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Saturn’s shadow cuts across the rings in this view from high above the ringplane. While in the shadow the ring particles cool off and then heat up again when they enter the sunlight.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Oct. 18, 2008 at a distance of approximately 749,000 kilometers (465,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 44 degrees. Image scale is 41 kilometers (26 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