Saturn's Rings, Cold and Colder
September 4, 2004
The varying temperatures of Saturn's rings are depicted here in this false-color image from the Cassini spacecraft. This image represents the most detailed look to date at the temperature of Saturn's rings. The image was made from data taken by Cassini's composite infrared spectrometer instrument. Red represents temperatures of about 110 Kelvin (-261 degrees Fahrenheit), and blue 70 Kelvin (-333 degrees Fahrenheit). Green is equivalent to 90 Kelvin (-298 degrees Fahrenheit). Water freezes at 273 Kelvin (32 degrees Fahrenheit). The spatial resolution of the ring portion of the image is 200 kilometers (124 miles). The data show that the opaque region of the rings, like the outer A ring (on the far right) and the middle B ring, are cooler, while more transparent sections, like the Cassini Division (in red just inside the A ring) or the inner C ring (shown in yellow and red), are relatively warmer.
Topics: Kelvin, Cassini–Huygens, Saturn, Fahrenheit, Exploration of Saturn, Cassini–Huygens timeline, Planetary ring, Technology Internet