This picture highlights a slice of Saturn's largest ring. The ring (red band) was discovered by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, which detected infrared light, or heat, from the dusty ring material.
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Infrared Ring around Saturn

Click here for larger version of figure 1 for PIA12259
Figure 1
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This picture highlights a slice of Saturn's largest ring. The ring (red band in Figure 1) was discovered by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, which detected infrared light, or heat, from the dusty ring material. Spitzer viewed the ring edge-on from its Earth-trailing orbit around the sun.

The ring has a diameter equivalent to 300 Saturns lined up side to side. And it's thick too -- about 20 Saturns could fit into its vertical height. The ring is tilted about 27 degrees from Saturn's main ring plane.

The Spitzer data were taken by its multiband imaging photometer and show infrared light with a wavelength of 24 microns.

The picture of Saturn was taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.

Image details

ID#:
PIA12259

Date added:
2009-10-07

Mission:
Hubble Space Telescope (HST), Spitzer Space Telescope

Spacecraft:
Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope

Instruments:
Infrared Array Camera (IRAC)

Rating:



Views:
5,169

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA12259.tif (0.85 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA12259.jpg (0.05 MB)

Image credit:
Spitzer image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Virginia
Hubble image credit: NASA/ESA/STScI/AURA