PIA12259: Infrared Ring around Saturn
Mission: Hubble Space Telescope
Spitzer Space Telescope
Instrument: IRAC
Product Size: 387 x 727 pixels (width x height)
Produced By: California Institute of Technology
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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 Credit:
Spitzer image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Virginia
Hubble image credit: NASA/ESA/STScI/AURA

Image Addition Date:
2009-10-07