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John Moore-Weiss
Lives in Olympia, WA
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John Moore-Weiss

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So beautiful...
Carolyn Porco ‏@carolynporco
To trumpets& fanfare: another awe-inspiring vision to exalt ur holidays& remind u we are capable of the magnificent.

Dr. Ian O'Neill ‏@astroengine
@carolynporco Wow! Mind blowing! One question: the rings in Saturn's shadow -- how are they lit? Definitely doing a feature on this gem!

 Carolyn Porco ‏@carolynporco
@astroengine Read the CL, or the release. They are illuminated by the Sun, from behind. Think of a silhouette.

Carolyn Porco ‏@carolynporco
@astroengine Sorry...CL means Captain's Log

" NASA's Cassini spacecraft has delivered a glorious view of Saturn, taken while the spacecraft was in Saturn's shadow. The cameras were turned toward Saturn and the sun so that the planet and rings are backlit. (The sun is behind the planet, which is shielding the cameras from direct sunlight.) In addition to the visual splendor, this special, very-high-phase viewing geometry lets scientists study ring and atmosphere phenomena not easily seen at a lower phase. "

"On Oct. 17, 2012, during its 174th orbit around the gas giant, the spacecraft was deliberately positioned within Saturn's shadow, a perfect location from which to look back at Saturn in the direction of the sun and take a backlit view of the rings and the dark side of the planet. Looking at a plantary body illuminated by the sun from behind is a geometry referred to by planetary scientists as "high solar phase;" near the center of the body's shadow is the highest phase possible. This is a very coveted viewing position as it can reveal details about the target, in this particular case both the planet's atmosphere and rings, that cannot be seen at lower solar phase. "
" This one is our special gift to you, the people of the world, in this holiday season that brings to a close the year 2012. We fervently hope it serves as a reminder that we humans, though troubled and warlike, are also the dreamers, thinkers, and explorers inhabiting one achingly beautiful planet, yearning for the sublime, and capable of the magnificent. We hope it reminds you to protect our planet with all your might and cherish the life it so naturally sustains.

From all of us on Cassini, the happiest of holidays to everyone.

Carolyn Porco
Cassini Imaging Team Leader
Director, CICLOPS
Boulder, CO
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Olympia, WA
Minneapolis, MN
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