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Held in gravity’s embrace, Saturn’s darkened, icy rings encircle the clouded gas giant.
This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 29 degrees above the ringplane. The rings are made visible on this side (their “dark” side) by sunlight that scatters though them and by occulting the planet and background stars.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on March 29, 2007 at a distance of approximately 1.9 million kilometers (1.2 million miles) from Saturn. Image scale is 113 kilometers (70 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