Hubble's Latest Saturn Picture Precedes Cassini's Arrival

As NASA's Cassini spacecraft hurtles toward a July 1, 2004 rendezvous with Saturn, the Hubble Space Telescope continues snapping breathtaking pictures of the solar system's most photogenic planet. This latest view, taken on March 22, 2004, is so sharp that many individual ringlets can be seen in Saturn's ring plane.

Though Hubble is nearly a billion miles farther from Saturn than the Cassini probe, Hubble's exquisite optics, coupled with the high resolution of its Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), allow it to take pictures of Saturn which are nearly as sharp as Cassini's wide-angle views of the full planet as it begins its approach. Of course, Cassini will ultimately far exceed the resolution of Hubble during its close encounter with Saturn; indeed, Cassini's sharpness began to surpass Hubble's when it approached to within 14 million miles (23 million km) of Saturn this month.

Credit:

NASA, ESA and E. Karkoschka (University of Arizona)

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Id:opo0418a
Type:Observation
Release date:26 May 2004, 22:00
Size:2150 x 1000 px

About the Object

Name:Saturn
Type:Solar System : Planet : Type : Gas Giant
Category:Solar System

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439 nm Hubble Space Telescope
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