Beauty in Black and White
1. Southern Moon Lights
Moons Tethys and Rhea are visible beyond Saturn’s southern hemisphere. They orbit in the plane of the planet’s rings, but from this vantage point appear to be below the planet. Tethys is near the center of the image, and Rhea is on the lower right. Image taken June 29,2010
2. Storms in the South
Wind speeds on Saturn’s surface can reach speeds up to 1,100 miles per hour, and the planet also has lightning storms. Its atmosphere is composed of hydrogen and small amounts of helium and methane. It is the only planet in our solar system that is less dense than water (by about 30 percent). This image was taken April 30, 2010.
3. Making the Rounds
The moon Tethys makes its way around Saturn. Tethys is an icy moon, thought to be composed almost entirely of liquid ice all the way through because its density is almost exactly that of water. This image was taken June 9, 2010.
4. Moon Waves
In the rings on the left, the moon Daphnis (5 miles across) affects ring material as it orbits. The material on the inner edge of Daphnis orbits faster than the moon, and the material on the outer edge orbits more slowly, which causes the waves. On the right, Pan (17 miles across) also causes waves.