NASA spacecraft at the moon clicks Saturn from lunar orbit

NASA spacecraft at the moon clicks Saturn from lunar orbit

Update by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)

Just because a spacecraft is being sent to explore the moon doesn’t mean it can’t occasionally perform some additional skywatching.

Since 2009, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been orbiting the moon. However, a fresh image from the spacecraft released by NASA on Monday (Nov. 22) shows a different destination:

  • Saturn, replete with the planet’s beautiful rings.

The image was taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera on October 13th (LROC). As per NASA, the spacecraft was 90 kilometers (56 miles) above a lunar feature called as Lacus Veris, or Lake of Spring, at the time.

What do the Images say?

The image depicts the northern side of Saturn’s famous rings, as well as more of the planet’s northern hemisphere than the planet’s southern hemisphere. In March, the northern hemisphere’s summer ended and autumn began. The ringed world’s year is nearly 29 Earth years long, with every season lasting more than seven years of Earth.

Because the LROC’s cameras were meant to study the moon, NASA had to carefully adjust the spacecraft to capture such a magnificent image of Saturn.

Although a similar photograph of Jupiter was able to detect three of Jupiter’s largest moons, LRO was unable to do so with Saturn. That’s because, according to NASA, Saturn is dimmer than Jupiter, and both are far dimmer than the moon that LROC is designed to examine.

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