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This false-color image of Saturn shows ring shadows running across the upper portion of the planet, and sunlight illuminating the lower portion of the planet.
The upper area, in the ring shadow, would be black in visible light but glows red in infrared because Saturn is warm inside. This light shines out through the clouds, giving scientists a look at some of Saturn’s interesting atmospheric structure.
This image was taken on June 30, 2006, with Cassini’s visual and infrared mapping spectrometer. It was constructed from images taken at wavelengths of 0.91 microns shown in blue, 2.25 microns shown in green, and at 5.01 microns shown in red. The distance from Cassini to Saturn’s center in this image is 335,000 kilometers (208,159 miles).
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 was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer team is based at the University of Arizona where this image was produced.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona