PIA08304: Golden Night on Saturn


Golden Night on Saturn

Caption:

Saturn's B and C rings shine in diffuse, scattered light as the Cassini spacecraft looks on the planet's night side. The southern hemisphere is lit by sunlight reflecting off the rings, while the north shines much more feebly in the dim light that filters through the rings and is scattered on the northern hemisphere.

The fine, innermost rings are seen silhouetted against the southern hemisphere of the planet before partially disappearing into shadow.

The color of the rings appears more golden because of the increased scattering in the rings brought about by the high phase angle and the view being toward rings' the unlit side. Saturn also looks more golden because of the high phase angle here.

Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The images were obtained by the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Sept. 28, 2006 at a distance of approximately 1.4 million kilometers (900,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 151 degrees. Image scale is 83 kilometers (51 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/home/index.cfm . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Saturn Rings B Ring, C Ring, Saturn, Sun
System Saturn
Target Type Ring Planet, Sun
Mission Cassini-Huygens
Instrument Host Cassini Orbiter
Host Type Orbiter
Instrument Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS)
Detector Wide Angle Camera
Extra Keywords Color, Shadow
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2006-11-07
Date in Caption
Image Credit NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA08304
Identifier PIA08304