PIA07678: Gleaming Rings

Gleaming Rings


Like a rope of brilliant neon, Saturn's rings outshine everything else in this night side view, while the sunlit southern face of the rings reflects a dim glow onto the atmosphere below. When viewed nearly edge-on, the rings often appear very bright.

Epimetheus (116 kilometers, or 72 miles across) and Janus (181 kilometers, or 113 miles across) are mere specks to the left of the ring edge, Epimetheus being the outermost of the pair.

The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Dec. 17, 2005, at a distance of approximately 2.7 million kilometers (1.7 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 75 degrees. The image scale is 164 kilometers (102 miles) per pixel.

Background Info:

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Saturn Rings Epimetheus, Janus, Saturn, Sun
System Saturn
Target Type Ring Planet, Satellite, Sun
Mission Cassini-Huygens
Instrument Host Cassini Orbiter
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
Detector Wide Angle Camera
Extra Keywords Atmosphere, Grayscale
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2006-01-18
Date in Caption 2005-12-17
Image Credit NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA07678
Identifier PIA07678