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Faint, ghostly spokes dapple the dark side of Saturn’s A ring as the planet’s shadow makes a sharp diagonal cut across this image from the Cassini spacecraft.
The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on April 30, 2008. This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 26 degrees above the ringplane. The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 316,000 kilometers (196,000 miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 147 degrees. Image scale is 15 kilometers (9 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