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Saturn’s shadows

It may seem odd to think of planets casting shadows out in the inky blackness of space, but it is a common phenomenon. Earth’s shadow obscures the Moon during a lunar eclipse, and Jupiter’s moons cast small shadows onto their parent planet.  
One of the best places in our Solar System to spot intriguing and beautiful celestial shadows is at Saturn. On 1 July, the international Cassini mission celebrates 10 years of exploring Saturn, its rings and its moons, an endeavour that has produced invaluable science but also stunning images like this.
Drifting along in the foreground, small and serene, is Saturn’s icy moon Mimas. The blue backdrop may at first appear to be the gas giant’s famous and impressive set of rings, with pale and dark regions separated by long inky black slashes, but it is actually the northern hemisphere of Saturn itself. The dark lines slicing across the frame are shadows cast by the rings onto the planet.
Although we may not associate the colour blue with Saturn, when Cassini arrived at the planet the northernmost regions displayed the delicate blue palette shown in this image. As this region of Saturn is generally quite free of cloud, scattering by molecules in the atmosphere causes sunlight to take a longer path through the atmosphere. The light is scattered predominantly at shorter – bluer – wavelengths. This is similar to why the sky on Earth appears blue to our eyes.
Seasonal changes over the years since this photo was taken have turned the blue into Saturn’s more familiar golden hue. The reverse is occurring in the south, which is slowly becoming bluer.

Image credit & copyright: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Saturn Moon Titan’s Underground Ocean May Be Super Salty
The subsurface ocean inside Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, could be as salty as any body of water here on Earth, a new study reports.
Gravity data collected by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft suggest that Titan’s ocean must have an extremely high density. Salt water has a higher density than fresh water because the presence of salt adds more mass to a given amount of water.
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Jupiter’s satellite Io, observed by Voyager 1 at about 4:30 p.m. (PST) March 2, 1979. (NASA)
Comet 67P/Churyumov Gerasimenko, imaged by the Rosetta spacecraft during its approach from the 1st to 6th of August, 2014.

If Andromeda were brighter, this is how it would look in our night sky. They’re all out there, we just can’t see them
Distance to Earth: 2,538,000 light years

Rosetta: A new photo of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, released as the probe arrived at the comet on August 6th 2014.

The Moon moving to block Jupiter in midday
The universe is wider than our views of it.

Markarian’s Chain: M84, M86, M87 in Virgo byMakis Palaiologou, Stefan Binnewies and Josef Pöpsel

Markarian’s Chain is a stretch of galaxies that forms part of the Virgo Cluster. It is called a chain because, when viewed from Earth, the galaxies lie along a smoothly curved line. It was named after the Armenian astrophysicist, B. E.
We compress information to generate our laws of Nature, and then use these laws of Nature to generate more information, which then gets compressed back into upgraded laws of Nature. The dynamics of the two arrows is driven by our desire to understand the Universe.
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