The NASA spacecraft Cassini has sent back some incredible imagery of the planet Saturn over the years, much of which is being put to use to create an IMAX movie. But thanks to the work of a Croatian software developer, we now have a full, breath-taking, high-resolution photo mosaic of Saturn in all its glory as it looked on October 10th.
The developer behind the high-res mosaic is Gordan Ugarkovic, and using 36 images taken by Cassini on that day, he was able to construct the beautiful image below. Here’s a look at the full mosaic, but be sure to click the photo to see it in glorious high-resolution:
Those 36 shots are broken down by color — 12 taken with a red filter, 12 with a blue and 12 with a green — so that, when put together, they approximate what the planet would look like to the human eye. In total, the full resolution mosaic measures in at 4,000 x 3,000 pixels and shows a breadth of detail that is stunning to behold.
From the hexagonal, blue-tinged polar vortex at the top, to the rings we here on Earth wish we had if only for the photo opportunities they would afford, the image shows Saturn like you’ve never seen it before. And here’s a fun side note pointed out by Slate‘s Phil Plait: the illumination on the dark side of Saturn isn’t actually coming directly from the sun, but from light reflected off the rings themselves.
It’s obvious that no amount of words will do justice to such a beautiful images, so we’ll go ahead and stop trying now. Just be sure to feast your eyes on the full-res final product by clicking on the mosaic above before you continue on with the rest of your Friday… it should make for one heck of a send off into the weekend.
Image credits: Image by NASA/Gordan Ugarkovic