Saturn’s Mostly Colorless Moons


This shot contrasts Dione with the coloration of Saturn’s rings. In the image archives, there are some views of moons next to the gentle yellow-brown of the planet or rings. They all seem bland. Even Titan has an orange sameness. Many people note the vast majority of Cassini images are black and white. With the moons, it makes little difference, as these are mostly balls of ice.

People who first use telescopes, especially your backyard models, are often disappointed by what they see. Those colorful shots from the Hubble Space Telescope are the result of extremely sophisticated techniques. You’d have to be right on top of those spectacular nebulae and even then, the human eye is just not built to assess the things a computer can draw out from several narrow bandwidths of radiation.

When looking through a backyard scope, imagination is needed. Plus an eye for subtlety. Comet Levy-Shoemaker notwithstanding, we live in a very stable period in our solar system. But be glad for it. It makes the Vatican look like an ADHD teen on caffeine. Four-point-five billion years is a lot of time in which to build a solar system. But patience is rewarded.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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