Saturn - Lord of the rings

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The giant planet Saturn, as observed with the VLT NAOS-CONICA Adaptive Optics instrument on December 8, 2001; the distance was 1209 million km. It is a composite of exposures in two near-infrared wavebands (H and K) and displays well the intricate, banded structure of the planetary atmosphere and the rings. Note also the dark spot at the south pole at the bottom of the image. One of the moons, Tethys, is visible as a small point of light below the planet. It was used to guide the telescope and to perform the adaptive optics "refocussing" for this observation. More details in the text. Technical information about this photo is available below.

Credit: ESO

Info
Long Caption
Id:phot-04a-02
Object:Saturn
Type: Astronomical ( Solar System ).
Telescope:UT4/Yepun
Instrument:NACO
Width:4961 px
Height:3795 px
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