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The strands of Saturn’s F ring disappear into the darkness of the planet’s shadow. Background stars make trails across the sky during the long exposure.
This view looks toward the unlit side of the rings from about 55 degrees above the ringplane.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Jan. 3, 2007 at a distance of approximately 1.4 million kilometers (900,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 108 degrees. Image scale is 8 kilometers (5 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