NASA released images Monday of the planet Venus as seen from the spacecraft Cassini, which is in orbit around Saturn.
In the first image, Venus is the bright object in the V at the top of the image:
NASA described it:
Dawn on Saturn is greeted across the vastness of interplanetary space by the morning star, Venus, in this image from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. Venus appears just off the edge of the planet, in the upper part of the image, directly above the white streak of Saturn’s G ring. Lower down, Saturn’s E ring makes an appearance, looking blue thanks to the scattering properties of the dust that comprises the ring. A bright spot near the E ring is a distant star. …
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 21 degrees below the ring plane.
Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The images were obtained with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Jan. 4, 2013, at a distance of approximately 371,000 miles (597,000 kilometers) from Saturn. Image scale is 20 miles (32 kilometers) per pixel.
A second image shows Venus from a different vantage point:
Peering over the shoulder of giant Saturn, through its rings, and across interplanetary space, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft spies the bright, cloudy terrestrial planet, Venus. The vast distance from Saturn means that Venus only shows up as a white dot, just above and to the right of the image center. …
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 17 degrees below the ring plane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Nov. 10, 2012.
Cassini launched in 1997 and has been in orbit around Saturn since 2004.
David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.