National Aeronautics and Space Administration Logo
Follow this link to skip to the main content NASA Banner
Solar System Exploration
Multimedia
Saturn Ring-Plane Crossing, November 1995
Saturn Ring-Plane Crossing, November 1995 (click to enlarge)
 
 

Saturn Ring-Plane Crossing, November 1995

This is a rare view of Saturn's rings seen just after the Sun has set below the ring plane.

This perspective is unusual because the Earth is slightly above Saturn's rings and the Sun is below them. Normally we see the rings fully illuminated by the Sun. The Hubble telescope photograph reveals three bright ring features [moving from the outer to the inner rings]: the F Ring, the Cassini Division, and the C Ring. The low concentration of material in these rings allows light from the Sun to shine through them. The A and B rings are much denser, which limits the amount of light that penetrates through them. Instead, they are faintly visible because they reflect light from Saturn's disk.



Image Credit: Phil Nicholson (Cornell University), Steve Larson (University of Arizona), and NASA

Credit: NASA



Awards and Recognition   Solar System Exploration Roadmap   Contact Us   Site Map   Print This Page
NASA Official: Kristen Erickson
Advisory: Dr. James Green, Director of Planetary Science
Outreach Manager: Alice Wessen
Curator/Editor: Phil Davis
Science Writer: Autumn Burdick
Producer: Greg Baerg
Webmaster: David Martin
> NASA Science Mission Directorate
> Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
> Equal Employment Opportunity Data
   Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
> Information-Dissemination Policies and Inventories
> Freedom of Information Act
> Privacy Policy & Important Notices
> Inspector General Hotline
> Office of the Inspector General
> NASA Communications Policy
> USA.gov
> ExpectMore.gov
> NASA Advisory Council
> Open Government at NASA
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2008