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Saturn’s rings are dark and elusive in this view from high above the ringplane, but their shadows on the planet give them away.
This view looks toward the unlit side of the rings from about 37 degrees above the ringplane. The D, C, and B rings and the innermost A ring fill this view, although the rings are quite dark and difficult to see. Their structure is far clearer on the planet at right. Near upper right is a dot-like shadow, likely that of the small moon Janus.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Sept. 27, 2006 at a distance of approximately 1 million kilometers (600,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 137 degrees. Image scale is 58 kilometers (36 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