Looking Over Saturn's Shoulder

NASA Cassini Saturn Image: Stellar Horizon

"The nearest star system, the trinary star Alpha Centauri, hangs above the horizon of Saturn. Both Alpha Centauri A and B -- stars very similar to our own -- are clearly distinguishable in this image. (The third star in the Alpha Centauri system, the red dwarf Proxima Centauri, is not visible here.) From the orbit of Saturn, light (as well as Cassini's radio signal) takes a little more than an hour travel to Earth. The distance to Alpha Centauri is so great that light from these stars takes more than four years to reach our Solar System. Thus, although Saturn seems a distant frontier, the nearest star is almost 30,000 times farther away."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on June 28, 2008 4:14 PM.

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