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Cassini offers this lovely, crisp view of Saturn, which shows detail in the planet’s banded atmosphere, as well as the delicate ring system.
The image has been rotated so that north on Saturn is up; the Sun illuminates Saturn from below. Saturn’s tilt throws ghostly shadows of the rings onto the northern hemisphere during the current season.
The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide angle camera on Jan. 23, 2005, at a distance of approximately 2.8 million kilometers (1.7 million miles) from Saturn through a filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 728 nanometers. The image scale is 166 kilometers (103 miles) per pixel.
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 team is based at the Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colo.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute