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The Cassini spacecraft looks close at Saturn to frame a view encompassing the entire C ring. In the dark region closer to the planet lies the much dimmer D ring. The bright B ring wraps around the left side of the scene, while Saturn’s shadow darkens the rings at bottom. For reference, Saturn’s ring sequence from its surface outwards is D, C, B, A, F, G then E.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Sept. 4, 2005, at a distance of approximately 627,000 kilometers (390,000 miles) from Saturn. The image scale is 34 kilometers (21 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 operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute