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Sunday, 9 November 2014

Amazing photo of Saturn and its Titan moon looks like high art in deep space

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This amazing image shows Saturn and its moon Titan as crescents on Aug. 11, 2013. NASA/JPL-CALTECH/SPACE SCIENCE INSTITUTE

An amazing photo taken by a NASA probe shows Saturn and its large moon Titan shining as pretty crescents in deep space.

The two cosmic bodies were imaged by the Cassini spacecraft, which has been exploring the Saturn system for about 10 years. The image -- released on Monday (Nov. 3) -- was captured as the robotic ship was flying about 1.1 million miles (1.7 million kilometers) from the ringed wonder on Aug. 11, 2013, according to NASA. Some of Saturn's ring plane can even be seen in the black and white image.

"More than just pretty pictures, high-phase observations -- taken looking generally toward the sun, as in this image -- are very powerful scientifically since the way atmospheres and rings transmit sunlight is often diagnostic of compositions and physical states," NASA officials said in an image description. "In this example, Titan's crescent nearly encircles its disk due to the small haze particles high in its atmosphere scattering the incoming light of the distant sun."