pretty small, but it's still a decent-sized object, and it really highlights the immenseness of its mother planet.

Someday, I'm sure, we will have humans traveling to these sections of our solar system, and hopefully such sights will be seen with actual human eyes, live and in full color. Perhaps such flights will even become commonplace, though I'm sure that will be well after my time.

But I hope we get there, eventually.

Photo courtesy of NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute. More information on the picture here.

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