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This moody true color portrait of Saturn shows a world that can, at times, seem as serene and peaceful as it is frigid and hostile. Saturn’s unlit-side rings embrace the planet while their shadows caress the northern hemisphere.
Janus (181 kilometers, or 113 miles across) is a mere speck below the rings, just left of the terminator. The view was obtained from about 15 degrees above the ringplane as Cassini continued its climb to higher orbital inclinations.
Images taken using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this natural color view. The image was acquired with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Aug. 18, 2006 at a distance of approximately 1.3 million kilometers (800,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 137 degrees. Image scale is 76 kilometers (47 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