Can You See A Third Moon In This Stunning View Of Saturn?

Posted: Jan 5 2016, 3:16am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Can You See a Third Moon in This Stunning View of Saturn?
NASA
  • NASA Cassini Probe takes Pics of Saturn’s Three Moons One of which is Inconspicuous

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The NASA Cassini probe took pics of Saturn’s three moons. One of these is inconspicuous.

The Internet is a medium that is responsible for many memes being generated time after time. Recently, an image of a panda caught the attention of the public.

The illustration of the panda was hidden among lots of snowmen, according to CNet. It was quite a challenge to find the panda. But now the puzzle has turned scientific. The goal is to find Saturn’s three moons in a pic taken by the Cassini probe. While two of them are in plain view, the third one is very difficult to spot.

Saturn’s rings could be seen in the photograph as they stretch out across the space-scape. Rhea and Enceladus could be spotted in the pic. And whereas Rhea lies beneath the rings, the moon Enceladus lies right on top of them.

The third moon may be hidden but that does not mean it isn’t there. While, Rhea is 949 miles in diameter, Enceladus is 313 miles in girth.

The in-visible moon is called Atlas and it is merely 19 miles across. Atlas sure is a small object. It happens to be among the 60 odd satellites surrounding Saturn.

Atlas is so small, it wasn’t discovered until 1980 when it was first photographed by Voyager. The Cassini probe took a close-up pic of Atlas in December of 2015.

NASA made the pic of the three moons of Saturn public on Monday. Finding Atlas is a task in itself. Actually, Atlas is seen as a slightly fat full stop above the F-Ring of Saturn. It is barely visible.

And this game of “spot it if you can?” was lost by many who just couldn’t bring up the eagle-eyed chutzpah to find the tiny dot that represented Atlas.

Atlas is just 2 pixels worth of a sight to see in the picture that NASA took. No wonder, it is such a herculean task to find it. So many miss it completely. Yet there are those among us who are keen observers.

And they have painter’s eyes that they are able to descry it from the pic. To the Average Joe, the pic represents just two moons instead of three.

But somewhere in the subtext lies Atlas, hidden from clear view. To find it requires almost a sort of microscopic vision that is rare in today’s negligent generation.

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