Darth Vader’s Armour
Saturn at Night
Imaged by Cassini on October 17, 2012 during its 174th orbit, the ringed planet’s night side is viewed from a perspective 19 degrees below the ring plane at a distance of about 800,000 kilometers with the Sun almost directly behind the planet. A 60 frame mosaic, images made with infrared, red, and violet filters were combined to create an enhanced, false-color view. Strongly backlit, the rings look bright away from the planet but dark in silhouette against the gas giant. They reflect a faint eerie light on the cloud tops while Saturn casts its own dark shadow on the rings.
Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, Space Science Institute, Cassini Imaging Team
According to legend, Cleopatra (69 BC–39 BC), the last pharaoh of ancient Egypt, ended her own life by enticing an asp to bite her. The snake we now call an asp (Vipera aspis) produces very painful—but rarely deadly—venom. Cleopatra was knowledgeable about poisons and their effects, having tested many on condemned prisoners. If she indeed committed suicide (some have speculated she was murdered by political rivals), Cleopatra would have selected a relatively painless death for herself, perhaps ingesting a mix of opium, aconitum (also known as wolfsbane), and hemlock.
Learn more about villains and victims in the Museum exhibition, The Power of Poison.
Skull Spider by CircleArt.