VENUS hiding in SATURN’S MAJESTY is space swoon.
Oh, Venus. The planet is playing coy in this picture, hiding from us. Though, it does have some help with the majesty of Saturn in this picture’s forefront.
This picture is very cool, and I have to admit it really threw me for a moment. Cassini was behind Saturn when it took this; that is, the Sun is on the other side of the planet, so all Cassini saw of Saturn itself is a very thin illuminated arc.
Venus is the bright spot just off the edge of the planet to the upper right (the other dot of light closer to the bottom is a star). It may not look like much, but remember, Saturn is a long way from the Sun. When this shot was taken, on Jan. 4, 2013, the gulf of space separating the two planets was about 1.4 billion kilometers (850 million miles)! From Earth, Venus is the third brightest natural object in the sky. From Saturn? Not so much. So that’s pretty cool.