This image of Saturn was made by NASA's robot spacecraft Voyager 2 as it began to explore the Saturn system in 1981. Saturn's famous rings are visible along with two of its moons, Rhea and Dione which appear as faint dots in the right and lower right part of the picture. Astronomers believe that Saturn's moons play a fundamental role in sculpting its elaborate ring system. Solar System, Moon, Capricorn Rules, Finals Frontier, Rings, Saturn, Universe, Favorite Planets, Outer Spaces
Why isn't spiral galaxy M66 symmetric? Usually density waves of gas, dust, and newly formed stars circle a spiral galaxy's center and create a nearly symmetric galaxy. The differences between M66's spiral arms and the apparent displacement of its nucleus are all likely caused by previous close interactions and the tidal gravitational pulls of nearby galaxy neighbors M65 and NGC 3628.
In July of 1994, pieces of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, aka the "string of pearls" comet, collided with the Jupiter. As the comet fragments smashed into Jupiter, explosions scattered large quantities of dusty cometary debris into the Jovian atmosphere. The clouds of debris created the multiple dark smudges visible in this picture. Jupiter's rotation causes the successive impact sites to be strung out along the cloud bands while the strong winds cause the appearance of the smudges to change with time.
Getting the big picture -- three of the Great Observatories worked together in producing this stunning image of Cassiopeia A. This composite image combines the infrared data from Spitzer in red, visible wavelength data from Hubble in yellow, and X-ray data from Chandra in green and blue. Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; Optical: NASA/STScI; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech