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The Cassini spacecraft looks toward the innermost region of Saturn’s rings, capturing (from right to left) the C and B rings. The dark, inner edge of the Cassini Division is just visible in the lower left corner. (The innermost D ring is too faint to be clearly seen here.)
The image looks toward the unlit side of the rings from about 50 degrees above the ringplane. Thus, from this perspective, the Sun’s light makes particles visible as it scatters through the rings toward the camera.
The image was taken in visible green light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Dec. 17, 2006 at a distance of approximately 1.1 million kilometers (700,000 miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 64 kilometers (40 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