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Saturn appears to Cassini’s cameras as a thin, sunlit crescent in this unearthly view. Citizens of Earth, being so much closer to the Sun than Saturn, never get to enjoy a view of Saturn like this without the aid of our robot envoys.
Parts of the night side of Saturn show faint illumination due to light reflected off the rings back onto the planet, an effect dubbed “ringshine.” This view looks toward the unilluminated side of the rings from about 43 degrees below the ringplane. The image was taken in green light with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on Aug. 4, 2013.
The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 1.2 million miles (2 million kilometers) from Saturn. Image scale is 75 miles (120 kilometers) per pixel.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. 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-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Image Addition Date: 2014-07-21