The shadows of Saturn's rings
3/4/2007 ,


Symmetry in Shadow

Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute


NASA recently published a spectacular image of Saturn, acquired by the Saturn-bound Cassini spacecraft. The image shows the dark side of the rings from only 9° above the ringplane.


Saturn is illuminated in blue and gold hues. Dione (1,126 km across), Saturn's second densest moon, shines in the distance. The darkened rings apparently converge with their shadows on the planet's surface. The rings glow feebly in scattered sunlight that penetrates them.


The image was taken in visible light with Cassini's wide-angle camera on 4 February 2007, at a distance of approximately 1.2 million km from Saturn. Image scale is 75 km per pixel.


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