Dawn’s early light…The light of a new day on Saturn illuminates the planet’s wavy cloud patterns and the smooth arcs of the vast rings.
July 11 | 2017
The light has traveled around 80 minutes since it left the sun’s surface by the time it reaches Saturn. The illumination it provides is feeble; Earth gets 100 times the intensity since it’s roughly ten times closer to the sun. Yet compared to the deep blackness of space, everything at Saturn still shines bright in the sunlight, be it direct or reflected. This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from a distance of approximately 762,000 miles from Saturn. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute