FromQuarkstoQuasars

Astronomy Picture of the Day: 4/28/13 – New Rings Around Saturn?

Jolene CreightonApril 28th 2013
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Image Credit: James Coker

In this image, you see the ghostly glow of yellow and green bands of light dancing around Saturn. The planet itself seems little more than a pink flare captured within these huge circles. If you look closer, it appears as though Saturn is at the center of a swirling vortex. At the bottom of the image, a large ball of white material appears to be exploding from something off screen.

 

To many, the strange objects in this image may seem otherworldly and unidentifiable. It seems as though there is a massive, swirling cloud of dusty material orbiting around Saturn. And I would like to tell you that this is a new ring system, or the light from alien spacecrafts. But those of you who are familiar with telescopes and astrophotography will no doubt be familiar with such glowing bands.

 

The circles in this image are there because, well, taking images of other worlds isn’t always an easy task. The photographer was shining his cell phone’s flashlight onto the telescope lens in an attempt to find the lens with his iPad camera. An amusing way to take an image, perhaps. But I find the result to be eerily beautiful.

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