NASA’s spacecraft Cassini has been studying Saturn and its rings and moons, since it arrived in orbit around the planet in 2004. We have already seen Cassini sending back beautiful images of Saturn and colorful photos of Saturn and its largest moon Titan. Yesterday on March 4, NASA revealed a gorgeous image of Venus, the second closest planet from the Sun, captured by Cassini.
Using wide-angle camera, Cassini took the above image of Venus on November 10, 2012 while orbiting Saturn. It is a beautiful composite of two completely different worlds, far across the solar system from each other, but part of the family of planets orbiting our Sun. NASA says the picture was captured approximately 498,000 miles (802,000 kilometers) from Saturn at a sun-Saturn-spacecraft angle of 178 degrees. Each pixel is roughly about 28 miles (44 kilometers). In the image above, Cassini was in Saturn’s shadow at the time the photo was taken. In the image, Saturn itself is backlit by the Sun, and from this location Cassini was able to look back towards the Sun and the inner solar system. The bright dot you see in the image is actually Venus.
Cassini captured the above image on January 4, when the probe was approximately 371,000 miles (597,000 km) from Saturn and 850 million miles (1.37 billion km) from Venus. Venus appears near the top of the photo (follow red arrow), sandwiched between Saturn’s bright, curving limb and its G ring. The scale in this view is 20 miles (32 km) per pixel. In the lower part of the image is Saturn’s E ring.