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Pictures | Wed Apr 5, 2017 | 3:11pm BST

The rings of Saturn

An ultraviolet image from the Cassini spacecraft shows, from the inside out, the 'Cassini division' in faint red at (L) followed by the A ring in its entirety. The A ring begins with a 'dirty' interior of red followed by a general pattern of more turquoise as it spreads away from the planet, indicating a denser material made up of ice. The red band roughly three-fourths of the way outward in the A ring is known as the Encke gap.


REUTERS/University of Colorado, LASP/NASA

An ultraviolet image from the Cassini spacecraft shows, from the inside out, the 'Cassini division' in faint red at (L) followed by the A ring in its entirety. The A ring begins with a 'dirty' interior of red followed by a general pattern of more...more

An ultraviolet image from the Cassini spacecraft shows, from the inside out, the 'Cassini division' in faint red at (L) followed by the A ring in its entirety. The A ring begins with a 'dirty' interior of red followed by a general pattern of more turquoise as it spreads away from the planet, indicating a denser material made up of ice. The red band roughly three-fourths of the way outward in the A ring is known as the Encke gap. REUTERS/University of Colorado, LASP/NASA
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The most detailed look ever at Saturn's rings, obtained by the Cassini spacecraft. Color is used to represent information about ring particle sizes measured by radio signals. 

REUTERS/NASA/JPL

The most detailed look ever at Saturn's rings, obtained by the Cassini spacecraft. Color is used to represent information about ring particle sizes measured by radio signals. REUTERS/NASA/JPL

The most detailed look ever at Saturn's rings, obtained by the Cassini spacecraft. Color is used to represent information about ring particle sizes measured by radio signals. REUTERS/NASA/JPL
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A quintet of Saturn's moons come together in the Cassini spacecraft's field of view. Janus (179 km, or 111 miles across) is on the far left. Pandora (81 km, or 50 miles across) orbits between the A ring and the thin F ring near the middle of the image. Brightly reflective Enceladus (504 km, or 313 miles across) appears above the center of the image. Saturn's second largest moon, Rhea (1,528 km, or 949 miles across), is bisected by the right edge of the image. The smaller moon Mimas (396 km, or 246 miles across) can be seen beyond Rhea also on the right side of the image. 

REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

A quintet of Saturn's moons come together in the Cassini spacecraft's field of view. Janus (179 km, or 111 miles across) is on the far left. Pandora (81 km, or 50 miles across) orbits between the A ring and the thin F ring near the middle of the...more

A quintet of Saturn's moons come together in the Cassini spacecraft's field of view. Janus (179 km, or 111 miles across) is on the far left. Pandora (81 km, or 50 miles across) orbits between the A ring and the thin F ring near the middle of the image. Brightly reflective Enceladus (504 km, or 313 miles across) appears above the center of the image. Saturn's second largest moon, Rhea (1,528 km, or 949 miles across), is bisected by the right edge of the image. The smaller moon Mimas (396 km, or 246 miles across) can be seen beyond Rhea also on the right side of the image. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
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The wide-angle camera on NASA's Cassini spacecraft  captures Saturn's rings and planet Earth and its moon in the same frame in this rare image.

REUTERS/NASA

The wide-angle camera on NASA's Cassini spacecraft captures Saturn's rings and planet Earth and its moon in the same frame in this rare image. REUTERS/NASA

The wide-angle camera on NASA's Cassini spacecraft captures Saturn's rings and planet Earth and its moon in the same frame in this rare image. REUTERS/NASA
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This image of Saturn taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera was taken using a spectral filter that preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 43 degrees above the ringplane. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.6 million miles (2.5 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 97 degrees. 

REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

This image of Saturn taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera was taken using a spectral filter that preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings...more

This image of Saturn taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera was taken using a spectral filter that preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 752 nanometers. This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 43 degrees above the ringplane. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.6 million miles (2.5 million kilometers) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 97 degrees. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
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Saturn's atmosphere and its rings in a false color composite made from 12 images. The mosaic shows the tail of Saturn's huge northern storm. 

REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Saturn's atmosphere and its rings in a false color composite made from 12 images. The mosaic shows the tail of Saturn's huge northern storm. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Saturn's atmosphere and its rings in a false color composite made from 12 images. The mosaic shows the tail of Saturn's huge northern storm. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
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A natural-color image of Saturn from space, the first in which Saturn, its moons and rings, and Earth, Venus and Mars, all are visible. 



REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI

A natural-color image of Saturn from space, the first in which Saturn, its moons and rings, and Earth, Venus and Mars, all are visible. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI

A natural-color image of Saturn from space, the first in which Saturn, its moons and rings, and Earth, Venus and Mars, all are visible. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI
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The planet Saturn casting a shadow over its rings. 


REUTERS/Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

The planet Saturn casting a shadow over its rings. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

The planet Saturn casting a shadow over its rings. REUTERS/Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech
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The planet Uranus is seen as a blue orb in the distance beyond Saturn's rings. 


REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The planet Uranus is seen as a blue orb in the distance beyond Saturn's rings. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The planet Uranus is seen as a blue orb in the distance beyond Saturn's rings. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
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Flying past Saturn's moon Dione, Cassini captured this view which includes two smaller moons, Epimetheus and Prometheus, near the planet's rings. 


REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Flying past Saturn's moon Dione, Cassini captured this view which includes two smaller moons, Epimetheus and Prometheus, near the planet's rings. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Flying past Saturn's moon Dione, Cassini captured this view which includes two smaller moons, Epimetheus and Prometheus, near the planet's rings. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
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The first images transmitted from the the Cassini spacecraft during its orbit of Saturn in 2004. The image shows the sunlit side of Saturn's rings, showing sharp edges and ripples of energy in the planet's enormous rings.

REUTERS/NASA

The first images transmitted from the the Cassini spacecraft during its orbit of Saturn in 2004. The image shows the sunlit side of Saturn's rings, showing sharp edges and ripples of energy in the planet's enormous rings. REUTERS/NASA

The first images transmitted from the the Cassini spacecraft during its orbit of Saturn in 2004. The image shows the sunlit side of Saturn's rings, showing sharp edges and ripples of energy in the planet's enormous rings. REUTERS/NASA
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Three of Saturn's moons, Tethys, Enceladus and Mimas, taken in visible light. Tethys (660 miles or 1,062 kilometers across) appears above the rings, while Enceladus (313 miles or 504 kilometers across) sits just below center. Mimas (246 miles or 396 kilometers across) hangs below and to the left of Enceladus. 

REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Three of Saturn's moons, Tethys, Enceladus and Mimas, taken in visible light. Tethys (660 miles or 1,062 kilometers across) appears above the rings, while Enceladus (313 miles or 504 kilometers across) sits just below center. Mimas (246 miles or 396...more

Three of Saturn's moons, Tethys, Enceladus and Mimas, taken in visible light. Tethys (660 miles or 1,062 kilometers across) appears above the rings, while Enceladus (313 miles or 504 kilometers across) sits just below center. Mimas (246 miles or 396 kilometers across) hangs below and to the left of Enceladus. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
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(L to R) The outer portion of the C ring and inner portion of the B ring around Saturn. The images show definite compositional variation within the rings. The B ring begins a little more than halfway across the image. The general pattern is from 'dirty' particles indicated by red to cleaner ice particles shown in turquoise in the outer parts of the rings. The ring system begins from the inside out with the D, C, B and A rings followed by the F, G and E rings. 

REUTERS/NASA

(L to R) The outer portion of the C ring and inner portion of the B ring around Saturn. The images show definite compositional variation within the rings. The B ring begins a little more than halfway across the image. The general pattern is from...more

(L to R) The outer portion of the C ring and inner portion of the B ring around Saturn. The images show definite compositional variation within the rings. The B ring begins a little more than halfway across the image. The general pattern is from 'dirty' particles indicated by red to cleaner ice particles shown in turquoise in the outer parts of the rings. The ring system begins from the inside out with the D, C, B and A rings followed by the F, G and E rings. REUTERS/NASA
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View of the moons Tethys and Titan disrupted by the rings of Saturn. The larger moon, Titan is on the left. This view looks toward the Saturn-facing sides of Tethys and Titan. The angle also shows the northern, sunlit side of the rings from less than one degree above the ring plane. The image was taken in visible red light at a distance of approximately 3.1 million kilometers from Titan. 

REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

View of the moons Tethys and Titan disrupted by the rings of Saturn. The larger moon, Titan is on the left. This view looks toward the Saturn-facing sides of Tethys and Titan. The angle also shows the northern, sunlit side of the rings from less than...more

View of the moons Tethys and Titan disrupted by the rings of Saturn. The larger moon, Titan is on the left. This view looks toward the Saturn-facing sides of Tethys and Titan. The angle also shows the northern, sunlit side of the rings from less than one degree above the ring plane. The image was taken in visible red light at a distance of approximately 3.1 million kilometers from Titan. REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
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Hubble Space Telescope images of Saturn, captured from 1996 to 2000, depict the planet in different stages of its 29-year journey around the sun. 

REUTERS/NASA/The Hubble Heritage Team

Hubble Space Telescope images of Saturn, captured from 1996 to 2000, depict the planet in different stages of its 29-year journey around the sun. REUTERS/NASA/The Hubble Heritage Team

Hubble Space Telescope images of Saturn, captured from 1996 to 2000, depict the planet in different stages of its 29-year journey around the sun. REUTERS/NASA/The Hubble Heritage Team
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The sunlit side of Saturn's rings, showing sharp edges and ripples of energy in the planet's enormous rings.


REUTERS/NASA

The sunlit side of Saturn's rings, showing sharp edges and ripples of energy in the planet's enormous rings. REUTERS/NASA

The sunlit side of Saturn's rings, showing sharp edges and ripples of energy in the planet's enormous rings. REUTERS/NASA
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