Picture of the Day: The Stunning Shadows Cast by Saturn's Rings

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saturn9_cassini_900.jpg

In this picture, Saturn's rings appear in a vertical line on the right. Outside of the frame, to the upper-right hand side, is the sun. The sun's light shines through the rings, casting the bands of shadow onto the planet seen in the image's left side. The rings' shadows are not visible from Earth because they are always blocked by the rings themselves. This image was taken in August by the Cassini spacecraft, which has been orbiting Saturn since July of 2004.

Image:Cassini/NASA.
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Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

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