Wallpaper: Saturn and Mimas

Wallpaper: Saturn and MimasOne of my favorite wallpaper images from the Cassini mission. This image almost looks like one of the fantastic Chesley Bonestell images from the 80’s only its not a painting. What you see are Saturn’s rings along the bottom and tiny Mimas floating across Saturnian cloudtops which are being shadowed by the rings. It is thought that these deep shadows, in addition to Saturn currently being in winter, somehow cause less clouds to form in Saturn’s northern hemisphere and create the blueish appearance seen here. When the Voyager’s passed by Saturn in the 80’s the entire globe appeared to be peach colored and lacked any of the blues you see today.

IMAGE NOTE: The left 1/5 of the image (the rings) is a digital extension of the image data found near the edge of the original image. This was done simply to fill out the proportion as the original was cropped to about 4/5 the the width.